Obama Transition Team Taps Clinton Alumni to Prepare for Transfer of Power

Nov 12, 2008 5:19pm

The Obama-Biden Transition Team announced three "Agency Review Teams" (ART) to prepare policy and personnel for the soon-to-be-named secretaries.

* For Treasury, the ART will be headed by Josh Gotbaum and Michael Warren;
* For the Pentagon, the ART will be headed by John White and Michele Flournoy;
* and as previously reported, Tom Donilon and Ambassador Wendy Sherman will run the ART for the State Department.

The Transition Team is also naming co-chairs of the Agency Review Working Group — Melody Barnes, Lisa Brown, and Don Gips.

Members of the Working Group include Louisa Terrell, Ray Riviera, and Jon Wilkins, as well as some designated for specific areas:

Seth Harris — labor, education, and transportation agencies;
David J. Hayes — energy and natural resources agencies;
Reed Hundt — international trade and economics agencies;
Sally Katzen — executive office of the president and government operations agencies;
Tom Perez — justice, health and human services, veterans affairs, and housing and urban development agencies;
Sarah Sewall — national security agencies;
Michael Warren (again) — international trade and economics agencies; and 
Tom Wheeler — science, technology, space and arts agencies. 

I think, if my math is correct, 16 out of 19 of these folks worked in some capacity for the administration of President Clinton, which will no doubt cause some to question just how much "change" can really come of these appointments.

But on the other hand, one can’t expect Democrats who can be relied upon to help run a government to just pop out fresh from thin air.

Moreover, these folks aren’t necessarily going to work for the Obama administration — they’re helping the administration get up to speed.

Gotbaum and Warren, in particular, have their work cut out for them in the short term, what with the president-elect and the president trying to fend off even further economic disaster.

Not that White, Flournoy, Donilon and Sherman have an easy task ahead of them, what with the safety and security of the nation and, you know, the world.

- jpt

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