Grading Obama’s Transition

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 4, 2008 7:36am

It’s been 30 days since President-elect Barack Obama was elected. And what we’ve seen so far is that he’s managed his transition with the same kind of precision and discipline that he managed to show during the campaign.

#1: Personnel and Cabinet Appointments. He’s ahead of the pace of past president-elects. So far he’s had eight cabinet appointments including his core economic and national security team.

That outpaces President George H.W. Bush who had five by this point, and far ahead of President Jimmy Carter who had two, and President Ronald Reagan who had one. President Bill Clinton had not named anyone to the White House or the cabinet at this point in his transition.

So Obama’s doing quite well.

#2: The Market.

These appointments have made a difference, especially on the economy.
Remember two weeks ago that the stock market was tanking, in part because of a concern of a power vacuum in Washington.

But when the Obama Team leaked word that Timothy Geithner would be Treasury Secretary coming in, the market jumped 500 points. The market is now 1,000 points above where it was before the Obama economic team was named.

#3: Bipartisanship. Finally he’s also made good on his promise of bipartisanship. That early meeting with Sen. John McCain, his former opponent, setting the tone. He also appoints Bob Gates, President Bush’s Defense Secretary and head the Pentagon at least for a year.

And everyday over the next week there were new appointments, boosting the market further. He also reached out to the most powerful Republican in Washington right now, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

It’s hard to imagine this transition going much better for the president-elect.

–George Stephanopoulos

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