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William Wilson

Wednesday, 13. October 2010

It stood me in good stead for the next eight...

By belmoreraful, 09:33
It stood me in good stead for the next eight yearsOn the other hand, I had always had a tendency to try to do too much, which also contributed to physical exhaustion, irritability, and my well-deserved reputation for tardiness I knew that the transition was only a foretaste of what the presidency would be like: everything happening at onceI would have to delegate more and have a better-organized decision-making process than I had as governorHowever, the fact that so many sub-cabinet positions had not been finalized had more to do with the fact that the Democrats had been out of power for twelve yearsWe had to replace a lot of people, we were committed to casting a wide net for diversity, and there were a great number of people with a claim to be consideredMoreover, the required vetting process had gotten so complicated that it took too much time, as federal investigators pored over every piece of paper and ran down every petty rumor to find people who were bulletproof in the face of political and press assaults Looking back, I think the major shortcomings of the transition were two: I spent so much time on the cabinet that I hardly spent any time on the White House staff, and I gave almost no thought to how to keep the publics focus on my most important priorities, rather than on competing stories that, at the least, would divert public attention from the big issues and, at worst, could make it appear that I was neglecting those priorities The real problem with the staff was that most of them came out of the campaign or Arkansas, and had no experience in working in the white chanel j12 watch White House or dealing with Washingtons political cultureMy young staffers were talented, honest, and dedicated, and I felt I owed many of them the chance to serve the country by working in the White HouseIn time, they would get their sea legs and do very wellBut in the critical early months, both the staff and I would do a lot of on-the-job learning, and some of the lessons would prove to be quite costly We also didnt give messaging anything close to the amount of attention that we had in the election, though its harder in government, even for the President, to get out the message you want every dayAs I said, everything happens at once, and any controversy is more likely to dominate the news than a policy decision, no matter how important the decision might beThats what happened with the Zo Baird and gays-in-the-military controversiesThough they took up only a small part of my time, people watching the evening news could be forgiven for thinking I spent my time on nothing elseIf we had thought more about this challenge and worked harder on it during the transition, Im sure we would have handled it better Despite the problems, I believed our transition had gone reasonably wellSo, apparently, did the American peopleBefore I left for Washington, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll gave me a 60 percent favorability rating, up from just 32 percent in MayHillary was doing even better