Obama Transition

Trump Uses Obama Playbook

Politico: “Donald Trump is following much the same political blueprint his predecessor and longtime adversary laid out years ago, signaling he’ll actively intervene in the U.S. economy while antagonizing free-marketeers who say his meddling will end in disaster. It’s a funhouse-mirror version of Obama’s early image of the presidency — the man of action for down-and-out Americans who desperately want to see that somebody is on their side.”

“Only this time, Democrats aren’t hailing the president-to-be’s efforts as a needed corrective to capitalism run amok. And Republicans, aside from a principled few, aren’t quoting from dog-eared copies of The Road to Serfdom to warn of impending socialist tyranny. The parties have almost completely reversed positions in response to Trump, testament to the Death Star-like pull of Washington partisanship.”

The Democrats’ Real Diversity Problem

Amy Walter: “For all the hand-wringing over the lack of diversity in the Obama Administration’s second term Cabinet, Democrats should really be more depressed about the fact that their potential 2016 field is a lot less diverse than the GOP’s. Take away Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic bench looks more like that picture in the New York Times than it does the picture of Obama’s 2012 voting coalition.”

Obama Bungles Second Term Transition

First Read: “The second-term cabinet shuffle has been an unforced error so far. (The reason why the White House is receiving criticism for a lack of diversity is that it has nominated three consecutive white men for cabinet posts — John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, and today Jack Lew — but without a high-profile woman or minority thrown into the mix. And that doesn’t include John Brennan at CIA and a likely white male to be the next White House chief of staff.) Indeed, you could argue that the Romney folks thought a lot more about staffing a Romney administration over the next four years than Team Obama did about a second-term administration.”

“In fairness to the White House, its top officials were so focused on the fiscal-cliff talks in the past two months. What’s more, this kind of disorganization isn’t unusual for a second term, especially after winning a hard-fought race for re-election. And finally, it’s a process story. At the end of the day, it’s likely that Obama’s second-term cabinet will have plenty of diversity and top-notch names. But the process hasn’t been pretty. Question for the White House: Why didn’t it have a second-term transition director? Someone whose full-time job was to keep an eye on the optics of how and when to announce, on the leaks etc.?”

But Jill Lawrence says “a confluence of factors is making the frat-house syndrome seem worse than it is.”

Newser: Maybe Obama needs a binder full of women?