It's Never Too Early To Name a Commission
By Ben Pershing
Barack Obama has been in Washington as president-elect for only a few days, but the ways of the city appear to have already seeped into his bloodstream as he embraces an old capital standby: When you're faced with a seemingly intractable problem, convene a summit, appoint a commission or create a "team" with a fancy-sounding name.
Obama pledged to do just that Thursday in a pair of big-media interviews. Here at the Post (where employees gawked but did not cheer), Obama vowed to hold a "fiscal accountability summit," which would include discussion of entitlement reform and ballooning budget deficits. In a sit-down with USA Today, Obama emphasized his plan to appoint a special team to conduct a diplomatic offensive in the Middle East.
The fiscal summit, in particular, doesn't sound all that different from the classic presidential move -- appointing a blue-ribbon commission. Obama's next step will be to learn how to shine the special signal from the roof of the White House, and then John Danforth and Lee Hamilton will appear. (Obama did have dinner with Hamilton last week.) But more seriously, it makes perfect sense for Obama to set the loftiest and most difficult goals now, when nearly anything seems possible and reality has yet to intrude. So why not speak of fixing Medicare and bringing peace to the Middle East in the same day? Perhaps Obama is saving his drive to cure cancer as an exclusive for whenever he sits down with the New York Times.
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Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 16, 2009 9:08 AM
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