Obama’s surprising (?) incompetence

Me, back in June 2008

Obama as Bush III – a guy of slightly more than average intelligence whose first term will be a triumph of cabinet politics over whatever Obama actually believed coming in — would be a good thing. If Obama is as incompetent as he appears, his incompetence ceases to be an issue, because he would not be able to implement his ideas.

The Economist, February 2009:

The bigger blow to Mr Obama comes not so much from the failure of a project that was never, given the nature of politics, really viable. It is that the latest episode contributes to a surprising picture of incompetence that is building up around his presidency. This is the third of his cabinet nominations to go down in flames, and he has also lost the woman whom he had hoped to appoint to the job of chief performance officer to the government. He should additionally count himself extremely lucky that he did not lose his treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, who failed to pay some of his taxes and who would surely not make it through to confirmation if he had to do now rather in the first post-inauguration flush.

While Obama’s Commerce pick have been failed attempts at political give-and-take, Obama’s loss of Tom Daschle is bad for his administration, and the country. Tom Daschle, for all his lobbying against the interests of his state, is an expert on health car, technology, and Washinton deal-making, and could have been very useful as the Department of Health and Human Services.