Cass Sunstein, the new OIRA chief, hasn’t always been a blogospheric favorite because he’s generally taken a soft line on a lot of Bush-era abuse of power issues. But of course that’s well outside the scope of OIRA’s ambit. And as this very interesting blog post argues, his recent work in the area of behavior economics suggests a real interest in bringing a new theoretical framework to the government’s regulatory work — one that’s informed by rigorous economic analysis but not slavishly adherent to free market dogma.
Meanwhile, an interesting subplot here is that Sunstein’s wife is Samantha Power. Ever since she left the Obama campaign as a result of “monstergate,” I’ve gotten sporadic inquiries from people as to her status vis-à-vis a potential Obama administration. My understanding of the situation has long been that she wasn’t seeking a formal job and every indication we’ve thus far seen from the transition is that she won’t have one. But one can still provide advice on issues without being a formal adviser, and her husband’s appointment suggests she’ll probably be moving to Washington.