The country’s still awaiting not only a Commerce Secretary but a great many subcabinet appointees, deputy directors of agencies, etc. etc. etc. And this points to a paradox of presidential power. Politically, Obama is going to be at his strongest for the next several months. But organizationally, an administration tends to be weakest at the beginning — with many jobs vacant or filled by holdovers and some filled by people who don’t work out. Maximizing effectiveness requires Obama to pick good people and do it quickly. To that end, two documents out from CAP:
- Six Ways that the Obama Administration Can Improve the Political Appointment Process
- Presidential Appointments by the Numbers
A couple of factoids from the “numbers” report — it took Bill Clinton on average over 450 days to fill deputy agency head and inspector-general positions. That’s not good.