President Obama’s personnel choices for his second term will offer clues about the tone of his new administration, and about his policy priorities.
It may not be as dramatic as a new president coming in to install a totally new regime in Washington. But even as President Obama celebrates his solid reelection victory, he faces a major transition challenge in reshaping his administration for a second term under less-than-ideal circumstances.
The newly triumphant-but-exhausted president is back at the White House and turning his attention to the daunting policy logjams that demand almost immediate action, not to mention the certainty that he will have to make changes in his White House senior staff and Cabinet. His choices will be closely watched for signals about whether Obama will pursue a more cooperative approach with Republicans in Congress—or a more confrontational one—than he did in his first term.
Surprisingly, on some levels, his transition task may be harder than Mitt Romney’s would have been in building an administration from scratch.
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