Advisers abound, and conflict could follow, in the US president's multi-layered government
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 17 February 2009
"......If Obama is daunted by this responsibility and his lack of management experience, it does not show. In his first month in office, he has confidently upended old organisational structures. Even before his $787bn economic stimulus package was approved by Congress, he had become a one-man job creation programme. By one estimate, up to 160 people will have jobs in the West Wing of Obama's White House, compared with 60 under George Bush.....
Obama's enthusiasm for bipartisanship, unreciprocated by Congressional Republicans, has afforded even wider bureaucratic employment opportunities. Thus has Robert Gates, Bush's defence secretary, been kept on in his old job. Obama has also extended his "two is better than one" approach to Hillary Clinton's state department. Instead of simply leaving Clinton to direct foreign policy, as was the norm in the past, Obama has sub-divided the job several times over.
Primary responsibility for Israel-Palestine has been given to George Mitchell, Afghanistan-Pakistan has gone to Richard Holbrooke and Iran, possibly, will be handled by Dennis Ross. All three are seasoned negotiators and diplomats summoned from retirement. All three are men of strong opinions who probably know more about their respective tasks than does Clinton.
Quite where that leaves US policy in these crucial areas, and quite where it leaves the not easily dismissed Clinton, will be another developing story of the job-intensive Obama era."