Best transition evah gets notice of Paper of Record

posted at 10:55 am on August 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When Barack Obama took the Oath of Office seven months ago, the national media got itself “wee-wee’d up” in describing the sheer awesomeness of the Most Successful Transition Ever.  Partly from criticism from both Hillary Clinton and John McCain at different times in the presidential campaign, the Beltway press seemed to go out of its way to toss laurels to Obama’s preparation and ability to “hit the ground running” with his team as soon as he got the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  However, some of us began counting the unfilled appointments a few months ago and wondered when the mainstream media might begin doing the same.

Apparently, the answer was yesterday.  The New York Times issued a blistering report on the Obama administration, revealing how the executive with no executive experience has failed to hire people for many key positions — including national security:

Seven months into his presidency, fewer than half of his top appointees are in place advancing his agenda.

Of more than 500 senior policymaking positions requiring Senate confirmation, just 43 percent have been filled so far — a reflection of a White House that grew more cautious after several nominations blew up last spring, a Senate that is intensively investigating nominees and a legislative agenda that has consumed both. …

“If you’re running G.M. without half your senior executives in place, are you worried? I’d say your stockholders would be going nuts,” said Terry Sullivan, a professor at the University of North Carolina and executive director of the White House Transition Project, which tracks appointments. “The notion of the American will — it’s not being thwarted, but it’s slow to come to fruition.” …

Mr. Obama has a more intact national security team than his predecessor at this point. But even in this area, vital offices remain open. No Obama appointee is running the Transportation Security Agency, the Customs and Border Protection agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Mr. Obama still does not have an intelligence chief at the Department of Homeland Security, nor a top civilian in charge of military readiness at the Pentagon.

It’s bad enough that people are leaving their appointments already before other roles get their first nominee.  In fact, one of the people who left for another position is Donald Gips, now the ambassador to South Africa.  His first position?  Finding candidates to fill the open positions in the Obama administration.

The Times tries to explain this away in part from closer scrutiny from the Senate on nominees.  However, the Times doesn’t really explain why the Senate has had to exercise closer scrutiny.  A glut of initial nominees with tax and ethics issues left the Obama administration’s vetting process look either incompetent or non-existent.  Even a Senate with 60 members from the President’s own party could not keep confirming tax cheats like Tim Geithner for every position.

The real question is why the national media hasn’t discovered this before, as the NYT puts it, 15% of Obama’s presidency has expired.  A competent executive with the kind of advantage Obama has in the Senate would have filled these positions by now, and a competent news media would have pointed it out before August.    (via Allahpundit)


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

The only sound heard round the world when he hit the ground was a “SPLAT!!”

tree hugging sister on August 24, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Knucklehead on August 24, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Disagree, I want this bonehead out of there ASAP, before he does any further damage.

I want to see him slink out of our White House, disgraced and failed.

Biden will be content with being able to run his stupid mouth before the camera, he won’t actually try and do anything. I can deal with that.

NoDonkey on August 24, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Don’t we give all afirmative action employees light duty?

fourdeucer on August 24, 2009 at 11:39 AM

And now comes word that Leon Panetta is threatening to quit.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=8398902

Doughboy on August 24, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Clearly he didn’t understand his role as bus fodder.

highhopes on August 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

It’s 3am and the phone is going to voicemail.

highhopes on August 24, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Obama- no experience necessery.

profitsbeard on August 24, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Obama: “I’m not good in groups. It’s hard to work in groups when you’re omnipotent”

PackerBronco on August 24, 2009 at 11:43 AM

It’s 3am and the phone is going to voicemail.

highhopes on August 24, 2009 at 11:41 AM

“Hello, Press 1 for Chinese, 2 for Russian, 3 for Farsi and 4 for the language of dead white male slaveholders, you neandrathal cretin.”

“You call is important to us. Please enjoy the music for the next four to six hours (theme from “Shaft” plays).”

NoDonkey on August 24, 2009 at 11:46 AM

The “great” transition was mostly due to Bush making it easy for him, now obama got credit for that? What a load that is.

Now the media are just NOW discovering that this cartoon is inexperienced and disorganized? Being a “community organizer” doesn’t mean you are an organized person, all it means is that you know how to get peter to do a favor for paul if you have soros and ayers putting you into political offices that allow you to pay off peter.

I really wish all the scumbaggery would come out in the “main stream media” so we can get on with the impeachment.

Spiritk9 on August 24, 2009 at 11:48 AM

What were those missing positions???

Transportation Security Agency
Customs and Border Protection
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Department of Homeland Security intelligence chief

Its almost like he doesn’t care about one of his primary roles -keeping US citizens safe.

taznar on August 24, 2009 at 11:48 AM

It’s BHO’s cost saving measure. After all, he is doing so well without them. . .

sarcoff/

DuctTapeMyBrain on August 24, 2009 at 11:52 AM

The Left is starting to get annoyed because they’re not completely getting their way. I don’t think the NYT is coming around to a balanced view of journalism, I think their motivation is propelled by a desire to push a far left agenda as rapidly as possible.

Many liberals thought that Obama and his friends in Congress could just magically create the Progressive utopia with a wave of their hands. But reality got in the way, as it often does with liberal plans.

hawksruleva on August 24, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Its almost like he doesn’t care about one of his primary roles -keeping US citizens safe.

taznar on August 24, 2009 at 11:48 AM

That’s because the filthy liar in the White House doesn’t see himself as an American. He’s a citizen of the world and would probably make a competent UN Secretary General. Think about it. Are have these actions he’s done in the past eight months been good for America and Americans or have they weakened our country and made us more like all the mediocre nations of Europe?

highhopes on August 24, 2009 at 11:56 AM

There truly should be a law against appointing Czars. It is circumventing the process. I can only imagine if Bush had tried the same thing.

SC.Charlie on August 24, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Its almost like he doesn’t care about one of his primary roles -keeping US citizens safe.

taznar on August 24, 2009 at 11:48 AM

I’m OK with him not filling that ATF position.

I bought my two box limit of ammo on Saturday, it’s bad enough now.

I don’t see this administration making ammo any easier to obtain.

NoDonkey on August 24, 2009 at 11:59 AM

The last thing Obama wants are people with integrity. They’d never play ball and they’d blow the whistle if things got out of hand.

Daggett on August 24, 2009 at 11:23 AM

To Obama, the end justifies the means.

Johan Klaus on August 24, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Doesn’t he already have czars taking care of business for these positions? Maybe he’s run out of marxist, socialists, race baiters to appoint.

Kissmygrits on August 24, 2009 at 12:04 PM

A blessing and a curse…We have an inept President (bad), but since the only things this President is likely to do are advancing socialism, it’s good that he’s not getting anythign done.

samuelrylander on August 24, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Ruh-ROH!!!

Now the NYT is racist.

jukin on August 24, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Doesn’t he already have czars taking care of business for these positions?

The czars will be overseen by little caesars.

Free breadsticks for all.

NoDonkey on August 24, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Is this a story to COVER the fact that czars are VERY BUSY behind the scenes?

marklmail on August 24, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Dead Unicorn now drawing flies at the White House…. Of course the head of that dead Unicorn has been left in Rush’s bed.

Hillary and Biden warned us that he had no experience.

roux on August 24, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Saw this on another site this morning and left this comment:

By appointing “czars,” Osama Obama is sidestepping the Constitution, as he has longed to do for years, and has done in many ways since Jan. 20.

His appointees are responsible to no one save Lord Obama. With a Congress full of blind, unprincipled followers, Obama has arrogated to himself power that no one person in a free society should have.

Suddenly, it’s 1917 in Moscow all over again.

Once again, it is time to stop making fun of Osama Obama and start looking for ways — legal, Constitutional ones — to get him out of office before he and his minions cause more destruction.

MrScribbler on August 24, 2009 at 12:17 PM

hmmmmmmmmmmm.

The Moron’s position-filling difficulies seem go be on postions subject to public scrutiny.

He hasn’t had any trouble fillin the unaccountable-to-anybody “Czar” positions, has he.

Probably just a coincidence. After all, this is the most honest admnistration ever. Who can fault a few hundred or thousand toe stubs?

notagool on August 24, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Hillary and Biden warned us that he had no experience.

roux on August 24, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Said the two people who’s experience consisted of losing law records and counting paper clips.

Oh yeah, they both claimed that they were shot at by imaginary snipers, I guess that does qualify as an “experience” of some sort.

NoDonkey on August 24, 2009 at 12:23 PM

This dilema must be BELOW his paygrade.

wildweasel on August 24, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Bush had to work against the active, deliberate efforts of the Democrats to disrupt the efforts to fill out the appointive staff. Ant then they had the gall to accuse him of not having the nation ready when 9/11 happened.

What is The One’s excuse?

etaoinshrdlu on August 24, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Sounds like a few folks who wanted jobs and didn’t get them have started whining to the NYT.

What this article doesn’t even get at is the astounding number of top jobs that HAVE been filled, but with Clinton Administration retreads. Pretty much every job that has to do with environmental policy has been filled by Carol Browner’s cronies and proteges from the Clinton Administration. The only exceptions are the figureheads at the top of Interior and EPA.

rockmom on August 24, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Well, the real question is, how quickly did it take previous Presidents to get these people in place? The article said that Obama’s national security team is in “better shape” than Bush’s at this time.

What you really want to be able to say is “Bush had 80% of his nominees confirmed as of August 31st 2001, Clinton had 82% of his nominees confirmed as of August 31st 1993, etc.

Outlander on August 24, 2009 at 12:34 PM

The picture—Get your dang feet off of our furniture!!!!

mobydutch on August 24, 2009 at 12:39 PM

So few people in place “advancing his agenda.” Yes, I can feel the heartache at the NY TImes. Can’t have that “agenda” stuck in place. Advance!

rrpjr on August 24, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Even a Senate with 60 members from the President’s own party could not keep confirming tax cheats like Tim Geithner for every position.

I guess they figured, “What’s one more little chisel among all these tools?”

rihar on August 24, 2009 at 12:45 PM

To update an old George Carlin joke:

Is God Obama so great that he can make a rock government so big that he himself can’t lift manage it?

UltimateBob on August 24, 2009 at 12:52 PM

He is actually pretty good at running his mouth.

TXMomof3 on August 24, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Hahaha.

Good one.

ladyingray on August 24, 2009 at 12:57 PM

My impression remains that Bush put together a better team faster, under difficult circumstances, than Obama has managed with Bush giving him every consideration and assistance possible during the transition period.

cs89 on August 24, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Never give a sucker an even break. Certainly not a blood sucker con man.

IlikedAUH2O on August 24, 2009 at 1:00 PM

“You call is important to us. Please enjoy the music for the next four to six hours (theme from “Shaft” plays).”

RACIST!!!

Socratease on August 24, 2009 at 1:37 PM

That’s why I roll my eyes at people like Bill Maher who whines that we are too hard on ‘Bama cause he’s only been in office for 6 months. Well, that didn’t seem to stop the MSM from proclaiming him the greatest President Evar after just 6 minutes.

Heftyjo on August 24, 2009 at 1:40 PM

want to see him slink out of our White House, disgraced and failed.

NoDonkey on August 24, 2009 at 11:38 AM

I’ll take it a couple of steps farther:

I want all of his shady deals to catch up with him, and I want to see him arrested.

I want to see him dragged out onto the South Lawn in his underpants with a cigarette dangling from his lying mouth, while MO, in her housecoat and curlers, screams obscenities at the top of her lungs… a la COPS.

A gal can dream….

jana on August 24, 2009 at 1:45 PM

The only sound heard round the world when he hit the ground was a “SPLAT!!”

tree hugging sister on August 24, 2009 at 11:38 AM

No more coffee when reading Hot Air comments!

/paper towel please

FreedomSlave on August 24, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Dictatorship needs only one person to run the whole thing. I don’t see any need for Obambi to hire anyone else. :(

poxoma on August 24, 2009 at 1:48 PM

do you hear that?
{listen}
that’s the sound of The One’s hand giving us the finger. He will fix everything by HIMSELF because he’s just that Awesome. It makes a better success story if The One had to do it under-hand…I’m sorry…under-staffed. It’s like the good guy wrestler who’s been ALMOST down for the count three times, his partner just took a chair over the head, the referee is being distracted by his opponent’s partner over on the other side of the ring and…the good guy wrestler gets up stumbling blind, but he knocks the stuffins out of his evil opponent!
President Obama thinks he can succeed with half his brain tied behind his back. Just to make it fair.

Doug on August 24, 2009 at 1:51 PM

15% of Obama’s presidency 1st term has expired

I replaced a little wishful thinking with some sad realism.

KS Rex on August 24, 2009 at 2:05 PM

The New York Times issued a blistering report on the Obama administration, revealing how the executive with no executive experience has failed to hire people for many key positions — including national security:

Next!

BigMike252 on August 24, 2009 at 2:32 PM

At the next HOA meeting, I’ll argue for machine gun nests.

NoDonkey on August 24, 2009 at 11:19 AM

I think I love you.

Mary in LA on August 24, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Amateur hour.

Terrye on August 24, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Bush looped in BHO and his team before the confetti hit the ground. You would think bOzo would have had adequate time to get his appointees together. If the Senate is to blame for this (HA!), where is the list of nominees waiting for their confirmation?

And people object to the JOKER posters!

Laura in Maryland on August 24, 2009 at 3:04 PM

And people object to the JOKER posters!

Laura in Maryland on August 24, 2009 at 3:04 PM

I can see why people object. The Joker always had a plan, and always got his people on board to executed it.

Joker fans should object to this insulting poster.

/sarc>

landlines on August 24, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Well geeze. Cut the guy some slack. He does have to have his many, many, many trips, and vacations. Yeesh! ROFL!!!

capejasmine on August 24, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Why aren’t those positions filled. He could use his Obama Army (You Tube) and he could use the woman that said she didn’t have to worry about her mortgage & gas for her car any more

Jeff from WI on August 24, 2009 at 4:14 PM

My impression remains that Bush put together a better team faster, under difficult circumstances, than Obama has managed with Bush giving him every consideration and assistance possible during the transition period.

cs89 on August 24, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Team Bush had a competent vetting process. They didn’t end up with key individuals having to bail because of unpaid taxes or (as with Giethner) having to defend the nomination despite bad stuff. I do recall, however, that many of the lesser appointments took a while to be filled. What’s different here is that there doesn’t seem to be much effort being exerted in filling these jobs.

highhopes on August 24, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Bush was also held back a month in his appointment selection
process by the 2000 election debacle.

“The One” is looking to all his cronies like Rahm Immanuel to do his work for him, because he doesn’t know any more “adults” that could get through the nomination process. Everyone else he knows is either a crook or a radical, and he has used up all his capital on Tim Geitner and the other tax cheats he has nominated.

Susanboo on August 24, 2009 at 4:21 PM

15% of Obama’s presidency 1st and last term has expired

I replaced a little wishful thinking with some sad realism.

KS Rex on August 24, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Buck Up and enjoy my optimism!!

chickasaw42 on August 24, 2009 at 4:25 PM

only 85% to go! Woo-hoo!! (hack, hack, wheeze)

Rosmerta on August 24, 2009 at 4:36 PM

He just want’s to BE President not Do President…that’s hard.

ronsfi on August 24, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Obama doesn’t need all those people vetted or agreed to by Congress, he has 33 CZARS!!!

elclynn on August 24, 2009 at 5:40 PM

A competent executive with the kind of advantage Obama has in the Senate would have filled these positions by now, and a competent news media would have pointed it out before August.

Emphasis on “competent.”

redfoxbluestate on August 24, 2009 at 6:17 PM

What? He ran out of former Clinton staff members?

darwin-t on August 24, 2009 at 11:12 PM

“Best transition evah gets notice of Paper of Record”

Oh no! Ed has gone all allahpundity!

Kevin M on August 25, 2009 at 4:27 AM

Comment pages: 1 2