What could he do to help himself? Three things:
* First, make it clear to all that while America is willing to talk with serious counterparts, we’ll expect results, not endless obfuscation.
* Second, beg Secretary Gates to stay on at the Pentagon for at least the first year of transition.
* Third, Obama should nominate that brilliant thug, Richard Holbrooke, as secretary of State. Holbrooke may be the most arrogant man ever to serve in our diplomatic corps (where arrogance has long substituted for competence). But he’s also tough, superbly capable and the savviest star in the Democratic constellation when it comes to global affairs.