The first warning signals for me came with your acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. In it, you stressed domestic initiatives that clearly were nonstarters in the already shrinking economy.

I had greater concern when you staffed your administration and White House with a large number of Clinton administration retreads who had learned their trade in the never-ending-campaign culture of the Clinton years. Some appeared to represent what you had pledged to eradicate in the capital.

Many of the missteps that have followed flowed, in part, from your reliance on these Clinton holdovers. Your chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, defined your early strategy by stating that the financial and economic crises presented an “opportunity” to jam through unrelated legislation. To many of us, the remark was cynical and wrong-headed.

The crises did not represent an opportunity. They presented an obligation to do one thing: Return our financial system and our economy to good health.