But the virtues of calm and collegiality can be overstated. A team of elbows-in former colleagues and aides may end up looking more like a Senate staff than a dynamic Cabinet. Biden understandably doesn’t want a fractious “team of rivals,” as Doris Kearns Goodwin dubbed President Abraham Lincoln’s Cabinet. But he shouldn’t have a team of retreads, either.

Biden’s challenge is that after cooling the national fever, literally and figuratively, he needs to shake things up. The federal government is a mess. The distribution of economic rewards is so palpably unfair that it embarrasses even Wall Street tycoons. Military strategy and procurement need to be reinvented to cope with a rising China. The intelligence community, similarly, needs visionary leadership for the future, not just a repair job after the abusive Trump years…

Biden should add intellectual firepower with some contrarians who’ll urge him to take risks. Professors, think-tank chiefs, top executives at our best technology and consulting companies who can help rethink policy toward Russia, China and other countries, perhaps as ambassadors. Bringing on such luminaries would accelerate Biden’s takeoff.