The response to President-elect Barack Obama’s Cabinet choices remains very positive, with 83 percent of respondents in a Marist survey Wednesday saying they approved of his performance so far. Politico.com called the Cabinet “a middle-of-the-roader’s dream.” Even Bush guru Karl Rove has called Obama’s choices “reassuring.” Some perspective, though, can be gained with two flashbacks:
George W. Bush’s initial picks looked good, too, especially all-stars Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld and Christine Todd Whitman. (Though reflecting the contested election result, an Associated Press poll in January 2001 found that just 52 percent approved of his handling of the transition.)
In a Gallup poll in December 1992, 67 percent approved of Bill Clinton’s transition. Yet, as the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza recalled, “most politicos believe that to be the most unorganized – and mismanaged – handover of power in recent memory.”
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