If Obama is in a hurry to form his team he has ample reasons for it. There is a lot to be done and wasting time could be fatal if he wishes to fulfill his promises. He has already promised an economic stimulus package, which will create 2.5 million jobs over the next two years. It is a challenging task indeed. He has already decided a part of his team. He plans to name Larry Summers, a Treasury secretary during the Clinton administration, to head the National Economic Council. Treasury secretary is Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve.
“Our hope is that the new Congress begins work on this as soon as they take office in early January, because we don’t have time to waste here,” David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, said on Fox News Sunday, while talking about the spiraling economic crisis. “We want to hit the ground running on Jan. 20.”
“There’s certainly a tremendous pressure to name the team and thereby instill some confidence in the markets,” says Robert Reischauser, president of the Urban Institute and former head of the Congressional Budget Office. “There’s an effort to calm jittery nerves and show that this is not going to be Amateur Hour on Jan. 20.”
The markets are dependant on his announcements. He is in an awkward position as he has been elected but does not have the power to make the changes he wants to.
“This crisis is so deep that the markets would like to hear from Obama about what he has in mind,” says Greg Valliere, political strategist with the Stanford Financial Group. “The Congress looks dysfunctional and the Bush administration is out of gas.”
The situation now is that the old president has the powers, the new president the expectations. That can be confusing and even dangerous.