Obama set to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic

Dear Mr. President: Do you really think this is going to help?

President Obama is planning the first major reorganization of his administration, preparing to shuffle several positions in the West Wing as he tries to fortify his political team for the realities of divided government and his own re-election.

The president is studying how to maximize the power of the executive branch, advisers said, seeking insight from veterans of previous administrations and fresh advice from business leaders to guide the second half of his term.
He is reviewing the restructuring plan during the holidays, aides said, and intends to make the first announcements in the opening days of January.

A reshaping of the economic team, beginning by naming a new director of the National Economic Council, is among the most urgent priorities of the new year. Gene Sperling, a counselor to the Treasury secretary who held the position in the Clinton administration, is among the final contenders to succeed Lawrence H. Summers in the job, along with Roger C. Altman, a Wall Street investment banker who also served in the Clinton administration.

Presidents always "restructure" the White House staff when they get into trouble, but it's mostly for PR purposes. Sometimes, it's done to hide the firing of just one person - letting a lot of people go at once or moving them around to deflect attention from the true target of the president's wrath.

His economic team that did such a bang-up job his first two years got off the ship long ago and as you can see from the candidates Obama has available to replace Mr. Summers, there haven't been too many competent folks interested in leading a suicide mission.




Dear Mr. President: Do you really think this is going to help?

President Obama is planning the first major reorganization of his administration, preparing to shuffle several positions in the West Wing as he tries to fortify his political team for the realities of divided government and his own re-election.

The president is studying how to maximize the power of the executive branch, advisers said, seeking insight from veterans of previous administrations and fresh advice from business leaders to guide the second half of his term.

He is reviewing the restructuring plan during the holidays, aides said, and intends to make the first announcements in the opening days of January.

A reshaping of the economic team, beginning by naming a new director of the National Economic Council, is among the most urgent priorities of the new year. Gene Sperling, a counselor to the Treasury secretary who held the position in the Clinton administration, is among the final contenders to succeed Lawrence H. Summers in the job, along with Roger C. Altman, a Wall Street investment banker who also served in the Clinton administration.

Presidents always "restructure" the White House staff when they get into trouble, but it's mostly for PR purposes. Sometimes, it's done to hide the firing of just one person - letting a lot of people go at once or moving them around to deflect attention from the true target of the president's wrath.

His economic team that did such a bang-up job his first two years got off the ship long ago and as you can see from the candidates Obama has available to replace Mr. Summers, there haven't been too many competent folks interested in leading a suicide mission.




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