Monday, Dec. 28, 2009

Driving the Policy Process

By empowering Cabinet members but failing to establish a robust and aggressive policy-development operation inside the White House, Obama has hurt his standing in the nation's capital. Policy debates take too long, bogged down in the crosscurrents of substance and political reality. Outside experts and other interested parties, even sympathetic allies, frequently are confused about where a given policy deliberation stands or who is actually in charge. Health care, energy policy and the closing of Guantánamo Bay's prison are just some of the areas in which this has been a problem.