Obama's Team Of Mascots
Just four years ago, when it was clear that he would be the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama famously declared that, if elected, he would want “a team of rivals” in his Cabinet, telling Joe Klein, of Time magazine, “I don’t want to have people who just agree with me. I want people who are continually pushing me out of my comfort zone.” His inspiration was Doris Kearns Goodwin’s best-selling book about Abraham Lincoln, who appointed three men who had been his chief competitors for the presidency in 1860—and who held him, at that point, in varying degrees of contempt—to help him keep the Union together during the Civil War. To say that things haven’t worked out that way for Obama is the mildest understatement. “No! God, no!” one former senior Obama adviser told me when I asked if the president had lived up to this goal.