President-elect Barack Obama's selection of Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief of Staff, and David Axelrod as his chief advisor sends the wrong signal in turning the page to positive change in politics as usual in Washington. The Chicago hardball style of Axelrod's deceptive campaigning, coupled with Emanuel's strong-arm reputation simply doesn't bode well when the perception will likely be that of a godfather underboss and a presidential enforcer.
Obama will be sitting as the head of state at the Democratic Party national table, which now dominates the Congress and the vast majority of state governorships and legislatures, indeed, what is tantamount to one-party rule. When he is sworn-in on January 20, 2009, he will step into a social/political whirlwind and an immensely complicated economic mess that is going to be aggravated by tax increases throughout the states.
Instead of appointing extremists, such as the rumored selection of environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head the Environmental Protection Agency, which would surely be a costly turmoil magnet, Obama should focus on immediate energy relief resources. Going green without energy balance would only exacerbate economic problems. Obama's priority appointments should be the most qualified people to approach energy and the economy sensibly, without being over-protective.
The promising new president will undoubtedly draw heavy demands from selfish interest factions of every description -- already gathering at the gate to assault him -- with both hands out to receive their great expectations. Clearly, to them, "No" or "Not now", are not options to payback. Hopefully, for all our sake, the president-elect will handle it wisely. For example, by seeking the real life wisdom of a Bill Cosby as a close advisor. As is often said, 'You're only as good (or bad) as the people around you.'
Hopefully, Obama is what he professes to be. Not wearing a social/political facade. Won't rely on all the intellectual fame, or allow presidential power corrupt him. That's a sure way to becoming blind to the best interests of the country and turning into an omnipotent tyrant who could mortgage the futures of generations to come with unbearable debt and misery. When it comes to a legacy, there is no one else to blame. This one is the most important of our time.