Emmett Tyrrell

It was rumored that Obama wanted Summers back as head of Treasury. Perhaps the angry feminists kept Summers out of his old office. The man the president-elect has announced as his secretary of treasury, Timothy Geithner, is probably a suitable replacement. The economic team Obama is assembling strikes me as pretty good, but the way it was assembled is a bit worrisome. Are all the fanatics in the Democratic Party going to be able to get a hearing with this president? He is going to have to maintain both feet on the ground in the months ahead. The delusional malcontents that a Democratic presidential candidate courts in an election can cause a Democratic administration grave problems.

That brings to mind the visuals that the president-elect is using when he addresses the American people. He appears enhaloed by American flags, not one or two but a whole ring of flags. Moreover, he speaks from a lectern proclaiming "The Office of the President Elect." In point of fact, there is no Office of the President Elect, and Obama is not even in an office. He is on a stage. Arguably, a stage has been his office during much of his public life, given the fact that he will be America's first motivational speaker to become president. Actually, I doubt that this is the point Obama is trying to make. He is engaging in theater. Yet this dramatic setting is implausible. According to statute, he will not actually be president-elect until the Electoral College meets on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December (Dec. 15 this year) to elect him according to the votes cast Nov. 4.

My advice to our incoming president is to avoid the implausible stage effects. There is plenty of drama out there, for instance a real war and a real economic crisis. Now he has appointed former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to be chairman of a new presidential advisory board to oversee our emergence from this economic mess. Volcker is one of the great figures of his generation, known for slaying inflation in the early 1980s and a dozen other contributions to the commonweal. It is a sign that our first motivational speaker president might actually know what he is talking about -- when he is talking seriously.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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