What Has Obama Been Up To?
Besides attending all sorts of balls and giving a sort-of-important speech, Obama has actually had a pretty busy few days. No time to rest when the nation is in crisis! Yesterday, Obama halted the implementation of all of President Bush's 11th hour federal regulations, pending review. He also signed the nominating papers for the cabinet secretaries confirmed by the Senate yesterday (energy, education, homeland security, veterans affairs, interior and agriculture). Two of the big three secretaries, State and Treasury, are hung up in the Senate, though Clinton should be confirmed today (and Timmy Geithner still has some explaining to do about his taxes). Today, Obama has ordered a 120-day halt to all trials at Gitmo, pending review, and has meetings scheduled with Robert Gates and the Joint Cheifs, and then his economic advisors. So, kudos to Obama. On his first real day he has identified the two main problems facing our country (the economy and the war) and convened meetings about them. Exactly what a good executive should do.If my time in the working world is any indication, tomorrow Obama will take the decisive action of...calling more meetings about the problems. Luckily, we're all assuming Obama is better than that-and that by tomorrow we will have foolproof solutions, and he will personally refinance everyone's mortgages, also be elected president of Iraq where he will create a thriving democracy, and drag back a half-dead Bin Laden from a cave in Pakistan to be kept in a cage hanging on Pennsylvania Avenue. Just kidding. This is going to take a while-we get it. Expectations have been dialed down accordingly. The real question is: With such a busy schedule, when do they tell the new president about the aliens?(image: Callie Shell/Aurora for TIME. Washington. January 20, 2009)