This bit of interesting analysis suggests a major shortcoming in the Obama administration:
For a president set on changing the way Washington works, Barack Obama has depended upon current or former members of Congress for initial cabinet appointments more than any elected president since at least the 1950s.
During a time of economic crisis, Obama also has no former company chief executive officer or cabinet member or nominee with significant private business experience.
Although three nominees have dropped out, Obama originally attempted to fill six of 15 cabinet positions with former or current members of Congress. That 40% is higher than any elected president going back to at least Dwight Eisenhower, said presidential scholar Charles Jones.
And of course the president lacks any significant executive experience (outside of Bill Ayer’s educational foundation).
All the talk of “diversity” in the administration overshadowed any concern for finding people with prominent executive experience or people who were successful in private-sector businesses. Now, an MBA and an executive history is no guarantee of excellent management skills, as more than one president has shown. But by the same token, there is something to be said for experience when it comes to setting priorities, hiring and firing key personnel, implementing a crisis management plan, and dealing with the scrutiny that goes along with being the executive in charge — rather than one of many legislators.
If the Obama team seems to have a tin ear for how its rhetoric impacts business people, or appears to be trying out too many things at once, perhaps it is because someone decided that the “best and the brightest” didn’t include anyone who ever met a payroll or held responsibility for creating a manageable agenda.