I have to quote this whole graf from Mac Thomason, and not just because he mentioned me today:
I think that you can usually tell how President Bush and his people feel about a government program by the people appointed to run it. At the cabinet level, that shows in the very high quality of the foreign policy people, and the very uneven quality in domestic policy. Ridge came in late, of course, but he’s a great example. President Clinton, on the other hand, had some top-notch people in economics but a lot of iffy appointments elsewhere.
More echoes of 41 in 43? The Bush family seems to have serious trouble with taking domestic policy very seriously. The 1991-92 recession was both short and mild by historical standards, but Poppy let it destroy him. That was OK — we could afford a Clinton in the ’90s. But we can’t afford a Gore in ’04.
The stakes are much higher today. Let’s hope someone up top gets with the program.