Monday, December 8, 2008

The Transparent President?

Is Obama the ghost of Presidents-future?

In a recent press release, the Obama transition team promoted its commitment to transparency both during pre-inauguration and the presidency.  In addition to meeting minutes and topics, John Podesta, Obama's transition co-char, claimed that this announcement will be merely the tip of the iceberg--a hint at the precedent the incoming President hopes to set for future administrations.

Obama is seemingly following through on this promise by updating his weekly video blogs, however bland they may be.  The crucial test will be the hard-hitting information concerning troop withdrawal timetables, troop buildup in Afghanistan, and pending stimulus legislation.   

I'm as fervent a supporter of Obama as the next teary-eyed-post-election liberal, but so far the 'transparency' videos offer little in the way of policy disclosure.  In the four updates that Obama his delivered, it's tough to glean more than this: he intends to funnel at least 150 billion into green technology--both for jobs and new infrastructure development--and expects that he will have created 2.5 million jobs by 2011.  That's about it.  

While I can understand his hesitancy--Mr. Bush is still technically the Big Man in the Rose Garden--it's time to pack away the rhetoric and lay out, point by point, the objectives and policies of the new administration.  Not only does Obama's team need to hit the ground running (sprinting breathlessly, perhaps) on January 20th, we Americans need to know where we stand in the context of their plans.  

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