Magazine article Insight on the News

Bush Dream Team Brings Values to Governance

Magazine article Insight on the News

Bush Dream Team Brings Values to Governance

Article excerpt

The kind of Cabinet nominees George W. Bush has chosen tell us a lot about how he will make decisions, how he will govern and how committed he will be to the reform agenda he ran on.

The president-elect by and large has picked people with extensive experience, both in and out of government; people who have proven track records as managers and, most notably, people who have stature in their respective fields.

These certainly were the common denominators in his choice of Richard Cheney to be his vice president, the man he has heavily relied on to put his Cabinet together and who may be the most experienced vice president ever to hold that office.

Perhaps the most interesting characteristic of his top picks is that they are people with strong convictions who are not shrinking violets and who will fight for what they believe. To his credit, Bush has picked people who know more than he does in the fields for which they have been chosen.

That says a lot about Bush's self-confidence and his eagerness to share the credit for whatever accomplishments his administration may achieve during the next four years.

In sharp contrast to Bill Clinton, who had to make virtually every policy announcement himself, no matter how miniscule, Bush will chart the big policies but will give his subordinates a lot of freedom to promote, explain and implement them.

It is going to take the national news media some time to get used to this less-intrusive, delegating management style. We will see Cabinet members and other top administration officials before the cameras nearly as much and sometimes more than Bush himself.

Nowhere is direct, hands-on experience and stature more important than in national security, which is the first and most important responsibility of our national government. And Bush has chosen a team that has these qualities in abundance.

Colin Powell steps into his new role as secretary of state with vast experience as White House national-security adviser and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who, with Cheney as defense secretary, ran the Persian Gulf War that kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Condoleezza Rice will be Bush's national-security adviser in the White House. A Russia specialist who was a foreign-policy adviser in the Bush pere administration and provost at Stanford University, she brings her own high-energy credentials.

Rounding out the team in the role of defense secretary is Donald Rumsfeld, who held that post under Gerald Ford and returns to the job at the age of 68 after a career as a Fortune 500 corporate executive. …

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