Here. More later.
[Update 11/8/12: The obvious changes I’m most interested in are Treasury, and at State. Timothy Geithner was an incredibly capable man, but he sent the wrong message to the political/economic left of the Democrats. Alls well that ends well, maybe. But if you had a home foreclosure–and look at how many people out there fall in that category, the whole government thing—from the Lehman Shock (September 2008) to nowadays—looks to many like the banks were being coddled while the everyday people were being shown their new seats on the curb. Maybe President Obama is not the kind of guy to throw people under the bus (Shirley Sherrod an exception). I think that Geithner could have “gone on to pursue other opportunities and we wish him well” about a year or two ago.
The other cabinet office is State. I am particularly interested, of course, in the U.S.-Japan relationship. Hillary Clinton, who has done excellent service for us all, is leaving at the end of the term. I am wondering if cronyism in the Japan desk operations was ever weeded out, if the key issues that everyday Americans face in Japan was ever addressed, and if the new Secretary can make significant progress about things like spousal child kidnapping and the failure of Japan to offer equal protection of the law when it comes to labor and pension matters.
Those two issues, while not as big as, say, our relations with Pakistan, are nevertheless important—and the kinds of things that can be solved in an afternoon. It’s disappointing that they continue, year in and year out. It makes me wonder whether the State Department representatives in Tokyo feel they represent us, or whether they see themselves as “bridges” whose “service” is to “explain” Japan to us (while we don’t get our end of agreements.)]