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December 18th, 2008
01:39 PM ET

Organizing the White House is Obama's first test

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/18/art.obamaclinton.jpg]

Karl Rove
The Wall Street Journal

As he organizes his presidency, Barack Obama continues to receive glowing reviews. Three out of four Americans approve of how he's handling his transition.

But organizing and operating the White House will be a much bigger challenge than he can possibly yet understand.

Consider national security. Mr. Obama's team has the advantage of inheriting procedures and structures that stretch back to President Harry Truman's 1947 reforms, which created the National Security Council. But there's historically been tension over the roles of the national security adviser and secretary of state. How that tension is resolved depends largely on the able National Security Adviser-designate, James Jones.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Being a Marine and Patriot, Gen. Jones will do both: present all the options AND his own recommendation. There doesn't have to be a choice between the two.

    Rove has a good point about the seeming overlap of these ill-defined czars Obama is appointing and cabinet positions that seemingly have overlapping scope. Obama will need to set clear responsibility boundaries. If two people have the same responsibility, then no one does.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  2. Rich B - Knoxville

    Sounds like Karl Rove is trying to make the pitch that he should be hired by Obama as his "Organizier / Advice Giver" - I mean, look what he was able to do for Bush - ??

    December 18, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  3. Arachnae

    I could lead a rich full life without ever having to hear from Karl Rove again.

    Just saying.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |