Barack Obama will surround his presidency with powerful men and women. The models of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan are instructive. So is that of George W. Bush.
The current president, eight years ago, selected the formidable Colin Powell as his secretary of state, and the almost-as-formidable Donald Rumsfeld as his defense secretary. They produced a team of rivals that thoughtlessly, and with little serious debate, started a war and devastated America's standing in the world.