I watched Obama"s press conference announcing his National Security team yesterday, and I was struck by our president-elect's team-building skills. Hillary Clinton was warmly and honorably named to one of the most prestigious appointments in his cabinet, but she wasn't singled out with the genuflecting the Clintons had come to expect--and she didn't project that arrogance. On yesterday's stage, Hillary had become part of Obama's inclusive and what-seemed-like-already-jelled team. Plus, in a moment of what I hope proves to be an inspired choice for Secretary of State, he gave the Clintons a lesson in generosity and class. I was caught up in the vibe that the good of our country was supremely being served; more than that, the good of the world was being fashioned right in front of our very eyes.
Barack Obama ran an inspired and brilliant presidential campaign. I never lost faith with his strategy or choices then, and I'm trusting that he's made all the right appointments now. Every single member of his new team was sending out that energy--team energy--in his or her body language, mannerisms, facial expressions, and in their entire comportment, while Obama was unequivocally the man in charge.
All the critics who made fun of Obama's community organizing experience (Sarah Palin, are you listening?) were toothless wonders. That hard-won experience is going to help him successfully organize the community of the world.
Beth Arnold lives and writes in Paris. To see more of her work, check out: www.betharnold.com.