Barack Obama seems intent on giving America two administrations for the price of one, Gerald Seib writes in the Wall Street Journal. The first, his national-security and economic appointments, is full of well-known Washington veterans, sending a message of steadiness amid war and financial calamity. But the second wave of appointments “look like the fabled ‘agents of change’ promised in the campaign.”
With departments like education and energy, the appointments send a message that Obama is indeed serious about big shifts. But all have one thing in common: none are ideologues. Education nominee Arne Duncan, for example, is “a little bit of a Rorschach figure; you can read into him what you want,” says one conservative education expert. “He’s a pragmatist, I guess.” Much like, it seems, the president-elect.