Obama Transition Breaks Speed Records

But liberal activists, others feel left in dust
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2008 9:24 AM CST
President-elect Barack Obama introduces Agriculture Secretary-designate, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary-designate, Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama has moved so fast to set up his administration that he’s on a pace to blow past all previous presidents, reports the Wall Street Journal. By the eleventh week of their transitions, George HW Bush and Richard Nixon had made 26 and 25 appointments, respectively. As of week seven, Obama had made 69. The process has been hastened by a 2004 law that allowed the transition team to be pre-cleared for classified briefings, and unprecedented cooperation by the Bush White House.

While the pace has been impressive, not everyone is thrilled with the picks. Labor groups were underwhelmed by Hilda Solis, who’s with them on the issues but may be a bit lightweight as labor secretary. Gay rights groups hoping for one of their own in the Cabinet (and suggesting several plausible picks) have been disappointed. Environmentalists thinking conservationist Rep. Raul Grijalva was a good bet got centrist Sen. Ken Salazar instead. Others complain of a lack of business experience, and the absence of a number of long-term Obama loyalists.