The main impression I get from the various Obama peeps and appointments and, well, vibe, is that their fundamental interest is in governing. For eight years, we had an administration interested entirely in politics. These incoming people have actually thought about what to do with respect to actual, practical problems. Joe Klein gets it:

I spent the day at the Clinton confirmation hearings and came away impressed, as always, with the woman's sheer ability to process information. Not a missed beat, not an "I'll have to get back to you on that..." It was several hours into the hearing that the full force of the new Administration hit me. Clinton was being asked by Senator Benjamin Cardin whether we could exert our influence on mineral-rich countries to share their wealth with their people. The Secretary of State-designate immediately brought up Botswana's "excellent work" in this area, the education and infrastructure programs that had been funded. And I thought: Botswana? Wow. We've got people who are really interested in governing--who really love public service, who understand that foreign policy means more than simply issuing threats--coming back to your nation's capital! Enthusiasm and care don't always result in wise policy-making, but we've seen how fecklessness and carelessness works.

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