But given the palace intrigue that always accompanies the Clintons, James may be too genteel. Consider: in the two Times stories examining the "Clinton-Obama détente," we hear from "confidants of Mrs. Clinton," "former Clinton administration officials...who admire Mrs. Clinton," "a longtime friend," "a former aide," "two advisors to Mrs. Clinton," "a longtime friend of the Clintons who broke with them," "one Clinton advisor," "lawyers on both sides," "people close to the vetting," "close aides to Mrs. Clinton," "her confidants, who insisted on anonymity," "a close associate of Mrs. Clinton," and "one Democrat who is close to both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton."
So by taking in Hillary, Obama is getting more than just Hillary -- and more than just Hillary and Bill -- he's getting the entire Royal Court of the House of Clinton, complete with chancellors, chamberlains, and a court-jester or two.
There is no evidence, you know, the kind that comes with an actual name, to prove Hillary Clinton and her closest circle, which at this point is rather small, has added to the drama the media covering her has spun out of control.
It's not surprising that people are buying into the soap opera construct. It's just disappointing when there's no proof that any of this is coming from HRC's side or Obama's either.
For the first time in four decades, a Democratic administration is going to hit the ground running rather than fall on its face because it will be staffed by people who know how the federal government works. That's change all right—the kind we can believe in.
But not since Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in the midst of the Depression has a new President faced a set of challenges quite as formidable as those that await Obama. That's why Obama has been quicker off the blocks in setting up his government than any of his recent predecessors were, particularly Bill Clinton, who did not announce a single major appointment until mid-December. As the President-elect put it in his first radio address, "We don't have a moment to lose."