As still-President Bush wanders aimlessly through the White House halls making mental notes of things he wants to take home with him, President-elect Barack Obama has begun to fill the void.
Last Monday, he introduced his national security cabinet. The press was ready, the stage festooned with a nearly sarcastic amount of American flags. And then the man himself spoke. Hope us up, big man!
"We are fighting two wars ... the world's deadliest technologies could fall into dangerous hands," Obama said. "And our dependence on foreign oil empowers authoritarian governments and endangers our planet."
You couldn't open with a joke or something? Maybe loosen everybody up? Is there any silver lining to that turd cloud?
With the backdrop being the many challenges we face in this world, Obama introduced his team of rivals.
First up is General Jim Jones, the next national security adviser, who wholeheartedly disagrees with Obama that a date-certain exit from Iraq is the right choice and is actually personally closer to John McCain.
Next up, Robert Gates, Obama's new secretary of defense. He's going to have a lot of trouble following in the footsteps of current Bush secretary of defense ... Robert Gates. Dude, at least wear an eye patch or something to differentiate yourself!
Finally, there's the new secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who, according to Wikipedia, actually ran for the presidency against Obama. And it kind of seemed like she hated him.
This is not a team of rivals, this is a team of arch enemies!
Obviously, the biggest attention-getter of the group was Clinton. The senator thanked her fellow New Yorkers for preparing her for the new job.
"You have helped me prepare well for this new role. After all, New Yorkers are not afraid to speak their minds, and do so in every language," Clinton said.
They are the worst. It'll be so nice to get back to Washington and get that New York stink off of me.
But before the Obama/Clinton team gets to fixing the world, there's a little piece of unfinished business they need to address. As the New York Times' Peter Baker reminded Obama, "Going back to your campaign ... you belittled [Clinton's] travels around the word, equating it to having teas with foreign leaders. And your new White House counsel said that her resume was grossly exaggerated when it came to foreign policy."
Great question. But before I answer that, I'm just going to start giving out my press corps nicknames. You're going to be Nippledick.
Anyway, I'm sure that's not really how it was, that's just the way Nippledick remembers it. It probably wasn't that bad.
Hmm, let's take a look at some of Obama's campaign rhetoric from back in March.
"What exactly is this foreign experience she's claiming? I know she talks about visiting 80 countries," Obama said. "Was she negotiating treaties ... or handling crises during this period of time? My sense is, the answer is no."
I guess Nippledick has a TiVo.