He’s a smooth operator

Yesterday came word that Barack Obama (1) will nominate Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to be Secretary of Energy, and (2) will turn to Carol Browner, ally of Al Gore and EPA administrator under Bill Clinton, as his “energy coordinator.” Leftists unhappy with Obama’s national security and/or economic teams will find plenty to like here.

“Shopfloor,” the blog of the National Association of Manufacturers, offers what I take to be grudging admiration for the way Obama dealt this card.

Classic inside-outside game. Chu, with his stellar reputation and record of accomplishments, will handle the image and PR side of the Administration’s energy push. Browner, the regulator and political infighter, will be responsible for managing the internal disputes, imposing discipline, pushing the regulatory, legislative and policy agenda. Smart politics. Hard to see how the combination will improve U.S. competitiveness, but it’s an effective political strategy for achieving one’s goals.

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