With the new president-elect being more visible and active that the sitting president, much has been said about Obama's choice regarding his cabinet and other high posts in his administration. I've been part of endless discussions about Obama scorning the progressive community that played a huge part--especially early on when he mostly needed the money and the ground troops--in his campaign for the presidency. But let's see what this man does when he has power.
Reaching to the established powers and even across the aisle is less important than the actual policy implemented. If, like he recently re-affirmed, he is the author of new policy, then I don't care who implements it. Of course I have issues with, say, keeping Gates in the Defence Dpt. This reinforces the notion that Republicans are stronger on defense! And, the economic team does not include Nobel-laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, the one who has progressive ideas on economic and warned us about "free market fundamentalism."
Perhaps this is Obama's way of saying, I'm mainstream, but will nevertheless push for progressive politics. The other reality is that Obama probably feels that there's no option for failure. The country is quite messed up, domestically and internationally. This is a chance for redefining the role of government and re-arranging our national priorities. This is a chance for a non-traditional leader to show that certain ceilings & barriers should be demolished for good.
If there's progress regarding health care, access to education, the environment, science, and smarter foreign policy, I'd be ecstatic! Let's see what takes place.
PS. You might find this opinion on The Washington Post interesting. David Corn criticizes BO for his early picks.