We suspect that President-elect Barack Obama is aware that it is not he who will have the most daunting job in government when he takes office on Jan. 20. Instead, it is the person he has appointed to a new post in his administration.
Obama announced that he is naming Nancy Killefer, who has experience in both government and the private sector, to be the nation's first "chief performance officer." She is to be in charge of eliminating waste in government.
Killefer probably is aware of the unofficial motto of those in the bureaucracy who are responsible for much waste in government: "We were here before you came to Washington, and we'll be here long after you leave." It is a boast, of course - that no elected official will be allowed to make a dent in the bureaucracy.
The only way Killefer can be successful is if Obama makes it clear that he has a position on that boast: "Not necessarily."