“When it comes to the people that we've pulled together -- because I know this has been sort of conventional wisdom floating around Washington -- that, well, you know, there's a recycling of people who were in the Clinton administration,” Obama replied, referring specifically to the economic team he introduced on Monday. “And so it would be surprising if I selected a Treasury secretary who had had no connection with the last Democratic administration because that would mean that the person had no experience in Washington whatsoever.”
He added that it would be troubling had he made appointments with no government experience given the severity of the market meltdown.
In terms of breaking from the past, his team of advisers combine experience with fresh thinking, Obama said, adding that the “vision for change comes first and foremost…from me.”
“That's my job, is to provide a vision in terms of where we are going and to make sure, then, that my team is implementing it,” he said. “I think that when you ultimately look at what this advisory board looks like, you'll say this is a cross-section of opinion that in some ways reinforces conventional wisdom, in some ways breaks with orthodoxy in all sorts of ways.”