In Chicago on Friday, President-elect Barack Obama will meet with his economic transition team. It's a group that looks a lot like America, or an America that wears very well-tailored suits, anyway.
Often, the "looks like America" phrase, which originated with the Clinton administration, is shorthand for saying the assembled members are not all white men. But the typical measures of diversity—race and gender—are not the principal distinctions in this case.
The America in this group of 17 high-powered advisers is the America of our troubled economy. Wall Street is represented, and so is Detroit. There's a dot-commer, an old-media guy, a real estate investor and some politicians.
....Perhaps the most interesting part of the grouping is the notable swath of the economy that is, in many respects, left out: industrial America and organized labor.
....The lack of labor presence might raise questions about whether Obama truly is committed to revising terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement to protect labor's interests. But perhaps the presence of Bonior, who opposed NAFTA as a representative from suburban Detroit, should put suspicions to rest.
I'm sure Obama will be "interested" in the Rust Belt again in time for the next election.