Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


An early clue to the new direction?

Obama gave his first press conference as President-elect last Saturday. Pundits have noted his humor in responding to the urgent canine matter, but I was struck by a particular phrase used in response to a question regarding whether he’d be moving quickly to fill key cabinet positions:

When we have an announcement about cabinet appointments, we will make them. There is no doubt that I think people want to know who’s going to make up our team.
And I want to move with all deliberate haste, but I want to emphasize “deliberate” as well as “haste.” I’m proud of the choice I made of vice president, partly because we did it right. I’m proud of the choice of chief of staff, because we thought it through.
The emphasized portion is a variation of Earl Warren’s “with all deliberate speed“ [link to no longer works], as used in the Supreme Court decree implementing their Brown v. Board opinion. Whether Obama used such similar language simply because it evoked a sense of thoughtful urgency and as a constitutional scholar the words would come easily to him, or whether he wanted to subtly signal a soon-to-be renewed White House interest in civil rights is impossible to know. Either way, it was a refreshing hint of erudition.
(I promise not to obsess over every move made by our new Harvard Law Overlord. I offer my silence on the matter of the Sox cap as an example of my forebearance.)

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