On January 20, 1993 I reported to OMB to work as Alice Rivlin's top aide. I remember when we came in, shortly after noon, and seeing Richard Darman's boxes packed up in the hallway of the Old Executive Office Building, ready to go. The evil GOP budget genius (poor Darman died a few years ago, at too young an age) was meeting with Leon Panetta and Alice. I was filled with great hope then for the progressive goals we in the Clinton Administration might accomplish -- hopes that were largely dashed when you look back at what was actually done over eight years (I served for the first two). In the end, Clinton had two years on "offense" and six years on "defense" -- the affirmative phase of his presidency ended after the 1994 midterm blowout.
Now I'm filled with even more hope as Obama enters the White House. And I feel sure that Obama has a real chance to get things done on health care, education and other public investments that eluded us years ago. Here's hoping...audaciously!