Broadly speaking, Obama supporters have fallen into two groups: those who voted for him because they thought he was an orthodox liberal (as some of his earlier statements, his background, and his voting record might suggest) and those who voted for him because they thought he was more of a pragmatic centrist (as some of his statements during the campaign, and some of the advisers he surrounded himself with -- e.g., Robert Rubin, Paul Volcker -- might suggest). We'll find out which group was right soon enough.
So far, at least, those who voted for President-elect Obama because they thought he was a centrist should be encouraged by his cabinet and staff picks so far. Even the editors of Investor's Business Daily are encouraged by these picks. In an editorial earlier this week ("A Reassuring Start"), they wrote,
Given Obama's public pronouncements and past associations, Americans had every right to worry that his election would signal a great lurch leftward in Washington. And once Congress reconvenes, that may yet happen.
So far, however, most of the signals the president-elect has given suggest he will — as we hoped almost against hope — govern from the center. His appointments, Cabinet and otherwise, look like he's putting effectiveness first and saving ideology for later, if then.