The main reason I think you're wrong about focusing on Obama's personnel choices is because these aren't the guys that are going to be setting the policies. These are the guys who will SELL the policies. And Daschle was a decentish choice for that, as he was well-known, liked by the media, and knew his way around Congress. And that's what we need. But Obama will set the policies, as guided by the experts who work in the departments. And that's how it should be. Perhaps Obama is so foolish that he'll allow cabinet members to dictate the policies, but that doesn't fit his MO in any way. He runs a tight ship with heavy message discipline. He's not going to let rogue cabinet members define his policies. That'd be bad policy AND bad politics.
And the reason I think Obama is serious about doing all these things is because it's the most intelligent thing to do. Forget about policy agendas, if he doesn't give us a good healthcare plan, he's dead. If he doesn't fix the economy, he's dead. If he doesn't make the country better in four years, he's dead. And so it behooves him to give us the best policies possible, without crippling himself for later political battles. This isn't about Republican, Democrat, conservative, or liberal. This is about doing what's right for the country. And if he does these things, his job will be easy and he'll go down in history as a great man. Otherwise, his life as president will be hell and he'll join Bush as a widely hated man. You can disagree if you want, but Obama seems intelligent enough to realize this and competent enough to get it done. This isn't faith-based koolaid drinking on my part. It's the acknowledgment that we've finally got a president who's intelligent enough to realize how it works.
So whether or not he has our best interests in mind, it's in his best interests to do the best job possible. You might not like politics, but political concerns are the reason he'll try to give us the best America possible. But of course, I also think he has our best interests in mind.