Obama's inexperience as an executive is already breeding trouble.
For better or worse, the U.S. has drifted into a form of government called "Interest Group Liberalism," in which various groups jostle to capture parts of the government and their power. Thus the Department of Labor goes to the unions, Commerce to business, the EPA to the enviros, Energy to the energy producers, Agriculture to the farmers, Education to the teachers, etc.
Obviously, these interests collide, with each other and with any reasonable conception of the public good of the nation as a whole, no sensible President expects honest advice from his cabinet officers on how to reconcile these conflicts. He must rely on the White House staff for help, which means that the primary requirement for a staffer is that he or she be devoted to the President's point of view, and not be an agent of any of the competing interests.
Obama is violating this basic rule of presidential competence by bringing into the White House advisers on energy and the environment who are particularly zealous agents of the environmental movement, Carol Browner and John Holdren. When he asks them about the trade-offs between environmental protection and economic growth or energy production, he will not get serious advice on the very difficult uncertainties and competing values; he will get a canned speech on why he should shut down the economy. So he will have to do some things that are truly stupid or go outside of his own staff to get the relevant counter-arguments.
This seems to be a pattern. Another staffer-designate is described as "an 18-year veteran of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), who advocated for federal legislation to give the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States a path to citizenship," and another as a "proven, passionate advocate for raising the incomes of middle-class families."
It is odd that Obama is unaware of the issue, since the basic principle has been around forever in the form of royal bodyguards. Roman emperors used Teutons; Byzantium had Vikings; the Valois kings of France had the Garde Écossaise. The Russian Preobrazhenskii regiment and The Forty-Five of Henri III were locals, but each was dependent on the ruler, without an alternative power base or allegiance.
Any U.S. President who hopes to avoid catastrophe had better heed history's advice. The White House staff should be his. Anyone named as "a passionate advocate" for anything should be disqualified forthwith.