One can access Robert A. McDonald, President Obama's nominee for secretary of Veterans Affairs (DVA) (VA), by understanding whom Mr. McDonald is not.
McDonald is not Jim Nicholson, secretary (2005-2007), active in Republican Party politics since the mid-1980s, Republican National Party chair from 1997-2000, and dedicated to the Republican mission to privatize the VA and discourage disability benefits being delivered to military veterans.
Nor is McDonald a career veterans' advocate, somebody like Paul Sullivan or Anthony Hardie, who know where the neocon bodies are buried in the bureaucracies and have the inclination to clean house.
MacDonald is a successful "global corporate officer (whom Obama bets) can turn around a government health system that has been rocked by allegations of mismanagement and cover-ups of long patient waiting times." (Shear, Oppel Jr., New York Times)
In so many words, better than the guy the Republicans put in charge and not up to the job that is needed—a perfect metaphor for the Obama administration.