The Cabinet Game

On to the next parlor game…

If I had any say in the matter, here is who I’d like to see in Obama’s cabinet:

Secretary of State: Bill Richardson

Secretary of Defense: Chuck Hagel

Secretary of Treasury: Larry Summers

Attorney General: Eric Holder

Secretary of Health and Human Services: Tom Daschle

Secretary of Education: Colin Powell

Secretary of Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano

Secretary of Energy: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs: Max Cleland

And other key positions:

National Security Advisor: Samantha Power

United Nations Ambassador: Susan Rice

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator: Robert Kennedy Jr.

Council of Economic Advisors Chairman: Austan Goolsbee

 And, yes, the cabinet list above contains three Republicans.


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22 Responses to The Cabinet Game

  1. Kaiser Kabir says:

    No room for Krugman or Buffett?

  2. Mash says:

    Well, I had to narrow down to one per position 🙂

    My sense is that Krugman is more of a thinker than a doer – and maybe a little too partisan for Treasury. I really doubt Krugman is on any short list.

    I know everyone thinks of Buffett when they think of Treasury, but if its Buffett or Volcker it will probably be a transitional pick for the immediate crisis. I dont see Buffett as a long term pick – and I am not sure he would take it if it was offered.

    There are others I’d like to see in the cabinet. For example, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas would be nice to see in the cabinet. Hagel at State or Powell at Defense are also natural picks, but I really like Richardson for State.

  3. Robster says:

    You can have three Republicans, but I do not want Arnold. He wants to shore up Cali’s budget gap by raising the state sales tax by 1.5% and by having some state employees work a one day a week work furlough (meaning unpaid time off).

    My city already did their sales tax hike and now I have to deal with another so it’s officially in double digits? Fuck Arnold. He should have some of those rich bastards at his yacht parties pony up some of their tax breaks to close the budget gap.

  4. Mash says:

    Robbie, I’d like to take Ahnuld off of Kalifohnia’s hands 🙂

    He’s good on energy. Clearly not so good on taxes.

  5. Vickie says:

    Hey Robster-

    Where do you live in California? Did you once live in Maryland and go to school there by any chance?

    Sorry about the taxes thing-that darn Terminator is really turning up the heat!

  6. Vickie says:

    Mash- what does Arnold know about Energy, Powell know about Education and Napolitano know about Homeland Security? I know you know tons more about the government than me, so enlighten me if you would!


  7. Ingrid says:

    Interesting picks..but I do think like Vickie, I’d be curious to know as to the reason of those choices..Colin Powell for education for instance is not a ‘natural’ one for me..but ..I trust your judgement..yes, do enlighten us! [s]


  8. Mash says:

    Vickie, Powell of course is natural for State and Defense. But he has been there and done that so I doubt he would take those spots if offered. He is a strong advocate of education and founded America’s Promise. I think Education would hold his interest, and it would give the Education portfolio much needed star power so that the Dept of Education gets the attention it deserves.

    Governor Napolitano is a favorite for Attorney General. But I think DHS would be a pretty good fit as well. She is a former US attorney, was the attorney general of Arizona and is both tough and fair on immigration. All of those qualifications would come in handy at DHS. She’s from a border state and has the executive skill to manage the oversized DHS mess. But, she’ll probably be made AG, so all this will be moot.

    The Governator is pretty good on global warming issues. I believe he is pushing Kahlifohnia hard to go green. If Obama is going to make alternative energy a centerpiece of his energy policy, having Ahnuld’s high profile and track record would hammer the point home.

  9. Ingrid says:

    We lived in Arizona when Janet Napolitano just became governor..she works well across the aisle so in an Obama administration, that would be according to the spirit of the whole enterprise; not left or right, but all from the same cloth (as it were, and not the expensive Neiman Marcus kind either [g])


  10. Vickie says:

    See- I knew that you were good. You should email these picks to the president-elect today!

    I saw an interview with Janet Napolitano, oddly enough she was being interviewed with Palin. I liked her and thought that she was very articulate-much more than “her”.

    I also just looked at the America’s Promise website. How great it is – what he is doing with that organization is really great!

    Good going!

  11. Kaiser Kabir says:

    Summers is a bit of a gaffe-meister, isn’t he? He pissed off a lot of women (One of Obama’s key support base) with comments that women are probably genetically unsuited to sciences.

    And then came the incredibly undiplomatic comments about exporting toxic waste to Africa (Again, a big international support base of Obama)

    Some have also blamed him along with Greenspan for creating the Asian financial crisis back in the 90s (NB: Non-Japanese Asians love Obama).

    Want to reconsider this choice?

  12. Mash says:

    Kaiser, Summers’s comments on women are overblown – he made an idiotic speech and he paid for it. But his record on women’s issues is much broader than his speech. Here’s a defense.

    He has a reputation for being undiplomatic, but he isnt going to be Secretary of State. Treasury requires a different skill set, and no one denies that Summers is a brilliant economist. Summers also has Obama’s trust and has been advising him through the economic crisis. I doubt he will have any problems getting confirmed.

    And as for blaming him for the Asian financial crisis, I think the Asians need to do a little bit of introspection for their collapse. Blaming Summers is akin to McCain blaming Chris Cox for the economic collapse. It soothes the masses but the reality is much more complex.

    It seems that he is one of the top two on the list – the other being NY Fed chairman Timothy Geithner. My money is on Summers.

    Incidentally, I am hearing grumbling from Muslims and Arabs about the pick of Rahm Emmanuel. I on the other hand think Rahm was an excellent pick. Having someone like Rahm in the White House will give Obama a lot more flexiblity to deal with the thorny issue of Israel-Palestine.

  13. Robster says:

    Vickie, I’ve always lived in kully-PHONE-ya and I’ve never lived anywhere else.

  14. Rumi says:

    I know he has served this position almost 30 years ago, yet, I” still like Collin Powell as national security advisor.

    Dick Lugar could be a great choice from republican side.

    In addition to an Afrcan American, there may be a pressure to put a Hispanic and / or an Asian American in one of the key positions.

    Do you have any promising name among these ethnic groups?

  15. Mash says:

    Rumi, Bill Richardson is Hispanic.

    Antonio Villaraigosa, LA mayor, is part of Obama’s transition economic team. I’m not sure that translates into a cabinet position. I think the mayor has his sights set on replacing the Governator.

    Dont know any prominent Asian Americans Democrats off the top of my head. The prominent ones I know of are all Republicans. Bush appointed two Asian Americans to his cabinet.

    I have read that Lugar does not want a cabinet position. But he would be a good ally in the Senate to get things done.

  16. Kaiser Kabir says:

    Thanks Mash. Maybe I’m biased. Navigating through a Summers article during my postgraduate studies was painful.

  17. Mash says:

    Kaiser, leaving aside Summers’s gaffes, what is your opinion of him as an economist?

  18. Mchael says:

    I like them all except Summers and Kennedy. Need a Scientist for EPA and I like the NY federal reserve guy for Treasury. Summers is too “old school” to keep with the “change” mantra.

  19. Kaiser Kabir says:

    There is no doubt about his brilliance as an economist. He also to some extent predicted the financial crisis

    And lately he’s written a lot on the subject in the Financial Times.

  20. Rumi says:

    Yes, his hispanic heritage ensures Richardson a cabinet post in each democratic government. Richardson is a good negotiator no doubt. He is famed for freeing many Americans from captivity in different parts of the world. I still recall his visits to Bangladesh to free Aliedah McCord. Ms McCord was caught trafficking drug through Dhaka airport. She was tried and was given jail sentence. Bill Richardson then visited Bangladesh, met President and ministers and managed a presidential pardon. He brought McCord back to USA with him. I hope Richardson’s negotiation skill will work on the pressing US foreign policy issue of Palestine-Israel crisis.

    And about Asian-Ams, I see three Asian Ams in transition team. They are Pete Rouse, whose mother is a Japanese American, Chris Lu and Sonal Shah.

    BTW, congrats on your CNN post being in rec list for so long in DKos.

  21. Ingrid says:

    James approves your choice of Veterans Affairs ‘head’ (wink)…


  22. Mash says:

    Ingrid, there are a couple of reports out today that Cleland is in line for a cabinet position. So, hopefully, VA will work out.

    Rumi, thanks 🙂 Those DKos folks like the red meat 🙂

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