Friday, November 21, 2008

My Cabinet Picks

Since Obama picked the two people I endorsed yesterday, I guess I should go ahead and finish picking. Let's see how I do! Let me know in the comments if I've missed any confirmations/strong rumors of positions being filled already, or, really, even weak rumors.

Already filled, or strongly rumored:
  • Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton. I approve.
  • Secretary of the Treasury: Timothy F. Geithner. I approve.
  • Attorney General: Eric Holder, Jr. I strongly approve. He has lots of background in anti-corruption trials. This is a very, very interesting pick, and likely made Bush's pardon list longer.
  • Secretary of Commerce: Bill Richardson. I approve, although I wouldn't have picked him specifically for this spot.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services: Tom Daschle. I approve.
  • Secretary of Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano. I don't know enough about her, but it sounds like she's a good fit.
"Cabinet-level" positions (attend Cabinet meetings, but not Secretaries):
  • Vice President of the United States: Joe Biden. I called it in August 2007 when Biden defended Obama at a debate, but somehow people thought Biden had been harsh on Obama in debates. I don't get it. Anyhoo, I approve.
  • White House Chief of Staff: Rham Emmanuel. I strongly approve; it shows Obama plans to get things done through Congress, not through signing statements.
  • Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Peter Orszag. Krugman likes the pick, that's good enough for me.

Predictions/Preferences:
  • Secretary of Defense: Probably will remain Gates until we get out of Iraq, or move strongly in that direction. I wouldn't be surprised if he's replaced with Chuck Hagel eventually, though, if Hagel doesn't fill any other roles.
  • Secretary of the Interior: Raul Grijalva would be an interesting choice, mostly because either Napolitano or her replacement would get to name his replacement in the house.
  • Secretary of Agriculture: HuffPo says Vilsack. No thanks. Let's get a SecAg who won't be all about corn ethanol. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin intrigues me, but I'm not sure why I'm hearing Ag for her; it sounds like she needs a position that lets her be heard by the public. If this position is what it takes to get her going, though, it sounds to me like she's good at just about everything she tries to do, so sure.
  • Secretary of Labor: The only name I've seen other than Granholm (see Energy, below) is Dennis Archer. I don't really know much about him, but in general a Labor Secretary from Michigan just makes sense to me. Growing up the son of an autoworker can do that to you.
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: The only name I've seen is Valerie Jarrett. She seems like a long-shot to me, but I can't find or think of anyone else. What, exactly, does HUD do?
  • Secretary of Transportation: I expect this to be someone who has been vocal, preferably before the Minnesota bridge collapse but definitely since, about infrastructure development. I don't have a name yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was someone higher up than you'd normally see taking this appointment, a governor or a powerful member of Congress. Edited to add: Oh, I like Earl Blumenauer as a pick. Apparently he's big on public transportation and biking. 'Twould be interesting in SecTrans.
  • Secretary of Energy: Jennifer Granholm (current Governor of Michigan). I had her picked for Labor, but my sister pointed out that she'd been talked about for Energy, and I definitely prefer that. Bringing her in basically makes this the Secretary of Making Detroit Work on Fuel Efficiency. Plus it gets a guy from (but not born in) my hometown into the Governor's seat in Michigan.
  • Secretary of Education: Colin Powell. I've heard rumors of this, or I never would have thought of it, but from what I can tell he'd be a great fit. And I don't only think that because he advocates student use of new technologies. Only mostly because of that.
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs: This could be what Hagel is given, at least for a year or two before moving to Defense. I'm not sure Kerry would accept it, or I'd think he'd be likely.
"Cabinet-level" positions:
  • Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency: Please, please, please don't pick Bobby Kennedy, Jr. He's an anti-science buffoon. I wish Gore would accept this one. Since he says he won't, I'm afraid Kennedy will probably get the job. Edited to add: I just read Lincoln Chafee as a maybe. I like.
  • Director of the National Drug Control Policy: No idea. This is cabinet-level? Really? I expect this one to be someone with treatment cred, other than that who knows.
  • United States Trade Representative: Again, this is cabinet-level? Isn't this kinda Commerce? Again, no clue.
I'll try to solidify my picks as I hear more rumblings and can get a bit better informed. But something struck me working on this: there are multiple articles about virtually every position, and I've heard about quite a few of them. Other than talk of Powell as SecState for Bush, I don't remember hearing anything. It's exciting that we're paying so much attention this time; it'll be hard for a craptastic pick to sneak through (except Kennedy, because people don't realize/accept that he's a dolt).

3 comments:

Libby Hickson said...

Ok I feel like I should leave you a comment on this poor lonely post - because I know you spent a long time writing it, so it deserves to be commented on - hmmm - go Jon's picks!

Jon the Geek said...

Thanks :)

I haven't heard any updates since posting this, other than more solidification about Gates staying on for 18 months or so.

Jon the Geek said...

The list: http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing_room/nominations_and_appointments/