Tag Archives: Transition Team

Careful What You Wish For

I remember back in the freak-out days of 2004, as Bush’s surveillance programs were sweeping a black hand across our country and the Republicans in Congress were strutting around like kings, I had the sick sensation in the pit of my stomach that come 2008, Bush would declare some sort of emergency that for such reasons compelled him to stay in office regardless of the electoral outcome. I worried at the end of American Democracy when Bush made his final power grab right at the end of his administration.

Well, now with the president gallivanting in Peru and the Treasury Secretary basically throwing his hands up in the air, unwilling to do any more, I almost wish I still had that concern. Who would have thought that the exact opposite of my worst fear would be our biggest threat?

The Same Old Thing

It strikes me as I watch the early morning Sunday yakkers that the reason we’re so concerned with the idea that experienced hands in the Obama administration represent “the same old thing,” is largely because we’ve gotten used to the idea that the president is merely a figurehead and that the cabinet is the body driving the Administration.

Perhaps if we have an actual leader who requires things of his cabinet, things might be different, indeed.

Let the Cabinet Games Begin

I can say with certainty that, after all the hub-bub yesterday – all day – I am beat tired and really don’t feel like doing shit.  So don’t plan on a lot of blogging on this site.  Still, I thought I’d pop in to show some of the key speculation about cabinet appointments in the new Obama Administration.  And what the hell, I’ll go ahead and offer some of my own thoughts as well.

Rahm Emanuel seems by all accounts to be a shoe-in for Chief of Staff.  In an administration that’s supposed to be all about bringing people together, this seems a strange choice, being that Emanuel is such a vociferous partisan.  But then, when a cudgel is needed, it’s probably good to have one close at hand.  It seems to me that this is a position to watch carefully as we assess the first signs of the Obama Administration’s general personality.

Looks like Al Gore is going to get back in the political saddle again, with speculation that he may be appointed to some post dedicated to climate change.  An “environmental ambassador,” or something like that.  Doesn’t sound very official to me; sounds like “Secretary of the Posterior,” but who am I to say?  I’m guessing he must have had some assurances from Obama that his position would be taken seriously, because otherwise, his position outside of government would have seemed to me the better choice for Gore’s activism.  Again, we shall see.

There’s also some speculation that Chuck Hagel will have a position in the new Obama Cabinet, possibly a U.N. ambassadorship.  This is an interesting idea and one that’s been bantered around since Hagel’s endorsement of Obama some months ago.  The question in my mind is: does this legitimize the cooler heads in the Republican Party or push them farther out of the spheres of influence within that battered and benighted company?  Hard to say, but if Fox News gets it’s way, you can expect “Chuck the Baby Killer” stories and other crazy shit inside of a month.

Interestingly enough, the one name I have not heard in speculation thus far is Bill Richardson.  I would have bet my car he would be getting an appointment when he endorsed Obama during the Democratic Primary.  I still think it’s a safe bet, though maybe not for the most obvious seat.  Perhaps Secretary of the Interior or some other such post.  I don’t know why, but I have a hard time believing that Richardson would want another ambassadorship.

And of course, there’s poor, old, horney John Edwards.  He was a shoe for the Secretary of Housing, and that would have been a good thing, given our current economic crisis, borne as it is out of subprime lending.  It would have been perfect for him.  Who will fill those shoes, now?  Who will be the cabinet member in charge of standing up for the little guy in the mortgage crisis?  Because believe me, we need one.