By Lance Thibert
Week by week, new Obama cabinet appointments continue to make the news, with the biggest one being Rahm Emmanuel as White House Chief of staff. The dilemma Obama faces is to stock his cabinet with Democratic loyalists and reward those who made his victory possible, or take on a bipartisan cabinet in keeping with his rhetoric. A stock cabinet would be more stable, and public disagreements would be possible with a bipartisan one.
As for the other major posts, there are several candidates:
Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton: Would bring strength and a world profile to the job. Would also possibly revive Clinton style foreign policy, as well as a possible “rival power bloc” within the White House.
John Kerry: Strong foreign policy credentials, as well as being an early backer of Obama. A relatively safe pick.
Bill Richardson: Former UN ambassador and Energy Secretary. Richardson has a solid resume, but lacks real dynamism and any real diplomatic breakthrough accomplishments. He is however, one of the only people North Korea will take seriously.
Secretary of Defense:
Bob Gates: Current Defense Secretary with a largely CIA background. Might remain as SecDef in the spirit of Bipartisanship, as he has not been on the job that long, and thus not tied to the Bush failures. Keeping a republican among the Top jobs however, would anger some of the Democratic base that wants nothing to do with anything Bush.
Jack Reed: Democratic Senator from RI, Ex-Army Ranger and a longtime member of the Armed Services Committee. Would be a stock Democratic choice and a safe pick.
National Security Advisor
General Anthony Zinni: CENTCOM commander under Clinton, would be an overall good choice due to experience in dealing with Iraq.
General Wesley Clark: Former NATO supreme commander and an undisputed foreign policy expert. Was an ’04 contender for the Dem nomination. Also, looks like Anderson Cooper.
John Edwards: A longshot considering his scandal, however, if he makes a comeback he could be a good pick.
Tim Kaine: Was on the VP shortlist, as VA governors can only serve one term, his job prospects are wide open after he leaves office.
(If anyone else has any other serious candidates, post them in a comment and i’ll update this post with them)
In other news, Joe Lieberman is likely to keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security committe, that is, until he is up for reelection and the Democrats make a serious effort to unseat him.