Obama’s Cabinet

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.

Attorney General


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.


Filed under Democratic Party, Iraq and Foreign Policy, Obama

3 responses to “Obama’s Cabinet

  1. kelly karpenske

    I think it makes the most sense for him to create a bipartisan cabinet. Not only did he claim that he would he is right when he says American would be much happier and much less able to ridicule if they had a voice on the team.
    “In some cases, Republicans have good ideas. And, you know, I’ve always been more than happy to steal good ideas from whatever the source.” -Obama
    I think that everyone would benefit from a bipartisan cabinet and hopefully so does he.

  2. Shawn_Scanlon

    Sure, I’d like to see inclusion of Republicans in the cabinet.

    I’d also like to see a progressive cabinet. If those two things go hand in hand, great. But I don’t see the point in choosing someone just to show how inclusive you are.

    If you plan to enforce executive policy, great, fill out an application. But if you disagree with most of the policies that the President has, what’s the point?

    Elections are about ideas. Elections have consequences.

  3. Tony Robinson


    Interesting post with some insightful comments about possible picks. Yes Wesley Clark looks like Anderson Cooper, giving him an aura of mature wisdom, which is certainly better than an aura of instability given off by the Lou Dobbs/Newt Gingrich types.

    You have a few cryptic comments, such as saying that Bill Richardson is the only one N. Korea would take seriously. Why do you say that? I would have liked to see you link to data, or an article or video, that led you to this conclusion. That same comment applies throughout the post–you need to open doors to your readers by linking to supportive materials.

    As for Kelly’s point and the overall point about whether Obama should appoint repubs to his cabient–I would be very surprised to see a Repub in any high level post like Sec of Defense. Elections are about ideas and have consequences, as Shawn said, and the fact is that this election was an electoral repudiation of the GOP’s ideas. The election was about changing course on many things, including our approach to international affairs and defense, and it doesn’t make sense in that situation to keep the same team on board.

    Obama will certainly change course and appoint Dems to these posts.

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