Barack Obama

Obama's Cabinet?

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The Politico polls Obama insiders and comes up with a list of possible nominees for cabinet secretaries and top-level advisors.

What's interesting is that despite Obama's campaign talk of revolutionary change, with few exceptions, the Politico list looks like a markedly un-radical list of establishment Democrats and moderate Republicans.

"Broken Windows" guru William Bratton for Drug Czar isn't particularly encouraging.  But then, I'm probably not going to like the nominee of any president who wants to continue with that ridiculous position.

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  1. Larry Summers? But he’s teh sexist!

    /Harvard faculty

  2. Press staff morale chief: Tommy Vietor

    That means “bartender,” right?

  3. I’m not a huge Richardson fan, but seeing him on the list made me happy.

  4. “Broken Windows” guru William Bratton

    Bratton is closer to community policing than to broken windows.

    Remember, Guiliani fired him for having a policing strategy that was insufficiently belligerant towards the public.

  5. Attorney General: Maude Hurd

    Sec. of Defense: Jane Fonda

    Sec. of the Treasury: Tony Rezko

    Sec. of Homeland Security: Bill Ayers

    Drug Czar: Marion Barry

    Director of Faith Based Initiatives: Rev. Jeremiah Wright

    White House Chief of Staff: Father Michael Pfleger

  6. ick. I hate to see Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt on those lists.

    It would be very encouraging if the speculation about Hagel as SecDef turned out to be true, though. That guy rules.

  7. Dick Lugar as Sec. of State and Chuck Hagel as Sec. of Defense would go a looooong way towards reassuring people Obama isn’t going to be a nutty liberal.

  8. Speechwriting director: Jon Favreau, Jeff Nussbaum

    Cheadle is so going to get replaced as War Machine.

  9. Bratton? For drug czar? Jesus Chrysler, that isn’t encouraging at all. Guess you already said that.

  10. I hope that Obama makes Daschle his chief of staff. What better way to signal hope and change to the masses.

  11. Guiliani fired him for having a policing strategy that was insufficiently belligerant towards the public.

    He got over that.

  12. What’s interesting is that despite Obama’s campaign talk of revolutionary change, with few exceptions, the Politico list looks like a markedly un-radical list of establishment Democrats and moderate Republicans.

    Of course Obama is going with cautious picks. The other guy has a trademark protection on Maverickism.

  13. Mew mew, I don’t think the American people have achieved a comfort zone with that kind of language, Jerry, mew mew!

    Please don’t be mean to me, I’m just a helpless kitten!

  14. Ambassador at large on climate change: former Vice President Al Gore

    Al Gore? Climate change? That is so 2007.

  15. Joe, what is it with Dem Senate majority leaders being little pussies? I mean, Tom Daschle and Harry Reid? Come on.

  16. Of course Obama is going with cautious picks. The other guy has a trademark protection on Maverickism.

    Wait, I thought we learned on the previous thread that dems are creative and reps are cautious.

    More seriously, is anyone suprised that insiders expect insider picks?

  17. BDB,

    It’s always been my impression that the Democratic Party is uncomfortable with being the opposition party and shy away from making firebrands their leaders. And that the true friebrands of the DP are much more to the left of the mainstream party to be its public face. The GOP is more used to having the red-faced out front.

    (This is not a string of insults, just an observation.)

  18. joe starts the spin early. It’s pointed out that these picks have little to do with the “change” meme…but that’s OK! Wavering from Obama is holy and just!

  19. SugarFree–

    Yeah, but Nancy Pelosi (as much as I hate Speaker Botox for various other reasons) isn’t a wimp. She has more balls than Reid or Daschle. Ditto Gephardt before her. It is something about Senate Dems.

  20. No Jimmy Carter in the cabinet? He must be slotted for embassador to Iran or something.

  21. I just RTFA, and I found this:

    Ambassador at large on climate change: former Vice President Al Gore

    That’ll be a paid position under Obama? And why’s Obama making fat jokes about Gore?

  22. Unless the Drug Czar is Rick James (bitch!), I think we’re going to be disappointed in the pick.

  23. BDB,

    Pelosi tries not to be a wimp. Big difference. What did her last round of acting tough get her? That embarrassingly failed bailout vote?

    (Yes, I wanted that voted down too, but that doesn’t mean from a purely political viewpoint it wasn’t a massive gaffe on her part.)

    When your best attack dog is an over-weight gay man with a speech impediment, it’s time to go to the pound.

  24. This is the cabinet that’s going to end all the partisanship in Washington. Sweet! Now where’d I put that Kool-aid?

  25. Man, people are already saying how cautious Obama is. I told you guys we’re going to have a boring, cautious President and liberals are going to be incredibly disappointed (and conservatives howling about LibruhFascism are going to look equally dumb).

  26. Episiarch,

    Drug Czar Rick James: “Cocaine’s a hell of a drug.”

  27. “It’s pointed out that these picks have little to do with the “change” meme…but that’s OK!”

    How so? Bush’s White House was filled with a bunch of justify-at-all-costs partisan hacks, vetted more for their loyalty than their judgment or competence. What were Bush’s nods to bipartisanship? But maybe you are right, and Obama’s picks will all follow the national greatness neocon worldview like the current administration.

  28. “How so? Bush’s White House was filled with a bunch of justify-at-all-costs partisan hacks, vetted more for their loyalty than their judgment or competence. What were Bush’s nods to bipartisanship? But maybe you are right, and Obama’s picks will all follow the national greatness neocon worldview like the current administration.”

    I heard Bush was running for reelection….

  29. What were Bush’s nods to bipartisanship?

    No love for Norm Mineta?

    Director of Keeping Kids Off the White House Lawn: Mike Gravel

  30. I hope that Obama makes Daschle his chief of staff.

    I heard it might be Rahm Emanuel. What better way to bring healing and unification than to have your White House run by Mr. Bloody Knuckles himself?

    I think he will go with insiders. He’s always been a loyal Dem soldier, a product of the Chicago machine. His campaign is staffed with Olde Democrate Reliables. Why would he change now?

  31. I heard Bush was running for reelection….

    I heard McCain was president for the last eight years, and thus relevant to a discussion of presidential cabinet composition.

  32. Dick Gephardt or Andy Stern as Labor Sec. concerns me a little, otherwise it’s pretty solid.

  33. BDB,

    I didn’t want to turn into one of those people grousing about the Majority Leader. I remember the Republicans doing it, and thinking, “Give him a break, he’s the Senate Majority Leader! It isn’t Bob Dole of Trent Lott’s fault that he isn’t leading a crusade from the SML’s office. That’s just not how it works.”

    Harry Reid, I can give a break. He’s got a 51/49 Senate, he’s trying to get things done, whattyagonna do?

    But Tom Daschle is a little wuss. What is UP with that guy?

    Like SugarFree said, It’s always been my impression that the Democratic Party is uncomfortable with being the opposition party and shy away from making firebrands their leaders. Meanwhile, the Republicans are uncomfortable being the governing party, and expect to see firebrands acting like firebrands even from the Majority Leader’s chair.

  34. joe starts the spin early. It’s pointed out that these picks have little to do with the “change” meme…but that’s OK! Wavering from Obama is holy and just!

    How sad for you, that you have been so bludgeoned that you can’t even read anymore.

    I defy you to find a single word I’ve written that can be interpretted as a comment about the level of change indicated by the Obama cabinet picks.

    One. Find one, you miserable little shit.

    Go ahead, big mouth. Now that you’ve called me out and drawn this attention to yourself, shitstain, back it up.

    We’re wating.

  35. touch a nerve, huh, joe?

    you’ve been kind of sensitive today, little man.

  36. “Ambassador at large on climate change: former Vice President Al Gore”

    That’s just….I don’t even really have words….

  37. Hmm.

    Half the complaints are that Obama will pick hardasses, and thus demonstrate himself to be uninterested in pragmatic bipartisanship, and the other half are proclamations that he’s going to appoint bipartisan-consensus Washington insiders, thus demonstrating that he isn’t interested in being a change agent.

    Looks like a complete set of talking points, prepared to any occasion.

  38. I’m actually not complaining when I say he will be boring. The last eight years were “exciting” and have sucked hard.

  39. joe,

    Meanwhile, the Republicans are uncomfortable being the governing party, and expect to see firebrands acting like firebrands even from the Majority Leader’s chair.

    Bingo. The GOP also can’t seem to understand why its spittle-flecked leaders have difficulties building voting majorities and reaching across the aisle. Real head-scratcher, there.

  40. touch a nerve, huh, joe?

    Why, yes, being accused of spinning for making a point that has nothing to do with partisan interests is annoying. Congratulations, you’ve discovered that repeating the same talking point to make me look bad is irritating.

    So, cocksucker, anything to back up what you wrote? Anything at all?

    Or will it be a nice, frosty mug of STFU for you, then?

    BTW, “must have touched a nerve” is universally recognized as what somebody writes when he’s been called out and doesn’t have a response.

    So…how’s that going? You were saying that something I wrote – I can’t even begin to guess what – was partisan spin, and I dared your sorry ass to back up your argument.

    Don’t be a worm, TAO. If you’re going to make an argument, stand by it.

  41. No, you need the hardasses to cover for the Washington insiders. It’s what Bush did with the Jesusfreaks who provided cover for the secular neocons in his administration.

  42. joe,

    This is my talking point:

    It is rather troubling to see these many areas of government intervention into society.

  43. oh my god, joe, you are way too emotionally invested here.

    you know what you did, unless you’d care to offer an alternative explanation for your response to Jerry.

  44. Imagine the thread when he actually picks a cabinet.

  45. So, no, TAO, ou have no point, argument, or evidence.

    kthkbai.

  46. Half the complaints are that Obama will pick hardasses, and thus demonstrate himself to be uninterested in pragmatic bipartisanship, and the other half are proclamations that he’s going to appoint bipartisan-consensus Washington insiders, thus demonstrating that he isn’t interested in being a change agent.

    Well, joe, Obama made this bed . . . .

    Look, when you have a history of radical associations, a late-emerging trail of pretty out-of-the-mainstream statements (bankrupt coal plants, raise electricity prices, redistribution by any means necessary), and soaring rhetoric of healing the world and hoping and changing, you get yourself into this box, don’t you?

    Obama has tried to be all things to all people – a go-along-to-get-along political insider, and a roof-raising orator of transformation. No matter what he does, he’s stabbing somebody in the back.

  47. again, joe, explain your response to Jerry upthread.

  48. One. Find one, you miserable little shit.

    Go ahead, big mouth. Now that you’ve called me out and drawn this attention to yourself, shitstain, back it up.

    Another reason I’m happy to not be a member of Joe’s household….

  49. Imagine the thread when he actually picks a cabinet.

    Imagine the thread when if he actually wins the election…

  50. you know what you did, unless you’d care to offer an alternative explanation for your response to Jerry.

    What are you talking about?

    How is mocking Tom Daschle as a wimp a partisan endevor?

    You’re turning into joshua corning – you read something, don’t understand it, see I wrote it, assume there’s something terrible going on, and bumble onto the thread with some half-cocked accusation.

  51. svf,

    I’m still of thne opinion that no matter who wins we’re still screwed. 🙂

  52. If John McCain wins and thus proves the entire concept of opinion polling 100% wrong, then H&R threads are the least of my worries.

  53. My dream scenario is the Bradley Effect is real, but all those votes go to Barr instead of McCain because of the bail out.

  54. Obama has tried to be all things to all people – a go-along-to-get-along political insider, and a roof-raising orator of transformation. No matter what he does, he’s stabbing somebody in the back.

    You mean he’s a politician? Which is the real John McCain, the dude that called Falwell an “Agent of Intolerance” or the guy that spoke at Liberty? Is he the guy that says Acorn is what’s good about Americans or the one that called Acorn the greatest threat to democracy? The guy that sang “Bomb Iran” or the one that quoted, “Speak softly and carry a big stick”? Is he the one that said he couldn’t balance the budget in 4 years or the one that said he could? Finding inconsistencies in a politician’s words and actions is like trying to find hay in a haystack.

    Dems are going to be disappointed that Obama is just another liberal politician and not super change agent. Reps are going to be equally disappointed that Obama is just another liberal politician and not a Trojan Horse for the downfall of Western Civilization.

  55. You’re turning into joshua corning

    you say that every. time. you get called out on something.

    you have a persecution complex.

  56. Well, joe, Obama made this bed . . . .

    Right, I’m sure he’s just furuious as the corner he’s painted himself into. Not.

    You listed a bunch of talking points that no one who’s voting for Obama, and most of the people voting against him, don’t give a shit about, then assume that he’s in some sort of trouble with his voters if he doesn’t conform to the picture you’ve drawn of him.

    Back in 2004, Democrats consoled themselves by talking about Bush being in trouble because now he’s going to have to put out the fires he started, instead of Kerry having to deal with them. This wouldn’t be the same kind of thing, would it?

  57. BDB,

    Well, that sort of event would simply prove that the current models, etc. are in error.

  58. BDB,

    If a McCain victory would destroy opinion polling, then you have put forth the only convincing argument for voting for him I’ve ever seen here.

  59. say it ain’t so, joe

    juss pleaz say it ain’t so

  60. you say that every. time. you get called out on something.

    you have a persecution complex.

    Called out on what? Nobody understands what the hell you’re talking about.

    I did something. You’re terribly angry about it. It has something to do with calling Tom Daschle a wimp. You didn’t understand what I wrote, but you are driven to write a comment about how awful and wrong I am, without being able to articulate anything resembling an argument.

    No, that doesn’t sound like corning at all.

  61. My prediction: if elected, Obama will staff his cabinet with a bunch of left-wing jackasses. Their individual identities matter little. Expect redistributionism, continued foreign interventions, union thugs and trial lawyers gone wild, further futile and destructive drug-war efforts, and four years of blaming Bush for every bad new development.

    It will undoubtedly be a “change” from the current crop of right-wing jackasses. Good time to get your assets out of the country, if you have any.

  62. Right, I’m sure he’s just furuious as the corner he’s painted himself into. Not.

    Give that back, old timer.

  63. What, the kids don’t use paint?

  64. The Urban Dictionary is oddly silent on the phrase “paint yourself into a corner.” The kids call it “pooping in a balloon” now, I think.

  65. The real betting line is the first “scandal d’jour” of an Obama cabinet nominee during senate confirmation.

    I’ll bet it’s a guy who has hired illegal aliens to build his deck.

  66. Whatever happens, there will be a massive clusterfuck flamewar between TallDave and joe tomorrow in the election results thread.

  67. ChrisO,

    My prediction: if elected, Obama will staff his cabinet with a bunch of left-wing jackasses fair minded intellectuals. Their individual identities matter little. Expect redistributionism economic justice, continued foreign interventions international social justice, union thugs fair work environment and trial lawyers gone wild balanced justice for the masses, further futile and destructive drug-war efforts opportunity change, and four years of blaming Bush and racism for every bad new development.

    Lotsa fixin’ there, but you would not want to run into the fairness police after January 09, would you?

  68. Why is a “drug czar” called a “drug czar”?

  69. Maybe, Abdul, but I’d put my chip on “worked at a college with a Palestinian.”

  70. I’m still of thne opinion that no matter who wins we’re still screwed. 🙂

    I’ll drink to that… * hic *

  71. economist,

    Because there’s no limit to the Drug Czar’s authority?

  72. then assume that he’s in some sort of trouble with his voters if he doesn’t conform to the picture you’ve drawn of him.

    Some of his voters are bona fide lefty hope ‘n’ changers, joe, and some are folks who are just really, really hoping that he is as moderate and cautious as he has tried to portray himself as being.

    Somebody’s going to be really disappointed, joe. I don’t think there’s any way around that.

  73. I think the libertarians who expect Obama to rip off his coat to reveal. . .Super Libertarian Man!. . .are in for the greatest shock of all if he wins.

  74. I think the libertarians who expect Obama to rip off his coat to reveal. . .Super Libertarian Man!. . .are in for the greatest shock of all if he wins.

    It’s ok. Anyone who believes that is probably too stoned to care. I think most libertarians support him as the lesser of the two evils.

  75. If those voters exist, I pity them.

  76. Lotsa fixin’ there, but you would not want to run into the fairness police after January 09, would you?

    I’ve been unabashedly posting here for several years, so I’m probably screwed no matter what. See ya at the reeducation camp next year.

    Why is a “drug czar” called a “drug czar”?

    It’s a little snappier than “drug kaiser” or “drug shah”, don’t you think? I have to say, though, that “drug emperor” has a nice ring to it.

  77. I think most libertarians support him as the lesser of the two evils.

    As do most actual lefties.

    It’s a little snappier than “drug kaiser” or “drug shah”, don’t you think? I have to say, though, that “drug emperor” has a nice ring to it.

    I like “Joint Chiefs,” but that’s just me.

  78. economist,

    As I recall, our first Czar was the Energy Czar.

    Since then we’ve gotten new Czar when it we needed someone who would not be sqeamish about breaking eggs when it was obvious to “everyone” that there were omelettes (or Public Service Announcements) to be made.

  79. “breaking eggs when it was obvious to “everyone” that there were omelettes (or Public Service Announcements) to be made.”

    Drug Chef?

  80. The mystery ingredient for today’s episode of Drug Chef is…

    Probable Cause. Let’s see what they do with it!

  81. joe, why do you post here? I’m not being snarky, nor am I telling you I think you should leave – I genuinely enjoy reading your posts in fact, though I often disagree. I just wonder why you post on a libertarian site when there are so many liberal ones?

  82. I comment here, domo, because I find that arguind with smart people who disagree with me helps to sharpen my own thinking. Liberal sites? Lots of people, some of them smart, who tend to agree with me. Conservative sites? Tend to be populated by troglodytes.

    But to get beyond personalities to the real of philosophies, libertarianism provides a meaningful, principled critique of liberalism that needs to be considered and answered, in a way that conservatism doesn’t.

  83. And, as an extremely occasional poster but frequent lurker, I thank you for your presence over the years, joe. cheers.

  84. The thing I like about this site is that the commenters tend to be more open to well argued opposing views. The thing I’ve found in most lefty sites is that anything that smells of libertarianism to them gets you shouted down, scoffed at or ignored.

  85. joe, I’m going to try the same, by posting on a liberal site to see if Mo is correct. Is there a site you would you recommend as being populated with particularly insightful people?

  86. Somehow I don’t think putting people the public turned out of Washington back into Washington is going to help anything. All those former Dem pols were blow hards their own states did not want to send back to DC and now they are going to be invited right back to new jobs. That sure is CHANGE we can believe in.

    Where is the logic? Yes I know you Americans recently voted them out of office. BUT! WTF let them stay home they are already collecting their overpaid pensions.

  87. joe,

    the “Joint Chiefs” comment rocked.

  88. Part of the issue with the drug czar is that you can’t have anyone in there implementing any kind of reform with the current authorization language passed by Congress (unless they decide to break the law).

    The position should probably be eliminated. If not, the new President should hold off appointing someone until a new set of benchmarks for the position is passed (something along the lines of “working to reduce the harms to society caused by drug abuse and drug prohibition”).

    Then, there would be some excellent candidates for the position, such as former NM Republican Governor Gary Johnson. Or Norm Stamper.

  89. Conservative boards are way more fun to read nowadays than liberal sites, though I tend to get banned just as fast at both kinds. The OH NOES OBAMA IZ GONNA PUT US IN CAMPS posts are way more fun than anything at democratic underground these days.

  90. The position should probably be eliminated. If not, the new President should hold off appointing someone until a new set of benchmarks for the position is passed (something along the lines of “working to reduce the harms to society caused by drug abuse and drug prohibition”).

    There might some entertainment value if the next Drug Czar decided to rock a uniform with epaulets, much the way that C. Everett Coop did when he was commanding the Legions of the Surgeon General.

    The last actual tsar (the best transliteration, BTW) had a pretty snappy military uniform with lots of shiny medals on it–that would be perfect for the next Drug Czar and would go along with a nice bushy beard.

  91. I’m surprised Warren Buffett isn’t on the list for Treasury Secertary. Now, I dunno if Buffett would accept (he kind of already has a job), but Obama ought to at least make the offer, and Buffett is the type of guy who I think could be convinced by a “your country needs you” type of arguement.

  92. Another fun one, not on the list, would be Bill Clinton as Ambassador to the United Nations (or, if you want to get really kooky, as Secretary of State).

  93. Geotpf

    I’m of the opinion that while Warren Buffett is a genius in business and especially at the business of investing one ought not to place to much stock in his public policy pronouncements.

    You forgot one, Bill Clinton as Supreme Court Justice. I would find that funny.

    Actually, even though Bill and Hillary have stumped for him I’m not sure BO has much genuine love for them. I certainly would not blame him if he didn’t.

  94. There might some entertainment value if the next Drug Czar decided to rock a uniform with epaulets,

    I could see a black one, maybe with some kind of death’s head emblem, no?

  95. The mystery ingredient for today’s episode of Drug Chef is…

    Probable Cause. Let’s see what they do with it!

    Chef Ramsay will berate you and your family line until you consent to a search.

  96. The scuttlebutt was that Clinton really wanted a gig on the Court after his presidency. However, given that the Arkansas supreme court suspended his license for five years, it’s doubtful Obama would risk nominating him. Even the liberal ABA would likely give Clinton a thumbs down due to the suspension. Even if you think Clinton was railroaded by the Man, it would set a horrific precedent.

  97. I am not here – what is here, but there without a “t”?

  98. It depends on what your definition of the word “is” is…

  99. I could see a black one, maybe with some kind of death’s head emblem, no?

    Lightning bolts on the collar, perhaps.

  100. “Whatever happens, there will be a massive clusterfuck flamewar between TallDave and joe tomorrow in the election results thread.”

    TallDave will be afraid to show up.

  101. It’s too bad they don’t call the drug czar the drug f?hrer. I think that name is more accurate and would help Americans reach the level of appallitude that they should have about this whole War on Drugs.

  102. massive clusterfuck flamewar between TallDave and joe

    I got my chains, blades, and zip guns ready.

  103. Yeah, Pro Libertate, I guess I heard pretty much the same scuttlebutt. I hadn’t thought about the disbarment, though.

    My main point was that I don’t see either Clinton getting anything but token recognition from an Obama administration.

    I’ve heard he’s not one to hold a grudge, but I’m not sure he’s ever been tested by the kind of abuse within the party the Clintons gave him.

  104. If Obama doesn’t seek revenge on each and every person who has wronged him, he’ll be the first politician from Chicago to fail to do so.

  105. As I said, it’s my understanding that he’s a pretty conciliatory guy. He apparently rebounded pretty well from the “not black enough attacks” when he challenged the incumbents on the South Side. A few years in Rev Wright’s church and schoozing the locals got him insider status.

    But I think that the attacks from the Clintons are too great to be overlooked unless he absolutely needs to do it. Hell, he might just as well make McCain SecDef as give anything to Billary.

    While Hillary might be Senator for life in NY her national career is over, unless the exceeding unlikely happens tomorrow. So is Bill’s.

  106. domoarrigato,

    Matthew Yglesias’s blog at the Atlantic Monthy is good.

    If you don’t an almost joe-ish amount of typos.

  107. I thank you for your presence over the years, joe. cheers.

    Me, too. Despite his shortcomings (c’mon, joe, it wouldn’t kill you to post an occasional link), joe brings a pretty decent level of Loyal Opposition to H&R.

  108. Politics, failure to cite sources, and Massachusetts sports biases aside, my biggest issue with joe is his inability to properly manage HTML tags. Especially the italics tag. I can’t abide such failings in HTML usage.

  109. “If you don’t an almost joe-ish amount of typos.”

    JOEZ LAW!

    And Yglesias is actually over at Think Progress now.

  110. joez law, indeed. I was ragging on his proofreading.

  111. the dude picked Joe Biden.

    How radical could the rest of his cabinet be?

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