Thursday, November 20, 2008

Obama's Cabinet, So Far

What strikes me about the tentative choices for the Cabinet that have been reported to date, is how conventional they are. I'm referring to the following list which, while not official yet, seems to reflect the president-elect's will:

  • Secretary of State: Senator Hillary Clinton
  • Attorney General: Former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Secretary of Homeland Security: Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services: Former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle

They're unconventional in some ways. Holder would be the first African American attorney general. The Department of Homeland Security is very new, so it's not particularly significant that Napolitano would be its first female secretary. But there was only one past female Cabinet member in such a law enforcement/security position: Janet Reno, Bill Clinton's attorney general.

But they're conventional in other ways. They are all of the same party as the president-elect. There has been some talk of a bipartisan Cabinet. That might still happen. There are some major jobs still out there. For instance, rumor has it that Robert Gates might be retained as secretary of defense, a job to which he was appointed by President Bush.

The potential nominees listed above are also conventional in terms of background: a prominent senator, a prominent former senator, a governor, and a man with sub-cabinet experience in a previous Democratic administration. Those are all categories from which previous presidents have taken many of their Cabinet nominees. Not that, as Jerry Seinfeld has said in a different context, there's anything wrong with that. But we're all still curious as to how Obama's "Change" mantra will play out in real life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.