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This is the third in a series of weekly discussions of the cabinet-level posts in a potential Kerry administration, with the intent of coming up with a "shadow cabinet" by the start of the convention. This week, we'll focus on the office of National Economic Council Director Here are the current results from previous weeks (please continue to vote for and discuss these entries!):

                            Current Leader          My Choice
Week 1 - EPA Administrator:   Robert F. Kennedy Jr.   Kathleen McGinty
Week 2 - UN Ambassador:     Carol Moseley Braun     Susan E. Rice
Week 3 - Drug Czar:          David Satcher           David Satcher

Note: nominations will usually number around 5-8. The idea is to pick the best candidate for each position (not the "most likely"), but also a candidate who might realistically be chosen by Kerry (i.e. no Kucinich as Sec. of Defense). I admit to not being an expert in many (if not all) of these areas, so other suggestions and criticisms are welcomed. The idea is to get a realistic idea of what the next executive branch should look like.

On to the nominations for NEC Director, an office only a decade or so old whose primary charge is to be the overseer of the President's economic policy across all agencies - what the NSC is to national security, the NEC is to economic policy:

Joseph Stiglitz, ex-CEA Chair, ex-Chief Economist, World Bank
- Professor, Nobel Prize winner, and former chairman of Council of Economic advisors, Stiglitz - like many on this list - has strong connections to the Clinton administration. Also, like many, he has been a outspoken critic of Bush's economic policies. A free-trader and an academic at heart, he is known for speaking his mind, especially (recently) taking a critical stance on globalization. As an independent thinker, would be an asset to any Democratic administration, but may not be politic enough for Kerry, who has plenty of other closer advisors to whom he may want to hand the job.

Roger Altman, main Kerry economic advisor, ex-Dep. Treasury Sec.
- Another Clinton-era official at Treasury, who was embroiled in the Whitewater scandal but has gone on to work in the private sector and has emerged as Kerry's main economic advisor. A notorious budget hawk, he has helped recruit other advisors to the Kerry campaign, including Laura Tyson and Gene Sperling (both ex-NEC Directors under Clinton). His current role within the campaign makes him in many ways the most logical choice for National Economic Council director, but he also may be a potential Treasury Secretary or OMB Director. A lock for a spot somewhere in a Kerry administration.

Alan Blinder, ex-Federal Reserve Vice Chairman, ex-Clinton economic advisor
- Princeton economics professor and yet another ex-Clinton advisor, who is expert in monetary policy and central banking, and is a prime candidate to replace Greenspan whenever he finally leaves. Blinder has been outspoken in his calls for corporate responsibility and accountability, and like almost all of these names, has experience both in academia and government dating back to the Clinton administration.  Also almost guaranteed to get a job with a Kerry administration if he wants one.

Sarah Bianchi, Kerry Policy Director, ex-NEC Senior Policy Advisor
- At only 31 years of age, Bianchi is also a veteran of the Clinton White House, and has worked for Gore, Bruce Reed, and others at the DLC and DSCC as a policy advisor on both health care and economics. She is currently Kerry's senior policy director, and along with Altman and Gene Sperling, has been responsible for writing the campaign's broad economic plan. With her background in health care, she may also be considered for a spot at H&HS. NEC Director may be too big a step up for her, but she could contribute to a Kerry administration in any number of roles.

Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae CEO, ex-OMB Director
- Raines' resume is impressive, and he can claim to be the first OMB director in a generation to balance the federal budget. Another Clintonite, he would be an unconventional choice for Kerry only because he has not been a major policy advisor to his campaign. However he would bring his breadth of experience to the position, and as a former White House official, like many of these names, he knows the game. Also a potential Treasury secretary or HUD Secretary.

Gene Sperling, ex-NEC Director
- If Donald Rumsfeld can do it, so can Sperling. This would be his second time around as NEC director, the first stint lasting from 1996-2000. Another free-trader who is currently a major advisor to Kerry, Sperling may be convinced to take his old job back. Along with most of the names on this list, he is seen as an economic centrist. The team of advisors that Kerry has put together is almost lockstep in its devotion to Clintonomics and their criticism of Bush's tax cuts and ballooning deficits, and Sperling is no different.

Next week: National Security Advisor

Originally posted to thirdparty on Sat Mar 27, 2004 at 02:25 PM PST.

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Who would make the best NEC Director?

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