An Obama Presidency may = a third Clinton term, at least it is shaping up to be pretty close to it. Is this the "change" Obama has in mind?
He has already chosen a Clintonite to lead his transition team...and another to run his Government (John Podesta and Raum Emanuel respectively). Then we find out that he may be considering yet another Clintonite, Lawrence Summers, for Secretary of the Treasury. Now Hillary Clintons name is floating around. (this is among other possible Clinton appointments.)
(A few of my Cabinet suggestions can be found at the end of my post)
This is looking more and more like a third Clinton term to me. This is probably not what Obama supporters were hoping for when they stood in line, sometimes for 2 or 3 hours,...sometimes in the rain, to cast their votes on November 4th.
All of this is on top of the fact that Obama appears to be embracing much of the Bush Administrations foreign policy. It's been a week and a half since the election and I am seriously questioning why I bothered to register and vote for the first time. I feel a little duped.
Even if he doesn't choose Hillary... some of his decisions so far call into question his ability or willingness to bring "change".
This is always the danger of stepping out on faith and supporting an empty suit (as stylish as those Obama suits may be). When someone like Obama mentions change, we want to grab it because it sounds so attractive at a time when things are so bad. But in our haste, we forget to demand or even ask that he explain exactly what he means by "change".
My idea of "change"...as it relates to the future, means taking the Country in a fundamentally new and different direction. Choosing Clintonites for key Cabinet positions doesn't represent the change that I had in mind.
Perhaps Obama's idea of "change" is simply thinking that he can accomplish it because he's replacing the Bush Administration. For some voters, that may be good enough.... but not for me. He's going to have to do better than that.
A Few Good Candidates for Cabinet Positions
As for the Secretary of State.... I don't want to see Clinton or Richard Holbrooke (another hardline Clinton expansionist... he helped to lay the groundwork for the attack on Yugoslavia...which almost sparked WWIII). Basically whoever will be chosen will be a Republicrat... Because he is choosing from a pool of hardline centrists. There are no real Progressives in the mix.
I'd rather have him pick someone with a background as a diplomat, like a Bill Richardson....(yes, someone from the Clinton Administration, but someone who has fallen out of favor with the Clinton's and who endorsed Obama early on) or someone who has at least a few Progressive credentials, like a John Kerry. A little known Progressive would also be great...someone fresh and new, but who has the background for the job.
Someone like an Adm. William Fallon would make a great Secretary of Defense...
Obama should consider the long list of Generals/Admirals who opposed the way the Iraq War was handled by the Bush administration... let these men run the Pentagon.
Patrick Fitzgerald for Attorney General. As much as I'd love to see the first Black AG, like an Eric Holder, he has too many skeletons in his closet...and he was also part of the Clinton Administration. I'd rather see a top Prosecutor run the Justice Department... a career person for a "change".
Director of National Intelligence....or Secretary of Homeland Security....my choice for either of those spots would be Ronald Noble - One of the best known Law Enforcement Officers in the World. Formerly one of the highest ranking Law Enforcement Officers in the U.S.- and he's a Black man. Not that I want to fill the job with a Black American.... It's just that Ron Noble happens to be one of the best people for the job...and it's just a coincidence that he happens to be Black.
And bring Clark Kent Erving back as Inspector General. Obama says he wants to reach out to Republicans... this would be a good opportunity to do it.
For CIA.... choose a qualified career man. There are several division chiefs who quit during the Bush years... frustrated about Bush policy and meddling in CIA business.
FEMA... 3 words... James Lee Witt.... and get him fast... This is one Clinton guy who the Country actually needs... This would be a good pick.
Agriculture .... Tom Vilsack.
Czar or Secretary of Science and Technology (if Obama could help create this new position)... Former Astronaut Eileen Collins. This could be someone who could chair a national Science Committee to help us clean up the environment, mitigate global warming, help establish energy independence within 15 years, treat energy independence like a new Manhattan project, and could help oversee the establishment of a green economy...with green collar jobs, etc. They could help oversee Space Exploration and all the rest... Eileen Collins would be an awesome choice.
Tammy Duckworth for the open U.S. Senate seat (Illinois) or Secretary of Veterans Affairs. (but i'd really love for her to get that Senate seat...hopefully the Governor of Illinois will make it happen).
My list could go on and on... but unfortunately...none of the Obama people will ever read this blog.
And another problem seems to be that Obama is taking direction from the Clinton folks... instead of charting his own path. I understand reaching out.... but this is ridiculous.
And why would Hillary Clinton want to give up her Senate seat anyway? I doubt that she would want the position...one reason is because there is no glass left for her to break in that arena... that's already been done more than once. So it would seem less than attractive to her. The only position that she might have chosen...and that would have given her satisfaction, is the VP slot...and that has obviously already been decided. She will actually have more clout if she remains in the Senate.
But we won't know for sure until she accepts it or rejects it... if it's being offered at all.
What are your thoughts on the possibility of Hillary getting such a key position in an Obama Administration (an Administration that already seems on track to be filled with a ton of Clintonites). Secretary of State and Chief of Staff are probably the two highest positions in an Administration..., not including the President and VP obviously....and for them to be filled with Clinton folks...or even by a Clinton... just seems strange for a man who ran on a promise to fundamentally change Washington D.C.
This is going to drive me nuts until someone retracts the Clinton report...or offers some sort of clarification. I'd like to hear that this is a mistake.
If Obama does this... I will have to really break ranks. During the campaign, I held back.... because I wanted the lesser evil to win the election. I was hoping that Obama would stand for some sort of Progressive principles. But now that the election is over... I won't hold back my opinions nearly as much.
Obama's Cabinet choices will tell me one of two things: #1) Whether he will pursue a Progressive agenda...and whether he believes in Peace and Progressive Principles, or #2) If he will have too much of a Centrist, pro-war, corporate, interventionist (I can imitate a Republican better than you can) type of Presidency. So far it looks as if - as a way to compensate for something...as a way to gain as much acceptance as possible...and to prove he's "tough" - he may be going out of his way to choose folks who are tough on foreign policy and other issues. This kind of overcompensation is something that I was concerned about...hopefully it won't translate into the wrong decisions being made during some sort of crisis or international incident.