I wrote this for an open thread, but I wondered if it might be appropriate as a diary entry:
As most people are aware, Kerry has innumerable vulnerabilities going into the general. Even if his fans are upbeat today, the armies of Sauron are still waiting behind the gates of Mordor (Drudge appears to have been some sort of trial shot), and I think I can hear a few million orcs rhythmically pounding their axes back there somewhere. Due to the political skill he has demonstrated, lots of good luck, and a little help from his friends in high places, Kerry has won the right to lead us against them, and I hope that he has the humility to realize that he's not going to win by just charging at them like a lone ranger, shouting out tough talk. Not that he's asking my advice, but I think he would increase our odds by surrounding himself very closely with a team of allies who could cover his weak flanks -- e.g. Edwards, Clark, Dean, Gephardt, and Moseley-Braun, all of whom have recently become national celebraties and who collectively have the ability to appeal to different though overlapping constituencies that will all be crucial in November. Yes, I know, the primaries are still going, but I'm assuming that all of these Democrats and most of their supporters will have the maturity and sense to put the bad blood behind them after it's over and focus on the real war ahead. Kerry could informally designate them members of a cabinet in waiting, make very public appearances with all of them together, and send this team out around the country to vigorously take on Bush, defend Kerry to various audiences, and get out the message of the Democratic Party. This would be a dream team because each of these individuals has different sets of strengths, and composing such a team of former contenders would be a very clear display that Democrats are capable of working together toward the common good, which would be a good symbol of their ability to run the country. It needs to be a relatively small number, though, in order to have some identity and coherence, as opposed to the usual laundry list of "important Democratic officeholders". Kerry may choose Edwards, Clark, Gephardt or someone else entirely as his running mate; he could either signal the positions that each of the others will be likely to occupy (as Bush did with Powell) or simply say that "each one of these great Democrats will play a very important role in the Kerry Administration." (Since most of them are white men, many of the other top slots would need to be filled by women and people of color, and this would of course have to be acknowledged up front.) Why these five and not the others?: First of all, because the number needs to be kept down and because it needs to consist of people from the mainstream of the party. Also, since Lieberman and Kucinich will still have jobs, I assume that they will be otherwise occupied, but they can still make their convention speeches and campaign as much as they are willing. (I don't know what to do about the Rev. Al, but maybe he could sort of be designated ambassador to the Maldives or somewhere else small and far, far away.) Here are some ideas about what positions could tentatively be offered to who, leaving the VP choice aside for the moment:
Secretary of State: Clark (too bad about Defense)
Secretary of Health & Human Svcs: Dean
Secretary of Labor: Gephardt
Attorney General: Edwards
Does anyone know what CMB's cabinet-level area of interest and expertise would be?