The Next Phase of the Elections
Let me start by extending congratulations to Senator Obama and Senator McCain as the presumptive nominees for their respective parties. And thank whatever Deity you like that the primaries are over! But now the time to throw stones is over; the time to gather stones together is begun. They can throw them at the other party later.
Senator McCain has the relatively quiet task of selecting a running mate.
For Senator Obama, the task is more complicated. He first has to find a way to turn Senator Clinton into an ally, or at the very least keep her from actively working against him. It is my personal opinion that she would not make a good running mate, as her campaign against him has really been too divisive. However, since her self-proclaimed signature issue for the last 16 years has been health care, why not offer her the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services?
Starting to announce his “Dream Cabinet” now does several things for Senator Obama. First, it gets this stuff out of the way long before hypothetical Senate confirmation hearings next January; if he wins, the new staff can get to work almost immediately. It also gets rid of uncertainty, and nobody likes having no idea what is going to happen next. Ordinary people, the business community, and Wall Street will all know what a vote for Obama means and what his Presidency is likely to stand for. But even more importantly, it gives Senator Obama a crew of a dozen high-profile people who can campaign on his behalf.
Who else should be on the Obama Dream Team? Wes Clark would be great as Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State. John Edwards has been floated as a possibility for Vice President (again, which is why I think he wouldn’t take it), but I think he’d make a pitbull of an Attorney General. I mean that in a good way, of course. Since “green energy” is one of Senator Obama’s issues, he surely has somebody in mind for Secretary of Energy.
Some may point out that I haven’t mentioned Bill Richardson. Governor Richardson has experience as an Ambassador, which really would make him a good Secretary of State. But more to the point, he has the international affairs experience that Senator Obama needs elsewhere: right on the ticket as Vice President. He adds the foreign policy mojo that, alas, really no female Democrat can give him (Madeleine Albright does not qualify, not being a natural born citizen). And he’s also Hispanic, with the potential to bring a large block of voters to the party.
Who would you add to the Dream Team? Who do you think Senator Obama ultimately will nominate if elected? And how will he fill the Cabinet without draining away Democratic power in the Senate?