Barack Obama has won a decisive victory over his Republican rival, John McCain. Ironically – it may be McCain who can most help Obama with the Presidential Transition. Obama must select a team of people to fill his cabinet and lead the new Government. While McCain demonstrated poor judgment in choosing Sarah Palin – Obama should reach out to McCain for advice. All of us are watching – waiting to see a bi-partisan administration willing to act in the interest of America. Obama’s selection of his cabinet will speak to his desire to govern from the center. We have some thoughts about the opportunities.
Chief of Staff: Former Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota has been mentioned – and that is as far as it should go. While in the Senate, Dsachle was extremely partisan – we do not believe he would send a message of compromise. Rahm Emanuel is a Congressman from Illinois and reports are that he has already been asked – we do not know much about him. This position requires a mature and organized person who has no ax to grind.
Secretary of the Treasury: This position is of astounding importance, dictating policy beyond the comprehension of most Americans. This is an opportunity to both present a bi-partisan face and to choose the best person. Paul Volker was a key economic adviser to Ronald Reagan and helped alleviate the rampant inflation of Reagan’s early Presidency. Investor Warren Buffet has earned the confidence of America. Buffet should have a role as an adviser, if not as the Treasury Secretary. Robert Rubin was the Treasury Secretary under Clinton – those were prosperous years – Rubin would suggest stability in an Obama Administration.
Secretary of State: We like Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. He is a mature and experienced man – and he is a Republican. Other names mentioned are Bill Richardson of New Mexico and John Kerry of Massachusetts. We think either of these would be a mistake – for two reasons – they speak to partisanship and they are both failed candidates for President. It strikes this writer that the people spoke about Richardson and Kerry and Obama should listen.
Secretary of Defense: We like Robert Gates, the current Secretary. Secretary Gates has proven himself to be a man who acts without regard to partisan nonsense. Gates understands the military and keeping Gates in this position would maintain continuity in a desperate time.
Colin Powell: We look for President Obama to use Powell in a close advisory capacity – Powell would offer experience and he inspires the confidence of America and the World.
President Elect Obama has said on numerous occasions that we are not a red America or a blue America – we are the United States of America. Now is his chance to demonstrate he believes his own words.
In short – we believe that President-Elect Obama should invite Senator John McCain to participate in the appointment of Cabinet members. We believe the President-Elect should quickly demonstrate a bi-partisan position of governing from the ideological center.