I have to say that Obama looks to have put together a very strong Cabinet. He has wisely abandoned his pre-election rhetoric about change, and stolen half the former Clinton Administration, including the Clintons! Also has abandoned the nonsense about just fleeing from Iraq by keeping on Bush’s Secretary of Defence. So who are the appointments:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Brillant for Obama as neutralises them, forces Bill to have his diary vetted, and his administration gets to benefit from the massive set fo contacts the Clintons have internationally.
- Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel is an economic liberal (anti regulation) and a very tough politician. Those who think Obama will pursue a socialist agenda, should look at Emanuel’s record. Of course Obama promised all sorts of socialist stuff, but he deosn’t actually have to deliver on that as people will love him anyway. Emanuel also voted for the Iraq War and doesn’t blame Israel for all the problems in the Middle East. He’s not a Republican, but he’s my sort of Democrat.
- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Geithner is President of the New York Federal Reserve. He actually arranged the Bear Stearns bailout, and is a very experienced choice for these times.
- Peter Orszag is the Office of Management and Budget DIrector. He currently heads the Congressional Budget Office and even blogs from there! A bit left for my liking but definitely experienced.
- As previously mentioned Defence Secretary Robert Gates will remain in office – the first ever Defence Secretary to do so across parties. Gates was CIA Director under Bush 41.
- Attorney-General Eric Holder has a very good career in his early days but blotted his copybook with involvment in the disgraceful Clinton pardon of Marc Rich. I suspect he will not last a full term.
- Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano is to be Homeland Security Secretary and is well regarded as a competent Governor. Homeland Security is huge though and will be a challenge.
- Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary is anotehr former Governor. Very sensible making use of people with executive experience. Plus it is a reward for him for deserting the Clintons.
- Tom Daschle I do not like. A nasty man. I think Secretary of Health and Human Services is beyond him and like Mrs Clinton he will fail at healthcare reform.
- Absolute genius to appoint Paul Volcker to head a Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Volcker is a God.
- General James Jones is inspired choice for National Security Advisor. Jones is a four star Marine General and has served as Supreme Allied Commander Europe and as Commandant of the Marine Corps. Condi Rice tried to get him to be Deputy Secretary of State. He declined but has done work in the Middle East for her.
So far, so good for Obama. Of course the real challenges lie ahead.