Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Question for Liberals

Still thinking State. If Barack Obama is re-elected, he'll presumably have to fill an opening for Secretary of State. Do you have a candidate? Anyone you really don't want to see?

Also: if she would take it, Hillary Clinton for Treasury? What do you think?

19 comments:

  1. At the risk of inviting hoots of derision, John Kerry is still a solid choice in my mind.

    If Warren doesn't beat Brown, she'd have a good shot at replacing Kerry. Of course, if Warren does beat Brown, he'd have a shot at staging a comeback.

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  3. JB, I don't think Hillary would agree to serve as Treasury Secretary. If she was going to stick might as well stay at State.

    I think she'd be an acceptable choice; Geithner doesn't make a particular compelling case that the job must go to a technocrat.

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  4. Barbara Boxer would be a natural choice. If Deval Patrick still has interest in foreign affairs he would be a good choice.

    I see promoting Governors and Senators is safe seats as an important secondary goal in presidential nominations.

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  5. Samantha Power.

    Early appointments tend to be politically important, unifying the party choices (Christopher, Powell, Clinton). A second term President can put one of their own advisers in the post (Albright and Rice both served their respective Presidents from the beginning).

    Obama values Power enough that he pushed her on Clinton, despite her sniping during the primary campaign. She's got to be a 2-1 favorite.

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    1. If it's not Kerry, I can't imagine Power getting the job before Susan Rice. She's got infinitely more practical diplomatic experience: 4 yrs as Ambassador to the UN and 3 as Assistant SoS. They can both be equally hotheaded and impolitic, but Power has no true diplomatic experience apart from being on the NSC staff. I would bet it's Rice to State and Power to UN, *if* she's going to pursue a diplomatic career.

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  6. I don't have a particular candidate, but please don't pick a sitting Democratic Senator or Governor or any kind of Republican.

    Clinton for Treasury... I don't see the logic behind that appointment. I assume she'd prefer to take time off from government to lay the groundwork for her 2016 White House run anyway.

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  7. Tapir: Just had to post that when I first read "If Warren doesn't beat Brown, she'd have a good shot at replacing Kerry." - my first reaction was a hoot of derision over the idea of Elizabeth Warren, Secretary of State.

    Then I re-read your post, more slowly ;)

    Pretty sure that was just because I thought everyone has been tipping Kerry for SoS ever since Obama first formed his cabinet. Either that or the Clinton/Biden trade rumors that started about the same time.

    SoS doesn't seem like a natural position for a Governor, at least a Senator has some idea of diplomacy going in. I'd go with a less famous name from the State Dept., or Kerry seems capable if they still want to go that way.

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  8. I would also like to see Kerry get the nod for many reasons. One of the least important reason is because, thanks to MA's system for filling vacancies, I would like to see Mike Dukakis get the interim appointment until a special election takes place.

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  9. Wouldn't Susan Rice be the obvious choice for State? It's not usually a post given to elected politicians anymore - Clinton was the first since Muskie 30 years ago, and before Muskie there were only two (Byrnes and Herter) in the whole post-war era.

    Former elected officials are actually much more commonly appointed UN ambassador (Warren Austin, Henry Cabot Lodge, Adlai Stevenson, George H. W. Bush, William Scranton, Andrew Young, Bill Richardson, John Danforth) than Secretary of State.

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  10. It's Kerry b/c of the (relative) ease of confirming a sitting senator to the office. He gets a pass from being "in the club" and from being tested in 2004.

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  11. Picking Kerry would be a total waste. He's done politically and elevating him does nothing for the Admin or for the Dem Party.

    I'm keeping my eye on Gary Locke, the current ambassador to China. Susan Rice is also probably up there. Also, look for people in the current Administration that Obama wants to make more prominent for the future; people like Shinsecki (sp) and Hilda Solis might fall in this category. I think Obama is smart enough to use this spot to promote someone that he wants to take a prominent role in U.S. politics after he leaves office.

    I don't know what I think about Hillary at Treasury. Doesn't seem like something she would want to do. Plus, she's be nuts not to leave politics on the incredible high note she's on now.

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    1. Since when is the choice of a Secretary of State about helping the Administration or party politically? Kerry certainly would be more relevant politically than the vast majority of recent picks, Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton excepted. How exactly did Madeleine Albright do anything for the Admin or the Dem Party?

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    2. This may or may not be a good tactical use of such a high profile office. The historical record doesn't support the idea: the only Secretaries of State in the past 100 years who fit this profile were Clinton, Rice, and Powell. And Cinton and Powell didn’t need the position to help their careers or prospects.

      Muskie and Vance were already over, and chosen partly because they had no higher ambitions.

      The overwhelming majority of nominees have either been career diplomats, retired military, or political cronies.

      Now there’s no reason to perpetuate that, of course, but I suspect that most rising party stars are not a good fit for SEcState for several reasons, among them they generally lack the diplomatic experience required, and they lack the institutional heft necessary to implement an agenda effectively. Not to mention, a president usually wants someone he knows well, is very comfortable with, and trusts implicity.

      Most of the other cabinet seats are better for the kind of party grooming you’re talking about. Although I do agree Locke could be a great choice.

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  12. I'm more interested in who Obama would try to replace Bernanke with than Geithner, actually. Christine Romer or Larry Summers seem like obvious choices.

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  13. Dennis Kucinich.

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  14. Just to clarify- I think John Kerry had had an outstanding career in foreign affairs and would be an outstanding Secretary of State. My point was that there are others out there with great qualifications who, if brought to greater prominence by being given this spot, would help Obama govern the country and who would develop as a leader for the future.

    For the record, if anyone thinks Hillary Clinton was chosen for her record in foreign affairs, you need to read her bio. She was chosen for reasons not related to that, yet she has still done an outstanding job. Politics in the U.S. is getting more parliamentary in nature. We all have to get used to that.

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  15. I think Petraeus would be the best pick for SoS.

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  16. Barack Obama will be decide it after elections. Obama 2012 t shirts

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