I like Kerry; Brennan is the worst by far.
Hagel is his worst. Neither other Republicans nor the press ever give a Democratic President any credit for appointing Republicans to cabinet positions. So just stop it. Elections should have consequences and one of those should be the party that wins the Presidency gets the cabinet posts.
My problem with Hagel is that I have not seen that much of a positive case *for* him. Most of what has been said in his defense is really an attack on (1) wild allegations that have been made against him, and (2) the motives of his opponents. Granted that both (1) and (2) are quite worthy of criticism, being attacked for bad reasons and by bad people does not make a positive case for a person. Is it that he is a Republican? I don't think that's necessarily a disqualifcation, but it's hard to see how it helps when the Republicans hate him. All the other things listed in his favor--combat experience, eventual opposition to the Iraq war, etc.--are shared by quite a few other candidates who would probably have been confirmed with less controversy.I agree that Kerry was a good choice--especially now that Scott Brown is not running for his seat...
Hard to tell at this point, but Kerry best; Lew worst.
Well the worst would've been Rice, but happily that was avoided. I think most of them are very strong, but I suppose I'd pick either Kerry or Hagel as the best, and Lew as the worst.
Kerry is the best; he's eminently qualified to be SecState and will do a fine job.Hagel is the worst, although not for the obvious neo-con reasons. Like others, I don't approve of Democratic Presidents appointing GOP SecDefs, even ones as heretical as Hagel. Hagel's confirmation turning into a proxy battle over Israel and Middle East policy does nothing to create more progressive outcomes in those arenas. I think Fluornoy might have been a savvy pick; conservatives would have have looked uber-sexist yet again attacking her and the "feminization of the military" as they still reel from Akin and the rhetoricians of rape. Not as upset as some other progressives about Lew. His politics aren't mine, but he will be a competent administrator and is utterly loyal to the President. And if Lew weren't nominated, someone with similar ideology and background would have been, not a progressive populist.
I'm not willing to make a judgement about this term this early -- I think Obama's first term achievements, considering his inexperience and the GOP's full out obstructionism,unprecedented willingness to push the country to the brink of disaster to get their way, contant reversal of positions and moving of the goal posts and final refusal to participate in realistic budget talks and negotiations (in the belief that they would soon get a President of their own party), were, in the final analysis, better than it initially appeared and perhaps better than it was reasonable to expect. I thought the Republican refusal to acknowledge Clinton and the constituencies that voted for him as "legitimate" was too extreme to be repeatable. Obviously, I was wrong. In circumstances like the ones that prevail today, with an opposition party adamantly opposed to serving any interests of the "47%" they despise, only time can tell us what was realistically achievable -- and how much of it Obama did manage to achieve.
I'm in the wait and see category, though perhaps for a slightly different reason. I'm interested in seeing how strategic some of these appointments are, i.e. if there are specific changes these appointees are tasked with making. I have an idea about some, others not at all.
On the climate change front, Gina McCarthy at EPA might be really, really good. But don't know for sure, and not yet confirmed.
When a conspiratorial-minded friend of mine heard about the Kerry appointment, he said: there will be war. How does he know? Because Kerry was in Skull and Bones.
William Howard Taft was a Bonesman (in fact his father Alphonso was a co-founder of the society) and we didn't have any war during his adminstration...
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At The Washington Post
At The American Prospect