A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My 2009 Dream Cabinet

One election is over, the next one is coming ever closer with one Presidential hopeful (or wannabe) announcing after another.

You may say it's way too premature to discuss a possible Democratic cabinet with more than two years to go. But hey: we have a tough and largely successful election behind us. Let's just have a little fun for now.

The following is my dream cabinet for 2009. While it is a "dream" in so many senses of the word there are a few tough choices and compromises involved. I first had to decide who I wanted to win and who could win the Presidency. Some of the cabinet choices are related to that, most are not. My choice for President is in no way a judgment about other candidates. You will find a couple of other contenders as members of my dream cabinet. If you see another person winning the Presidency write a comment and tell us how that would impact some cabinet choices.

You will also notice something else. Since this is a dream cabinet, it is a cabinet of diversity, one reflecting the current make-up of the United States. There are 22 people listed below. President, VP, 15 Cabinet Secretaries plus 5 people with Cabinet rank. Of these half are women. You say this is impossible? Just remember that relatively conservative and Catholic Spain has a center-left government with half the cabinet being women. I also considered ethnic diversity. There a 4 African Americans, 3 Hispanic Americans, 2 Italian Americans and 1 Asian American and 1 Armenian American.

Here's my 2009 dream cabinet:

President – Barack Obama

Yeah, I think he will run, and yeah, I think he can win the primary (because he'll go with momentum out of Nevada and South Carolina) and with the right campaign and the right choice for VP (see below) he can win the general election. I think my choices below could be a little more realistic with a President Obama since I doubt that he would stuff his cabinet with a bunch of white men. Wikipedia

Vice President – Anthony Zinni

General Zinni, that is. Yeah, he might not be the most liberal candidate out there but he could balance out the ticket very well. Obama will need a strong VP but one without any personal ambitions. I would have liked a woman on the ticket but unfortunately I seriously doubt the voters are ready for a ticket without any white men on it. Zinni's position on the Iraq war is in sync with Obama's - they were both against it. Zinni retired in 2000. This year he got behind VA Senate candidate Jim Webb. Zinni's also from Virginia and with him on the ticket we can hold those voters concerned about Obama's inexperience (especially in foreign affairs) and have a couple of states in play like Virgnia. Wikipedia

Sec. of Agriculture – Patty Judge

Judge has been Secretary of Agriculture of Iowa since 1998. This year she ran as Chet Culver's running mate and will take office as Lt.Gov in January. Wikipedia

Sec. of Commerce – Charlene Barshefsky

Barshefsky was the United States Trade Representative in Clinton's second term. Wikipedia

Sec. of Defense – Jack Reed

Someone with a certain amount of respect needs to clean up the mess created by Rummy & Co in Iraq and elsewhere. This is a tough and unthankful job. I think Senator Reed (Rhode Island) can do it. He's on the Senate Armed Services Committee and was a Captain when he left the Army. He attended the US Military Academy at West Point. Wikipedia

Sec. of Education – Anna Eshoo

Eshoo is an Armenian American. Born in Connecticut she serves California's 14th District (Silicon Valley) in Congress since 1993. She's a strong supporter of the Gay Rights movement. In Congress she co-sponsored the "College Opportunity for All Act" and the "10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds Science and Math Scholarship Act" and led the development of the Democrat's Innovation Agenda in which education plays a central role. Wikipedia

Sec. of Energy – Hilda Solis

Solis is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and has been the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Environment and Hazardous Materials. She represents California's 32nd District since 2001. Previously she served in the CA Assembly and Senate and in the White House Office of Hispanic Affairs and the OMB. Wikipedia

Sec. of Health & Human Services – John Kitzhaber

Dr. John Kitzhaber, MD, served as Governor of Oregon from 1995-2003. During his term in office (and previously as President of the Oregon Senate) health care issues were always on the top of his list. He was instrumental in creating the Oregon Health Plan. After leaving office he has kept on working to find solutions to achieve affordable health care for all. Wikipedia

Sec. of Homeland Security – Carolyn Maloney

Maloney represents New York's 14th District in Congress since 1993. Representing parts of New York City she has been involved in Homeland Security issues ever since the attacks of September 11, 2001. She is chair of the Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security. Wikipedia

Sec. of Housing and Urban Development – Shirley Franklin

Shirley Franklin is the mayor of Atlanta and was the first black woman to be elected mayor of a major Southern city in 2001. Shirley has been listed as one of the five best mayors in America by Time Magazine. Wikipedia

Sec. of the Interior – Tony Knowles

Tony Knowles career as an elected official is probably over after losing the Governor's race this year and the Senate race two years ago. Nevertheless, I believe him to be a good choice to head the Dep. of the Interior which is traditionally run by politicians from western states. Wikipedia

Sec. of Labor – John Edwards

John Edwards would probably make a good President. That said, should he not win the nomination, I seriously doubt he'd want to be the running mate again. He has made labor issues an integral part of his campaign and could be a real asset in anyone's cabinet as Labor Secretary. Wikipedia

Sec. of State – Bill Richardson

Governor Richardson has previously been Secretary of Energy and Ambassador at the UN in the Clinton Administration. Should he not wind up on the ticket he would make an excellent Secretary of State. He would also be the first Hispanic American in this position. Wikipedia

Sec. of Transportation – Gary Locke

Locke was Gov of Washington from 1997-2005 and was the first Chinese American Governor in the US. As so many Governors he could serve in several positions, Sec. of Transportation being one of them. Wikipedia

Sec. of the Treasury – Bill Bradley

The former Presidential candidate is a sentimental favourite of mine. His wife Ernestine Schland would have been one awesome First Lady. The former Senator cares deeply about tax reform. Whether or not his proposals would be a good solution is debatable. Nevertheless, someone needs to clean up after the Bush administration. Wikipedia

Sec. of Veteran Affairs – Max Cleland

Who else, really? Wikipedia

Attorney General – Patricia Madrid

Madrid is the current Attorney General of New Mexico. She chose to run for Congress this year and unfortunately lost against Heather Wilson. Should she run and lose again in 08 or chose not to run, she would make a great choice to head the Justice Dept. Wikipedia

Other cabinet level positions:

Head of the EPA – Tammy Baldwin

The Environmental Protection Agency is more important than ever. Someone who's knowledgable and passionate about environmental issues like Tammy Baldwin would be a terrific choice. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce committee she strongly opposes drilling in ANWR. Wikipedia

Ambassador to the UN – Susan Rice

Susan Rice was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under Madeleine Albright. She would be the first African American Woman in this job. Wikipedia

US Trade Rep – Ronnie Musgrove

Musgrove was Governor of Mississippi from 2000-2004. During that time he managed to get Nissan to build a plant in his state. He'd probably be a good trade rep for the entire United States as well. Wikipedia

Head of the OMB – Rosa DeLauro

DeLauro represents Connecticut's 3rd CD since 1991. She has attended the London School of Economics and is a member of the House Appropriations and Budget Committees. Wikipedia

WH Chief of Staff – Donna Brazile

No, a black President doesn't necessarily need a black Chief of Staff. That said any Democratic President could use a CoS of the caliber of Donna Brazile. She was Al Gore's campaign manager in 2000 and might have become his Chief of Staff then. It's likely that she will play a major role in the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, no matter who the nominee is. Wikipedia

This is it. What are your thoughts? Who would you like to see in what position? Comment away.

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