Monday, November 10, 2008

Team of Rivals: What of McCain and Clinton?

Well, with prognosticating the election now over, we can turn to our newest game: prognosticating the Obama Cabinet.

Obama's suggested he wants a team of rivals, as Lincoln had.

Obama's had no bigger rivals than Hillary Clinton and John McCain. So the question we might ask ourselves is, where would these two rivals go in an Obama administration?

The big money suggests that they both stay put, doing their work in the Senate. But let's say they don't. Let's say Obama makes the big gesture, and pulls them in. What's the smart appointment for either of them?

Obama certainly wouldn't want Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran McCain in any post like Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense. But what about heading up Homeland Security? Putting the war hero to work defending the homeland may be the best use of McCain's talents. It also puts McCain's one liberal impulse - immigration reform - to good use under a department charged with securing our boarders. And if any post could have the gravitas and authority to tempt McCain from the Senate, this seems like a position that might do it.

What about Hillary? The natural issue for her would be health care, and appointing her to a special task force to head up health care reform would give her the vindication she's been seeking for sixteen long years. But there's an even more interesting place to put the trailblazing Hillary Clinton.

That would be the Supreme Court. Clinton would bring a decided political savvy to the court, as well as a progressive impulse. And it'd be nearly impossible for her Senate colleagues to be seen doing anything as nasty as trying to scuttle the nomination of one of their own. And since Clinton now perceives the Presidency as out of reach, the Court could be her chance to secure her legacy.

Will Obama end up bringing either of these rivals into his administration? Chances are probably low...chances that they'd accept even lower. But there's a chance; and it'd be interesting to see how these two might fit into the team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know it's sarky to remark on finger-failers, of which I make my own share, but I delight in the notion of "securing our boarders." It occasions a quirky image of immigrants, legal and il-, as lodgers -- probably apt in some cases ("This is Miguel; he's been renting the spare room and helps with the yard work").

But the notion of McCain in that role is an inspired one. Have you sent it to yet?