Scrambling to stay ahead of the news cycle and to do something useful for the Republic, we hereby offer Barack Obama some well-deserved time off by naming his cabinet for him. He and we all will be better off as a result.
Obama pledges to be bipartisan and transformational in approach. So we're keeping that in the SWNIDish mind as we make our nominations. Gentle readers must note well that these people we think Obama ought to nominate, not that we predict he will.
Secretary of State: Obama named Indiana Senator Richard Lugar as one to whom he listens a lot on foreign policy. We say, put the old guy in charge of Foggy Bottom. He's nothing if not a realist and straight shooter.
Secretary of the Treasury: Paul Volcker is the obvious choice. The savior of the American economy in the years bridging Carter's Malaise in America and Reagan's Morning in America, Volcker will resist the urge to inflate the currency and beggar our neighbors.
Secretary of Defense: There's hardly a living Democrat able to take on this gravid task. So Obama ought to show his smarts and his magnanimity to reach out to a quasi-Democrat who opposed him in the election. Joe Lieberman is the man for the Pentagon. And Obama can justify it to his more partisan supporters by quietly noting that Lieberman's elevation will mean the appointment of a more faithful Democrat to his seat for the remainder of his term.
Attorney General: Obama needs someone with prosecutorial experience who will be clearly tough on terrorism. That's none other than America's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani.
Secretary of the Interior: It would be fun to humiliate Al Gore by offering this to him. But he just might take it. We suggest Mark Tercek, president of the Nature Conservancy, one of the few sane environmental groups out there. Tercek is a former exec with Goldman Sachs, a better background than the Sierra Club or the Senate.
Secretary of Agriculture: The most important agricultural agenda is eliminating subsidies, which will boost trade, global development, food supplies and productivity. Ron Paul is right on this issue. Give him a job.
Secretary of Commerce: Robert Rubin should return to Treasury and succeed Paul Volcker after the old man has had about eighteen months. In the meantime, let him run commerce. He's the last of the Democratic fiscal conservatives with national stature.
Secretary of Health and Human Services: We want a thoughtful, informed, experienced individual who knows how to communicate as the Obama administration tries to turn the medical world upside down. How about TV doctor Tim Johnson, famous for his many appearances on Good Morning America?
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: This portfolio needs an innovative thinker, someone who understands the economics of the underclass and the dynamics of economic change for them. It calls for Brown University Professor Glenn Loury.
Secretary of Transportation: There's an easy one. The future of American transportation is the efficient, flexible bus. We nominate Megabus president Dale Moser.
Secretary of Labor: Since Obama is all about the card check and other boosts to organized labor, he needs a labor secretary who can keep big labor from overrunning American productivity. This job calls for a skilled consensus builder and negotiator. Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory was an early Obama supporter and has all those qualities. We say make him the surprise choice for Labor.
Secretary of Energy: Did you know that America's largest ethanol company just filed for bankruptcy? Or that the other companies have stock trading at $1 or below? Green fuels are a bust when one ignores fundamental economics, like the way falling oil prices can torpedo investment in new energy sources. Someone with the political savvy to manage all this and communicate it to the public is desperately needed in this job. That person is Sarah Palin, of course.
Secretary of Education: No more coddling of teachers unions and ineffective public school districts. The department of ed. needs a no-nonsense demander of results. We nominate DC Chancellor of Schools and Teach for America Alumna Michelle Rhee.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Let's see if money can be put where the mouth is and if past sins can be atoned. We nominate John Kerry.
Secretary of Homeland Security: The Dems need a wise hand on this. Sam Nunn is just the guy, and will be ready to step into Defense should the need arise.
Postscript: Obama is commonly compared to another man from Illinois. If he can assemble a cabinet as diverse as this Team of Rivals, he will have surpassed his saintly forebear.