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Old 03-10-2019, 07:22 AM
carlb is offline
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The next President's Cabinet


For the sake of argument, let us assume that the winner of the 2020 Presidential election is a Democrat. I, for one, do not think it's a foregone conclusion, but let's assume this anyway. Doesn't matter who it is.

What does their Cabinet look like? Who do they tap to serve? What got me thinking about this was some discussion about Joe Biden's potential Presidential run. I happen to like Biden, but it's too late for him. I do wonder if he'd make a decent Secretary of State, and that got me thinking about other Cabinet officials (and other highly placed appointees)

The current administration has stripped away, or allowed to atrophy, a lot of institutional knowledge. It's going to take years, possibly decades, to rebuild many departments (like State). Seems to me that the next President would be best served by bringing in a lot of old hands and prior office-holders; people who can hit the ground running and not have to learn as much about how their particular area of responsibility should work as a relative newcomer would. Hopefully, these old hands would bring on some younger deputies who they could mentor, so that there would be a growing cadre of younger people to take over down the road, but it seems to me that we're going to need a lot of institutionalists in there first, just to start the re-building process.

I suppose there are a couple of positions that might benefit from some new blood. For all the drama, I suspect that the bones of the DOJ are in pretty good shape, so a younger, reform-minded Attorney General might work. Perhaps Energy and EPA would benefit from some young blood to steer them more quickly away from their current state. Otherwise, I feel like it's going to take at least one term's worth of grizzled veterans to stabilize some institutions before turning to the next generation.

What do you think?
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:09 PM
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Energy and EPA, I agree that we want to rebuild from the ground up. Their mission is evolving rapidly, and we need new people to do that.

For Attorney General, is there any reason not to go with Mueller?

The Department of War is easy: Just find the retired general or admiral whom the President can work with most easily.

Assuming that Biden isn't President himself, I kind of like your idea of putting him in State: He's reasonably well-respected worldwide, at least.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:04 AM
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Oh, yeah, there a lot of career pubic servants that Trump dumped.

The good news is that in a world were Elliott Abrams can come back after thirty years to commit more crimes, presumably most of those Trump fired can be found & given some kind of position.

The first bad news is that Democrats aren't even talking about this, so we don't know which would try to rebuild & which just don't care. The second bad news is that Republicans may have tried to make enough long-term institutional change that in some agencies it's going to be a fight just to get back on mission.
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:23 PM
carlb is offline
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I'm not too worried about the fact that the Democrats aren't discussing this right now; to me that's a thing for the Presidential candidates to tackle. The rest of the Democratic party (especially Representatives and Senators) have more pressing concerns at the moment.
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