Who would be in Obama or McCain's cabinet?

I’m surprised that I haven’t read much about this earlier, but the New York Times discusses potential Obama and McCain appointments in this article.

Here are the listed possibilities, although different advisors for each camp suggest different people. What do you think of these possibilities, and who else might be a good pick for the various posts?

W.H. Chief of Staff: Tom Daschle, Rahm Emmanuel, William M. Daley or Pete Rouse (Obama’s Senate Chief of Staff)
Treasury Secretary: Timothy Geithner (NY Fed Bank Chairman), Paul Voeckler (ex-Fed Chairman), or former T.Secs. Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin
Defense Secretary: Robert Gates could be asked to stay
Veterans Affairs: James Peake could be retained

Chief of Staff: John Lehman
Defense: Gates or Lieberman
State: Lieberman or World Bank head Robert Zoellick
Treasury: John Thain of Merrill Lynch, Zoellick, NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg or Mitt Romney

Here’s a link to the current cabinet, so you can see all the spots.

I suspect if McCain wins that he’ll pull Rudy in as AG or perhaps Homeland Security. I think he would ask Gates to stay. Lieberman would probably have a roll but not in Defense.

I think Obama will try not to appoint many Senators. Especially those from states where the Governors are Republicans. I could see Richardson having a role. It is not now out of the question that Powell would be asked to be the Defense Secretary.

He might call up some republican senators from states with democrat governors though, are there any in that situation that would make good cabinet members?

I was actually thinking about this last night. I saw a rumor of a report that Obama would be ready to annouce his cabinet on Nov. 7th if he wins the election. I don’t know how feasible that would be - I am sure they have their short lists and its possible to get confirmations from all of those listed within three days, but that is a very short time frame. I can’t find historical numbers for previous administrations. I am sure either candidate has the big four selected - State, Defense, AG, and Treasury.

I saw this article on huffingtonpost.com. It only addresses Obama’s side though.

My own picks for the big four would be:
State - Bill Richardson
Defense - From what I have read, Gates is doing a good job, but he doesnt like Washington, so I dont know if he would stay, but it would be a promising start for Obama if they could talk him into staying on. Otherwise, Hagel would be great.
AG - I first liked Eliot Spitzer - but thats dead. John Edwards chances are dead. I like Cuomo, Spitzer’s successor as NY AG, but he has some controversial ties to the sub-prime lending crisis from when he was the head of HUD under Clinton. I don’t care for Napolitano, and Clinton will stay in the Senate. I dont know enough about the other names listed.
Treasury - I would love Robert Reich or Warren Buffet, but I cant see either of them doing it. Sheila Bair would probably be the best choice since she will provide some continuity.

I think the majority of his cabinet will be centrists and a substantial number from battleground states to smooth ruffled feathers and to strengthen his message in those states - they will still be crucial in four years, and their legislators will be crucial in passing anything through Congress. The best way to make them Dem in 2012 will be to pay attention to their issues.

Cuomo strikes me as a bit of a publicity hound - seems like he announces a big lawsuit every two weeks or so. The AG is always a lightning rod for controversy, and I wonder if he might be too over-the-top. I don’t know a lot about his record, though.

During the debate he didn’t say no to the suggestion of Warren Buffet as Sec of Treasury. Would he ask him? Would Buffet even consider it?

I like the idea of Rubin. Emmanuel? No way.

I do see him taking in a few moderate Republicans into the cabinet (beyond considering keeping a couple from Bush) but I don’t know who. Maybe Hagel. I’d to see Zinni get a role. Lincoln Chafee? Olympia Snowe? Where to put them though …

Richardson might be asked to reprise his role as Energy Secretary. Chet Edwards maybe for Veterans’ Affairs.

McCain brought up Buffet first, so Obama sort of had to. I don’t think the public would respond positively to the idea of one of the world’s richest men running the Treasury Department: during a crisis that was “Wall Street’s fault” it might be like saying you’ll have the fox guard the henhouse.

That was my thought too. I am don’t know who they would be.
Here are the Republican Senators in states with Democratic Governors:
Keep in mind some states do not let the sitting Governor make the choice.

  1. Arizona McCain, John I don’t think this will work.
  2. Arizona Kyl, Jon
  3. Colorado Allard, Wayne
  4. Iowa Grassley, Chuck
  5. Kansas Brownback, Sam I don’t think this will work.
  6. Kansas Roberts, Pat
  7. Louisiana Vitter, David
  8. Maine Snowe, Olympia Both her and Collins could be good choices.
  9. Maine Collins, Susan
  10. New Mexico Domenici, Pete
  11. North Carolina Dole, Elizabeth
  12. North Carolina Burr, Richard
  13. Ohio Voinovich, George
  14. Oklahoma Inhofe, Jim
  15. Oklahoma Coburn, Tom
  16. Oregon Smith, Gordon
  17. Pennsylvania Specter, Arlen
  18. Tennessee Alexander, Lamar
  19. Tennessee Corker, Bob
  20. Virginia Warner, John He could be an excellent choice.
  21. Wyoming Enzi, Mike
  22. Wyoming Barrasso, John

I just compiled this myself, so there can be errors of course.

I’m pretty certain that Richardson will have a key role; state seems very likely.

I wonder if Clinton will be asked to become sec’y of HHS, but will turn it down to stay in the Senate.

I also can’t help but wonder if Colin Powell will be asked to be sec’y of Defense.

I would love to see Obama reach out to the independents and really offer them positions of key power. E.g. I would love to see Lincoln Chafee (who would have won by a landslide in RI had he switched parties before the '06 election) offered a significant position.

ETA: McCain’s current term is up in 2010. I could actually see this work if he were offered Sec’y of Veterans Affairs.

Clinton isn’t going anywhere, I’m sure of that. And since Obama has been running on bringing change to Washington I don’t think he can pick very many Senators or other old DC hands for his cabinet. Choosing a few for bipartisanship and experience, yes, but picking too many would undercut his message and could also threaten the size of the Democratic majority in the Senate. It’s unlikely they’ll get to 60 this year, but still.

I very much hope that Obama will choose Al Gore as Secretary of Energy. Gore is obviously among the most knowledgable people on the planet on energy issues and has a long track record of fighting the good fight.

Other than that, I really don’t know enough to even imagine who would be good in most of those positions.

What Exit, Dole and Smith will most likely both be out of a job anyway after November, and Warner certainly will, so there’s no concern there about having a Dem replacement. I think Collins or Snowe are both excellent and likely choices, since they’re sane Republicans who are quite experienced. Specter would also be a very good choice, being similarly somewhat moderate, with 5 terms in the Senate.

I assume you’re required to give up your old position to take a position in the cabinet?

I’m wondering because if the Democrats get to 59 or so in the senate, it’d be pretty transparent to turn around and offer 2 seats to Senate Republicans. Wouldn’t look good trying to jump start “change” by buying off senate Republicans to get a filibuster-proof majority. (No doubt they’re qualified, but that’s still what they’d be accused of).

I don’t think it would be too bad and both candidates have talked about bringing in members of the opposing party already in the primaries and the campaign. So it would only be those that have not followed the races closely that would make such accusations.

Captain Carrot, thanks. I wonder which others will be out of a job. I did not go that far in checking.

He’ll probably be Senator for as long as he wants, but let’s also throw in Richard Lugar of Indiana (Democrat Evan Bayh- Gov). And Obama has worked with him.

Oh, I forgot, Domenici and Allard are both retiring and being replaced by Dems.

How about T. Boone Pickens for Energy for either candidate? Let’s see him try to take the next step with his “Pickens Plan.”

Also, Bloomberg would work as Treasury for either nominee, too.

Buffet is something like 79, Volker is 81. How common is it to appoint someone in their early 80’s to a cainbet position? I recall Rumsfeld was the oldest person to be Sec of Defense at the relatively young age of 68.

I’d like to see Krugman as Sec of Treasury, though he supposedly has said he’s not interested.

LW magazine In These Times has published its editors’ recommendations for an Obama Cabinet. I hope Obama at least considers them all – especially Jim Hightower for Secretary of Agriculture. :smiley:

I have been reading a bit about Geithner and he sounds really impressive. As NY Fed chairman he probably knows more about the details of the current crisis than almost anyone else. He has also studied Japanese and Chinese and graduated from a high school in Thailand;I bet that will appeal to Obama.

Krugman would be a terrible choice; far too confrontational and doesn’t have much nitty- gritty experience in government. Besides he was loudly opposed to Obama in the primaries. Buffet is too old and probabaly doesn’t have the expertise in the new-fangled financial products that are causing all the problems.