Who will be the token Republican?

posted at 9:50 am on November 6, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Over the last few administrations, presidents have chosen a token appointment to their cabinets in order to put a veneer of bipartisanship on their policies.  Ronald Reagan appointed then-Democrat Bill Bennett as Secretary of Education.  Bill Clinton gave William Cohen the substantial portfolio of Defense, but only in his second term.  George W. Bush had Norman Mineta at Transportation for over five years.  Now speculation begins as to whether Barack Obama will appoint a Republican to his Cabinet, and who it might be:

President-elect Barack Obama will reach to the middle and offer more than just-for-show appointments to Republicans in his administration, friends and colleagues predicted Wednesday.

An Obama administration “will be reasonable and logical, not ideological,” Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine told The Washington Times in an interview. “It will be about results, not rhetoric.” Mr. Kaine is a longtime friend of Mr. Obama’s and an early backer who campaigned extensively for the Illinois Democrat and has advised him informally on economic matters.

Mr. Kaine speculated that Mr. Obama would run “a very progressive administration,” but also one that will try to find “pragmatic” solutions to problems.

“Much of it will be centrist, but it will be the smart center, using technology and new ideas and creativity to find common ground,” he said.

One possibility broached before the election was Robert Gates.  Obama’s team gave hints that they would like to see Gates continue at Defense, which would keep continuity in the war effort.  It could also suggest a great deal more flexibility in Obama’s thinking on Iraq, as Gates replaced Donald Rumsfeld in order to plan and execute the so-called “surge” strategy.

Other than that, though, the possibilities seem limited.  In his first appointment, Obama selected a hard-nosed partisan cheap-shot artist as his Chief of Staff.  It’s difficult to see Rahm Emanuel playing in the sandbox with Republicans well enough to give many of them a comfort level in joining his team.  That appointment sets an unfortunate tone for the future of postpartisanship in the incoming Obama administration.

I’d expect to see no more than two Republicans in the Cabinet, and Gates would likely be one of them.  Candidates for other positions would probably be limited to outright “Obamacans” or those hostile to the Bush administration:

  • Colin Powell – His endorsement could give him Defense if Gates leaves.
  • Chuck Hagel – He’s retiring from the Senate and available; potential Defense or Ag post.
  • Michael Bloomberg – Vacillates from Democrat to Republican to independent, but could make a good candidate for Treasury
  • Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins – Either would help reduce the Republican contingent in the Senate, as Democrat governor John Baldacci would appoint their replacement.  HHS, perhaps?

Don’t expect to see any conservatives on the short list of Republican candidates for appointment, but hey, you already knew that much.  When Obama says Republicans, he means Republicans who support Democrats … just as Bush, Clinton, and Reagan defined bipartisanship in their across-the-aisle appointments.


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Things you need to know to survive the next 4 yrs…

1. stock supplies of iodine to survive a dirty bomb attack.
2. how to build a bomb shelter.
3. Using the underground cash economy to survive a tax attack.
4. buy the gun NOW, before they are illiegal.
5. dont forget the ammo
6. Buy a ham radio, it may be the only way to hear Rush after they enact the “unfairness doctrine”
7. How to unbrainwash your children after an entire day at school, from black liberation theology.
anybody care to add to this?

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on November 6, 2008 at 11:33 AM

ok sporty,

4.Dept of Homeland Security- William Ayers

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on November 6, 2008 at 11:36 AM

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on November 6, 2008 at 11:15 AM

Betcha wish you had that registration back.

Speaking as someone who has worked security clearances. On the surface, there are only a few issues which I am sure could be resolved.

It is a bunk argument anyways because he is automatically granted clearance.

Squid Shark on November 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM

It is a bunk argument anyways because he is automatically granted clearance.

Squid Shark on November 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM

a really good sense of humor will also be required to make it through the next 4 yrs as well

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on November 6, 2008 at 11:42 AM

4. buy the gun NOW, before they are illiegal.

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on November 6, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Already picked up two. Looking to get a third when I finish college in January.

Tim Burton on November 6, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Already picked up two. Looking to get a third when I finish college in January.

Tim Burton on November 6, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Anyone know how to get started on getting a gun (and safe, lesson, concealed carry) in PA? I’m in the Lehigh Valley.

Darksean on November 6, 2008 at 11:50 AM

6. Secretary of Education.-Louis Farrakhan

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on November 6, 2008 at 11:55 AM

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on November 6, 2008 at 11:33 AM”
Hyperbolize much.

Squid Shark on November 6, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Condoleeza Rice.

ctmom on November 6, 2008 at 11:56 AM

I expect Obama to try to keep Gates. The reason is clear, but not mentioned here. Its so he can continue to blame Bush for the war into 2009 when he can’t pull the troops out faster than Bush already planned. This goes with my blog post about Obama running is administration from left and the back peddling on the promises posts I have.
Bush already won the war, and agreed to troop withdrawal. If it could be done faster, Bush would do it. Since he can’t he’ll keep Gates. Blame him and fire him if the heat gets turned up. Now, Gates might not take the post. I would recommend that. In which case Powell is a good option for him. He will be seen as strength in a area that Obama is weak, and Powell clearly didn’t agree with Bush.
Other options would be really interesting but they speculation is just hotair.

indyrowe on November 6, 2008 at 11:57 AM

Ok, I admit I have not researched yet. I am supposed to be working.

Speaking as someone who has worked security clearances. On the surface, there are only a few issues which I am sure could be resolved.

It is a bunk argument anyways because he is automatically granted clearance.

Squid Shark on November 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Was not arguing about the “O”; that is a given in my mind. My concern was along the lines of Ayers, Wright, and his other known associates. Can you elaborate on “there are only a few issues which I am sure couold be resolved?”

riverrat10k on November 6, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Anyone know how to get started on getting a gun (and safe, lesson, concealed carry) in PA? I’m in the Lehigh Valley.

Darksean on November 6, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Go to opencarry.org or, I believe, paopencarry. All the gun info you might need is there including stories, training, legal (non-lawyer), equipment, rights issues, etc. etc.

riverrat10k on November 6, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Thanks, riverrat. That’s a good start!

Darksean on November 6, 2008 at 12:28 PM

7. Ambassador to Iraq – Chuck Hagel(R-D)
8. Ambassador to Isreal – Father Pfleger
9. Dept. of Race Relations – Jeremiah Wright

next

Sporty1946 on November 6, 2008 at 12:34 PM

riverrat10k on November 6, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Mostly his travel as a youth and his associations. His ties to ayaers would be most troubling, but since he has not engaged in activities during Obama;s association with him, the issue would likely be resolved with minimal intervention. The holes in his past would need to be resolved, though.

Squid Shark on November 6, 2008 at 12:35 PM

That appointment sets an unfortunate tone for the future of postpartisanship in the incoming Obama administration.

Ed, come on. “postpartisanship”? Of all the idiotic terms in use in our debased, orwellian political language, that one ranks near the top.

Ed, bipartisan and postpartisan are terms with no meaning and no importance outside the Beltway media. Let’s raise the level of discussion here.

IceCold on November 6, 2008 at 1:01 PM

This morning, Bill Bennett suggested he put John McCain in as Secretary of Defence. I doubt that that would happen, but it would show TRUE bipartisanship. It would show nations like Russia and Iran that Obama is serious about defence.
But he isn’t serious about defence, so don’t get your HOPEs up.

Glenn Jericho on November 6, 2008 at 1:37 PM

I sure hope no sitting Republican Senators from states with a Dem Governor accept posts in the cabinet. That would result in increasing the size of the Dem majority maybe even to the filibuster proof level. That leave McCain out for any role in the Obama Administration.

GuitarPlayer52 on November 6, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Valiant on November 6, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Speaking of idiot disgruntled conservatives… At least I think you might be a conservative. I know the rest is accurate.

wise_man on November 6, 2008 at 2:21 PM

aMBASSADOR TO USSR Russia: Linda Lovelace

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on November 6, 2008 at 2:35 PM

aMBASSADOR TO USSR Russia: Linda Lovelace
UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on November 6, 2008 at 2:35 PM

I’m pretty sure that she will be unavailable for appointment to an ambassadorship. She probably did vote though.

Oldnuke on November 6, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Well,
Today is the first day back to work in Chicago after the election.I live in NW Indiana, so ,I am the lone conservative in the crowd. I have heard from every single employee here,about how “racist” I am for not voting Obama.

I may have to wait awhile,but i see a really big I told you so on the horizon, and I really dont like the things I see ahead.

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on November 6, 2008 at 3:14 PM

I think the most sure “Republican” appointment will be Colin Powell as Secretary of Defense. I would not be surprised to hear talk of John McCain as homeland security.

Hawthorne on November 6, 2008 at 3:42 PM

Ya may think I’m a nutter but if O brings any of his old commie buddies to the White House even for
dinner, It will be the nail in the coffin for me in terms of him being a 007 for the Red Star. Why is everyone giving this man so much room and grace concerning his entire past associations

Yes, I think you’re a nutter – but you’re in good company!

We should accord Barack Obama the courtesy of polite treatment, even as we oppose any and every left-wing policy he proposes, for one reason: through our Constitutionally prescribed process, a majority of our countrymen have chosen him to be our President. It is disgraceful that the left treated Bush the way they did; but it is understandable, as the individuals who did this generally respect neither the rights of others nor the Constitution that protects those rights. In short, respectful treatment of the President is the result of our respect for the Constitution. We will be on poor footing to demand he respect it if we do not.

Bill Clinton, during his Presidency, once visited my church, where I was quite active in leadership and in the music program. I stayed home that day rather than be faced with the possibility that I might have to choose between shaking Bill Clinton’s hand or openly showing disrespect to the President of the U.S. It is possible for most citizens to avoid showing actual SUPPORT for the President without being openly disrespectful.

RegularJoe on November 6, 2008 at 3:44 PM

My guess is John McCain. He walks and quacks like a Democrat.

doufree on November 6, 2008 at 6:30 PM

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