Meet Hillary's cabinet that never was

An historical curio via Mike Allen, whose sources in Clintonworld say these are the short-listers in an alternate universe where Hillary took Trump’s threat in the Rust Belt seriously. Don’t ask me why there are so many misspellings. Apart from the typo in Sheryl Sandberg’s name, “Lael Brained” should be Lael Brainard and “Michèle Floury” should be Michèle Flournoy.

Secretary of State: John Podesta, Bill Burns, Joe Biden
Deputy Secretary of State: Kurt Campbell, Wendy Sherman
Treasury Secretary: Sheryl Sanderg, Lael Brained
Defense Secretary: Michèle Floury
Attorney General: Loretta Lynch retained, Jennifer Granholm, Jamie Gorelick, Tom Perez
Commerce Secretary: Gregory Meeks, Sheryl Sandberg, Terry McAuliffe
Labor: Howard Schultz
HHS: Neera Tanden
Energy Secretary: Carol Browner
Education Secretary: Jennifer Granholm, John Sexton
EPA: Likely an African American (and/or at Education)
Budget Director: Gene Sperling
U.N Ambassador: Tom Nides, Wendy Sherman, Bill Burns
Director of National Intelligence: Tom Donilon
CIA Director: Tom Donilon, Mike Morell
SEC Chair: Gary Gentler
Big Jobs: Tom Vilsack, Cory Booker

In keeping with Clinton’s pledge to have a 50/50 gender split in her cabinet, there are women candidates for nearly all of the most prominent positions. In fact, for Defense, Treasury, HHS, and Energy, there are only women listed, and three of the four AG candidates are also women. Oddly enough, it’s the cabinet position that Hillary herself once held that doesn’t have a woman candidate. Wendy Sherman was thought to be a strong contender for Secretary of State before the election but she’s slipped to deputy here. I wonder if that has to do with Podesta’s surprising appearance as a finalist for State. He wasn’t mentioned as a possibility in Politico’s pre-election piece on Hillary’s developing cabinet, but as someone in the inner circle, he would have been seriously considered for any position he wanted. He might have pulled the same move on Hillary that Rudy Giuliani pulled on Trump, asking for the State job as a reward for his loyalty despite the fact that many other people are better qualified for it. And like Rudy, he probably would have been passed over. Would Hillary really have wanted to start her term with a Podesta confirmation hearing in which Republicans revisited the Wikileaks material ad nauseam?

I’m going to guess that Loretta Lynch would not have been held over as AG, if only to deny the GOP some easy attack lines about Clinton rewarding her for that infamous tarmac meeting with Bill last year. But the Clintons being the Clintons, you never know. If Hillary weren’t so brazen about flouting basic ethical norms, there wouldn’t have been a private server or DOJ investigation in the first place.