The day after the election there was already a current buzzing around social media about who might wind up in Donald Trump’s cabinet after he’s sworn in next year. One of the first names being discussed was Rudy Giuliani for the Attorney General’s office. (Not surprising since Trump listed him on his short list back in September.) But on the off chance that Trump decided against it or if Rudy didn’t want the job (yes… unlikely) I made another suggestion… Sheriff David Clarke.
You know, if Rudy doesn't want the job of Attorney General… https://t.co/QHLNqae5Uc
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) November 9, 2016
With a bit more thought on the subject I began to wonder if Sheriff Clark might would actually be the most likely choice. At least in the modern era, the AG’s position tends to go to someone with more background as a lawyer or judge. Yes, we refer to the head of the Justice Department as “the nation’s top cop” but in reality they tend to be more along the lines of the country’s top prosecutor. Loretta Lynch has a J.D. and worked as a lawyer from her earliest days. Eric Holder’s first job after getting his law degree was with the Justice Department. Michael Mukasey was never a cop. When he graduated from Yale he went straight to work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Gonzales, Aschcroft, Reno… none of them ever put on a badge and I don’t know how far we’d have to dig back into the history books to find one who did.
But perhaps there’s a different job which Dave might be better suited for. The Washington Post notes that his name has shown up on several people’s lists as a possible candidate for Homeland Security.
David Clarke: Homeland security?
This is another pick that is perhaps unlikely. Markon’s story doesn’t mention the Milwaukee County sheriff, who was a vocal Trump supporter.
But others have, Politico said a Trump campaign source named Clarke as a possible pick, and a preliminary list of 41 names obtained by BuzzFeed’s John Stanton also includes Clarke. Even Clarke has weighed in, downplaying it but not totally dismissing the idea.
As a reminder of the character of the man, the WaPo helpfully provides the following brief video of Dave speaking at the convention, assuring everyone within ear shot that Blue Lives most assuredly matter.
It’s not without some amusement that I should note that the article linked above is describing a list of possible nominees designed, “to make liberals squirm.” Appointing Clarke would certainly do that, but that’s no reason to give him the job. (Well, okay… not the only reason.) Similarly, some may try to argue that pushing Clarke forward for DHS would be some sort of attempt to placate progressives by having a black man in the cabinet. Trust me, Sheriff Clarke knows better than anyone that liberals won’t be tossing any roses at Trump’s feet for it. If anything, he comes under more scathing personal attacks from liberals on social media than any of his white colleagues in law enforcement.
So why pick him? Perhaps just because he has the right attitude. Clarke at Homeland Security would bring a no-nonsense, take no prisoners approach to fighting both terrorists from abroad and violent criminals at home. Rather than spending his time worrying about whose feelings might be hurt this week, he’s the kind of guy who would likely just focus on taking down the bad guys.
I’ve only met Sheriff Clarke once, and then just briefly, at CPAC last year. Yes, there might be some complications involved in putting him in charge of DHS. (For example they might have to raise the doorways and ceilings. Have you ever seen the guy in person? I barely came up to the height of his badge.) But appointing Clarke would send a strong message about “Making America Safe Again” on Trump’s part. And I’d love to hear the arguments from the Democrats who would inevitably oppose him as to why they were trying to keep a black guy out of the cabinet.