Assuming that all of the media’s carpet-measuring for Joe Biden is warranted, of course. That might not be the case at all, but it could be even less warranted if Team Biden keeps talking about bringing Republicans into Biden’s Cabinet. Politico reports that progressives are choking on reports that Biden has been vetting several prominent Republicans for key positions in his administration, a signal that might woo centrists but could lose Biden some base turnout:
Joe Biden’s transition team is vetting a handful of Republicans for potential Cabinet positions — despite doubts it will win him new support from the right and the risk it will enrage the left.
Reaching across the aisle to pick senior members of his administration could shore up Biden’s credentials as a unity candidate, a message he’s made a cornerstone of his campaign. Past presidents including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have all done the same. But that tradition died with President Donald Trump, and liberal Democrats are already warning that a Republican pick, even a moderate one, could sow distrust within the party before Biden even takes office.
“My primary concern is that he involves people in the Cabinet who push back against corporate power and support a massive economic stimulus and the broad provision of health care,” said David Segal, the executive director of Demand Progress, a liberal advocacy group. “Unfortunately, there are no prominent Republicans I know of who are on board with that agenda.”
The tradition might have died in 2017, but that’s not all the fault of Donald J. Trump. He ran as a populist against the establishment, and tried to avoid even traditional GOP picks when he could. Remember Rex Tillerson and Andy Puzder, among others, as well as Ben Carson? Let’s look at this from the other perspective too. Which Democrat would have agreed to serve in a Trump Cabinet? At the time, Democrats were busy attacking Trump’s win as illegitimate and demanding an impeachment and/or a removal via the 25th Amendment. On the latter point especially, having such hostile members on one’s Cabinet is a recipe for failure, if not outright disaster.