The Campaign Spot

A Cabinet Brimming With ‘The Same Washington Players’

Barack Obama, December 27, 2007: “The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result.”

The cabinet names we are hearing:

Potential Secretary of State John Kerry: Elected to the Senate in 1984; served every day since.

Potential Secretary of State Bill Richardson: Elected to the House of Representatives in 1982, served until 1997. Former U.N. Ambassador, Secretary of Energy.

Potential Secretary of State Anthony Lake: Joined the State Department in 1962. Worked in the Carter Administration. Named National Security Adviser in 1993. Nomination to be CIA Director was withdrawn by the Clinton administration.

Potential Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers: Joined the World Bank as chief economist in 1991. Served in Clinton’s Treasury Department and actually previously served as Treasury Secretary from 1999 to 2001.

Potential Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin: Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, 1993 to 1995. Treasury Secretary, 1995-1999.

Potential Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner: Joined Kissinger and Associates in 1985; joined the Treasury Department in 1988 and served in various capacities until 2001.

Potential Treasury Secretary Laura Tyson: Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1993 to 1995; Director of the National Economic Council from 1995 to 1996.

Potential Treasury Secretary Paul Volker: Joined the Treasury Department in 1962; became undersecretary in 1963. Federal Reserve Chairman from 1979 to 1987.

Potential Defense Secretaries: Richard Danzig, Chuck Hagel, former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, and former NATO Commander Wesley Clark.

Potential Secretary of Commerce: Harold Ford Jr., congressman from Tennessee from 1997 to 2007.

Potential Secretary of Labor: Dick Gephardt, congressman from Missouri from 1977 to 2005.

Potential Secretary of Transportation: James Oberstar, member of the House of Representatives since 1975.

Potential Secretary of Energy: Ed Markey, member of the House of Representatives since 1976.

Potential Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Max Cleland, administrator for Veterans Affairs from 1977 to 1981, elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996.

Potential National Security Adviser: Susan Rice, member of the National Security Council from 1993 to 1997; assistant Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001.

This is not to say that some of these people wouldn’t make good or at least acceptable appointments. (By the standards of Washington, D.C. mayors, potential HUD Secretary Tony Williams is excellent.) This is just to remind people of Obama’s statement about “the same Washington players” and to emphasize, once again…

…all statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them.

Most Popular

History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More