Over the past three weeks the President-elect has been making appointments for his cabinet, and while some of his choices surprise me, I can’t say I’ve been floored. Naming Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is a political masterstroke in my opinion, as not only is she qualified, but it clearly ties her political future with Obama’s. By the way, the Secretary of State is a job that most often takes one outside of America’s borders, so you’d think this would be an appointment that even conservatives could see the silver lining in.
Ah, of course not. Not only are they unhappy with this decision, but they want Obama’s supporters to be unhappy about it as well. Normally, you would make your argument by suggesting some other names that would fit Obama’s ideology, intelligence, and work ethic.
As it stands, the tactic is to denounce every experienced politician Obama appoints as the opposite of change. Anybody that Obama hires who had spent any time in Clinton’s cabinet, or politics in general, is apparently anathema to what they have misconceived as Obama’s promise to bring change. Of course, I know damn well that if he had brought in a bunch of fresh-faced kids who had logged only days in the Beltway, they’d complain about that, too.
So let’s take a second to humor them on their point.
Here’s a look at some “outsiders” that Republicans tacitly supported with two votes for George W. Bush.
From botched appointments to botched responses to botched appearances… at least in this picture, Mike Brown couldn’t help but get the sleeves right.
You may be unfamiliar with this one, I’ll fill you in. Jay Hallen was a 24 year old Yale graduate who was working at a commercial real estate firm when he decided, “Hey, you know what would be an awesome resume builder? Running something I’m unqualified for in one of the most dangerous places in the world, and blow taxpayer money to do it!” One e-mail later, and the Pentagon had their new project manager for re-opening the Baghdad stock exchange. You can guess how the rest went. One example of this shining star was that Hallen wanted Iraqis to wait for a computerized trading and settlement system, but Iraqis wanted to… you know… not remain broke and confused. The Iraqis brought in chalkboards instead (and much sooner), showing not only a sense of urgency but also a budgetary efficiency rarely seen during this administration. The best thing Hallen did was create a council to oversee this stock exchange, and one of the first actions of this council was to tell Hallen to hit the bricks so they can get this thing rolling with no further delays. Four years later, the Baghdad stock exchange is flourishing while ours hits the bottom. Maybe we can end our economic crisis by firing a few Bush appointees?
And, of course…
Just in case we were in danger of just keeping the know-nothing cronyism to Bush exclusively, let’s remember that Republicans were fine with a Governor who listed her foreign policy credentials based off of the view from her back porch. By this standard, I specialize in Cuban-American affairs. Hell, I can see the moon from my back porch, so I guess I’m an astronaut too.