Sunday, March 02, 2008

Obama to Appoint a Bipartisan Cabinet?

According to one source he seriously considering it. Much to the chagrin of some.

From the Times Online:

Obama is hoping to appoint cross-party figures to his cabinet such as Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator for Nebraska and an opponent of the Iraq war, and Richard Lugar, leader of the Republicans on the Senate foreign relations committee.

Senior advisers confirmed that Hagel, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and one of McCain’s closest friends in the Senate, was considered an ideal candidate for defence secretary. Some regard the outspoken Republican as a possible vice-presidential nominee although that might be regarded as a “stretch”.

Asked about his choice of cabinet last week, Obama told The Sunday Times: “Chuck Hagel is a great friend of mine and I respect him very much,” although he was wary of appearing as though he was already choosing the White House curtains. But after winning 11 primary contests in a row after Super Tuesday, he is ready to elbow Clinton off the stage.

If this proves to be true it'll be a bold indicator of Obama's level of sincerity in regards to change. Its also a smart move on his part to garner more support from moderates. Hagel is pretty well respected by many moderates and independents and such a move could swing some of them his way. Its also a move that Clinton wouldn't try to co-opt and one that McCain can't afford to co-opt given the GOP bases distrust of him. Although, as a counter move, he could in theory tap Michael Bloomberg for a cabinet position without arousing too much ire provided Obama hasn't already done so. (I mention this because there currently is scuttlebutt going around of a potential Obama/Bloomberg ticket.)

I'm a firm believer that America's needs have transcended partisanship's usefulness. By that I mean that country would be better off if every administration appointed the the most qualified person for the job that they could find regardless of political party affiliations. If we are going to stay competitive as a nation in the face of ever increasing globalization we should have the best people possible shaping out policies. If Barack Obama wins the presidency, sticks to what he said today, and his administration proves to be a success it will be a first step in the right direction in my opinion. Only time will tell.