Sunday, February 17, 2008

Secretary of State for President McCain

Senator McCain is going to want to outline cabinet choices for important departments. The state department is a particularly tough choice. Handling the foreign relations of the United States is a big job in and of itself. That is not the only challenge, however. The State department has a very liberal organizational culture (a bit like public health), likely due to the background of those working there. Most international relations students tend to be liberal. Getting Foggy Bottom (a nickname for State) on board with the president's agenda requires a lot of dedication. Condi was proof that being a genius was not good enough. You have to be stubborn and willing to be disliked, or you will go native.

Who then do I recommend for this contentious but important post?

Senator Joseph Lieberman. The Connecticut Democrat is a long-time friend of McCain, and even more of a maverick in his own party than McCain. His principled stances on foreign policy win him much praise from Republicans and Democrats. I've always hoped he could get a chance at a position in the executive, and I mentioned him in a discussion of pro-defense liberals here. Ralph Peters goes into detail about why Joe is a good choice in this NY Post article. Joe is particularly good on the war on terror.

He's also easier to confirm than someone like John Bolton, who deserves a spot with a tough bureaucracy like state or intelligence. Sadly, Bolton is so controversial that he will be a hard sell for a top level position. Lieberman could probably pull it off, and actually stay worthwhile as opposed to giving in to pressure.

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