The Powers That Should Not Be.

A lot of notables made it onto TIm Noah’s list of people Obama should avoid placing in his administration:

  • Neither Robert Rubin or Larry Summers for Treasury. Rubin is one of Obama’s chief economic advisers, but Noah says the former Treasury secretary’s policies during the Clinton years contributed mightily to the current financial crisis. As for Summers, the former Harvard prexy is apparently too tight with Greenspan and is kind of a dick. (Noah doesn’t say jack about the flap over his comments re: women being bad at math while running Hah-vid.
  • HRC for SCOTUS. But how serious was that, anyway?
  • Neither Bill Richardson or Kerry for State. No complaints there.
  • He thinks RFK Jr. is too partisan and has too much baggage to be installed at the EPA.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Energy Department. (WTF? Was this ever a serious consideration?) His argument is that due to the paucity of Republicans who are serious about global warming, it doesn’t make sense to take one out of a governorship.
  • He wants Robert Gates out as SecDef, mainly because the best argument in his defense is that he’s been a lot better than Rumsfeld.

UPDATE: J likes Kerry for State.

I think Kerry is a terrible campaigner, and wasn’t a great presidential candidate, but his instincts on national security – particularly terrorism – seem to be pretty good, and I think he would make a good fit at State; indeed, the New York Times reports that he has been lobbying heavily for the job.  There’s some speculation that Obama national security advisor Susan Rice is in the running, but I’m not so sure about that; I expect her to stay on as Obama’s National Security Advisor.  What that means for Obama’s foreign policy is a little up in the air, but I’ll take the time to address that later.  For now though, there’s a good chance that we’ll see a high profile elected official at State.

UPDATE #2: Matt Stoller makes a stronger case against Summers at Treasury.

Summers was one of the key proponents of the banking deregulation of 1999 that led to the current financial crisis.  In addition, Larry Summers has argued that women are innately less gifted in science than men, that ‘Africa is Underpolluted’, that child sweatshop work in Asia is sometimes justified, and that job destroying trade agreements are good for America.

People get stuff wrong all the time.  That’s not bad.  But if you got the big stuff wrong, repeatedly, while being warned against it, you shouldn’t be rewarded with a promotion.

One thought on “The Powers That Should Not Be.

  1. Grump November 7, 2008 at 12:49 pm Reply

    Susan Rice as NSA? Hmmmm….this seems logical given that there are nations on the continent that are partial to terrorist activities or have connections to groups. The Somali situation, Darfur, Chinese involvement with developing nations with Human Rights violations, even Libya. Given her background with Africa, I guess I’d be alright with that choice.

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