Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cabinet Watch

Today, PE Obama appoints General Eric Shinseki as Veterans Affairs Secretary. Apart from the brilliant multiple significance of this appointment (here's Ambinder, here's me), it was a Surprise.

More surprises in store, since nobody's sure what's coming next. Especially since (Politico reports) Governor Kathleen Sibelius has taken herself out of the running. She was among the favorites for several posts. According to the Wall Street Journal (which has been right but also spectacularly wrong on appointments), a new job may be created for someone to supervise Climate Crisis and energy policy across departments, and that is a factor in who might be appointed to Environment, Energy, etc.

The Journal thinks Interior is between Arizona Rep. Raul M. Grijalva and former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. As I've mentioned before, it's policy vs. executive experience, but there's no reason they both can't get Cabinet jobs. (Kitzhaber at Transportation, for example.) Similarly, this HuffPost columnist makes a strong case for Grijalva as a progressive environmentalist, also good on Native American and environmental problems. But a lot of what he says also makes Grijalva a good EPA choice. And there are other White House posts for policymakers in these overlapping areas. Maybe we'll know more on Monday, but again, I'm hoping for some voices from the progressive side (like Grijalva) in the new appointments.

As for who replaces Hillary in NY... I've got increasingly mixed feelings about Al Giordano at the Field, but his piece on why Caroline Kennedy would be a great as well as popular and sentimental choice is pretty convincing.

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