Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

McCain, Secretary of Defense?

If the new president is serious about Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State as he follows Lincoln's "team of rivals" approach, Barack Obama should consider John McCain as Secretary of Defense.

When the two meet on Monday, at Obama's suggestion it turns out, "sitting down in a serious way" to "find common ground," the discussion might include a role for McCain in the new administration.

McCain's maverick history makes it unlikely that Senate Republicans will look to him for leadership. (One of them, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, is already accusing him of betraying Republican principles.)

Despite campaign differences over the past in Iraq, Obama and McCain, if they teamed up, would be faced with implementing an exit strategy being firmed up in the last days of the Bush Administration and shifting military attention to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The political aspect is not in much dispute

As Gen. David Petraeus' most vocal admirer, McCain is in a position to bring together the new Commander-in-Chief and the armed forces, and his abrasiveness, unlike that of the armchair warrior Donald Rumsfeld, could be effective in a Pentagon that needs strong leadership.

On the campaign trail, McCain persuaded a substantial number of voters that he was qualified to lead the nation on national security. As an Obama Administration focuses on saving the economy, he could provide leadership and reassurance in the war on terror.

If Obama is as generous and inclusive as he appears to be, bringing both of his chief rivals for the presidency on board would be a strong signal that national unity is possible.

4 comments:

Bob Munck said...

Ohh, McCain replaced by a Democratic senator from Arizona. Janet Napolitano is a Democrat, you know. That could get us to 61, or a real 60 with Leiberman driven into the wilderness.

Jared said...

Actually, AZ law requires Napolitano to appoint a republican, but it is of her choice. She could certainly appoint a weaker Republican to ease her chances at winning the seat in 2010.

McDuff said...

Yes, because bipartisanship for bipartisanship's sake is always productive, and is especially helpful to the democrats.

Sometimes you need to not work with people if you want to get things wrong. Like, if those people are opposed to the thing you want to get done. Seriously, is there any rationale here that includes "What McCain Would Do As Secretary Of Defense And Why He Wouldn't Fuck It Up And Obstruct Meaningful Reform" or are we just hynotised by the bright lights on the Fantasy Cabinet Simulator?

Anonymous said...

You're kidding, right? What qualifications does McCain have for SecDef? He crashed 3 planes? He almost failed Annapolis? He gets his Sunnis and Shiites confused? He thinks Spain is in Latin America? Look at how he jumped into the Georgia conflict without bothering to learn the facts. The man is a career politician who blows with the wind. If there is one change I am hoping for in an Obama administration, it's that COMPETENT people will get the jobs.