Obama is really working hard to change the way Washington works, and it looks like he's shooting for ever higher transparency in his dealing with the blogosphere.
So far, things have been pretty interesting. Haven't they?
I want to dwell a moment on Obama's pick for Attorney General before this floor gets opened up for a discussion of how the Cabinet is coming along. Because Eric Holder as AG, is to my mind almost a stroke of genius.
The first thing Obama is planning to do is close Guantanamo Bay. In order to do so, he is planning on bringing the Al Qaeda there detained, to trial. This will be a tricky legal problem. Habeas Corpus requires the evidence to be presented, but forces to keep the classified material secure are going to work against public trial disclosure.
What makes Attorney General Eric Holder such a good appointment, apart from the fact that he held the deputy position for a long time - is that he is so well known to be competent, and completely results oriented. Obama is sending a new signal that good work is recognized. We didn't bring in someone who would do the bidding of a right or left leaning organization, we brought in someone who would simply do the job. The fact that the decision prompted quite a few really, really strong people who had left the Dept. of Justice for the more lucrative the private sector - to publicly state that they would return to serve under this new Attorney General, is a good example of the type of Leadership the new President is bringing. People want to be involved. And he's giving us that chance.
In Washington, under the Bush Republicans the lions share of power and money started going to fewer and fewer individuals and corporations. And the mechanism for doing that became secrecy, and collusion. The Office of the President Elect is already working to reverse that. And I think thats really cool. What we see in the Cabinet appointments will amount to setting the tone of the next four years. Eric Holders appointment blew me away.
I believe the open, progressive and defensibly similiar stroke of appointment insight would be the appointment in Bill Richardson for Secretary of State. The fact that Bill is results oriented; that he has the leverage and skill to bring countries to the table - and that he was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize four times ...
I don't know. Its hard to express. Everyone has a viewpoint about Sec. of State - our foreign policy is so damaged. Biden is likely advising Obama on this matter (Biden is very well versed in Foreign policy, he's another good pick lets not forget).
To me, the appointment of Bill Richardson for Sec. of State, would be akin to the accomplishment Obama marked in his career in the Illinois Senate, where he managed to help pass a bill that required videotaping of police interrogation (that helped cut down on some pretty strong issues relating to police brutality and also false testimony!)
Bill is the kind of person that can move between the different groups. He's negotiated with and won concessions from Saddam Hussein, North Korea, and served in the UN.
And think about this. What if we went from a Sec. of State that completely ignored dangerous countries, like the Bush Republican legacy - a Sec. of State that simply chooses military might over diplomacy... to one that wins the Nobel Peace Prize?
What are your thoughts about the Cabinet? Everything going ok?