What will Monday mean?

After revealing that Obama and Hillary Clinton have met to discuss the Secretary of State position, the change team let out this release today:

"On Monday, President-elect Barack Obama and Senator John McCain will meet in Chicago at transition headquarters. It's well known that they share an important belief that Americans want and deserve a more effective and efficient government, and will discuss ways to work together to make that a reality. They will be joined in the meeting by Senator Lindsey Graham and Congressman Rahm Emanuel."
Is there a cabinet position in play here? Is there some other kind of involvement that Obama will offer McCain in the Administration?

The fact that Lindsay Graham will be in on the meeting (offset, of course, by Rahm Emanuel) leads me to think that a "proof of offer" situation is in place. Certainly, nothing relating to the Iraq or Iran situations is n the offing... McCain's position on a warring America just does not tally with Obama's position.

The economy, however, has a more complementary aspect to it. I hope energy is not what they are talking about... McCain is too oil oriented - remember "drill, baby, drill."

It remains to be seen where Obama is going with this. His expressed reverence for "Team of Rivals", Doris Kearns Goodwin's book on Lincoln and his cabinet appointees, many of whom felt they deserved the Presidency more than Lincoln, but made his administration successful, has been widely discussed in the press.

In fact, McCain seems, at least in potential relationship to the President if not in this particular area of expertise, to be a lot like Licoln's Treasury Secretary, Salmon P. Chase:

Chase never ceased to underestimate Lincoln, nor to resent the fact that he had lost the presidency to a man he considered his inferior. His frustration with his position as secretary of the treasury was alleviated only by his his dogged hope that he, rather than Lincoln, would be the Republican nominee in 1864, and he steadfastly worked to that end. The president put up with Chase's machinations and haughty yet fundamentally insecure nature because he recognized his superlative accomplishments at treasury.
I don't think McCain is planning to run again, but it was clear during the campaign that he considered Obama his inferior and my guess is that there is a good deal of resent here.

Monday will be something to watch with real interest. My guess? McCain will probably feel he can accomplish more as a Senator than as an underling of Obama.
Under The LobsterScope

Tags: Barack Obama, cabinet, John McCain (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

Sec of Vets Affairs? SECNAV?

At McCain's age... considering the GOP is in a weak minority...

If Obama praises McCain's ideas on earmarks and does some earmark reform, is this a decent quid pro quo for being in the cabinet?

McCain could focus on providing quality services to veterans. He would help get GOP votes on this issue.

Napolitano would replace McCain with a moderate Republican, like Jim Kolbe.

And serving in the Obama administration would allow McCain to distance himself from the more offensive and racist parts of his campaign.

I think there's a win-win outcome to be negotiated.

Also, FDR was Secretary of the Navy. Prior to organizing the Dept of Defense after WWII, SECNAV was considered a cabinet level position.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-14 01:29PM | 0 recs
The Big Question

What would McCain accept? He just lost running for the presidency, so he'd probably want a very high position in the administration. But Secretary of Veteran Affairs would be a good position for him.

by Zzyzzy 2008-11-14 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: The Big Question

He's rich. He's old.

How hard does the dude want to work?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-14 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: What will Monday mean?

Offering McCain a position in the administration would be a good move. May be McCain can be Secretary of the Navy or the Director of Homeland Security. But I doubt he'd take the job given that a Democrat is governor of Arizona. But its worth the try.

As for Hillary Clinton, she's got a tough choice to make. She can be senator for life if she wants to. Being Secretary of State is a short term job. I don't recall a Secretary of State that lasted for more than 5 years.

by Zzyzzy 2008-11-14 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: What will Monday mean?

" She can be senator for life if she wants to."

We ALL know she never wanted that.  She became a senator to become President and at least until 2016, that has NO chance.  So, what's the next best thing for a narcissist (and almost all politicians at this level are that)?  Well SOS is probably the most visible position in the world outside of US President.  She serves for the 1st term, does some other stuff from 2012-14, and tests the water after the 2014 mid term elections about 2016, given her health, the political climate, etc.

I honestly don't think Hillary cares, at all, to become a paper pusher in the Senate until she's 90.

by IssaquahIndie 2008-11-14 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: What will Monday mean?

If HRC was really fired-up about health care she'd want HHS or to be in the Senate.

By wanting to be Sec of State I think it's clear she wants to be a big shot and hobnob with important people.

I'd prefer Richardson or Holbrooke, but HRC is fine with me.

But like I said, HRC wanting Sec of State says to me she doesn't like constituent service and she doesn't want to do the hard work on health care reform.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-14 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: What will Monday mean?

It's not enough for her to want it.  She has to be offered it too.

I think she'd be insane to turn it down, if offered.  The chances of real health care reform in this economy are not good.  

And let's face it, she's a narcissist, as is Bill, as is Obama, as are most high level politicians.  That said, let's also face it that SOS is hardly a throw away position.  Our world reputation is right there with Chinese baby formula.  I think she puts a good light on the US in a way that no one from the Bush admin did.

However, as long as it's not Kerry, I'm happy.

by IssaquahIndie 2008-11-14 02:09PM | 0 recs
I think Bingaman and Kennedy have pre-empted her

on Health care.

by Joshuagen 2008-11-14 02:11PM | 0 recs
Re: I think Bingaman and Kennedy have pre-empted h

I think she sees it as another (possible) failure in the works with the economy tanking.

Popular sentiment is there for a national health care program.  Unfortunately, it's going to be hard to pass politically in this economy.

If I am her, I'd get out while the Democratic brand is still looking good.  History shows that one party rule doesn't last long.

by IssaquahIndie 2008-11-14 02:18PM | 0 recs
Americans don't like one-party control?

Eisenhower largely ratified the New Deal and didn't work to repeal any of it. Arguably, his big project, the Interstate system was an extension of it.

If one considers Ike a functional Democrat, the Dems had a one party monopoly from 1933 until 1969 minus two years in the 1950s.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-14 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: What will Monday mean?

That's absurd.  If Hillary accepted a position of HHS, would you say that means she doesn't want to do the hard work of foreign affairs.  When Biden accepted the vice presidential nod, does that mean that he doesn't like constituent service?

by markjay 2008-11-14 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: What will Monday mean?

Sitting Senators rarely take cabinet appointments.

Of Bush's 45 cabinet level people John Ashcroft, Spencer Abraham and Dirk Kempthorne had been Senators. And none of them were in the U.S. Senate when appointed. Ashcroft and Abraham had lost; Kempthorne had gone on to be elected gov of Idaho.

Let's consider Clinton's 30 cabinet level officers. Only one Lloyd Bentsen had been a U.S. Senator. He was appointed directly from the Senate.

And Bush 41 had 29 cabinet level officials. None had been U.S. Senators.

In three administrations spanning 20 years there have been 104 cabinet level officials.

Only four had previously served in the U.S. Senate and only one of those four came directly from the Senate.

Bentsen was at the tail end of his career.

It's just not typical for a junior Senator to accept appointment in the cabinet.

However it is typical for U.S. Senators to accept nomination as VPs: Biden, Edwards, Lieberman, Quayle, Bentsen, Mondale, Eagleton, etc.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-15 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: What will Monday mean?

I think Obama is walking the walk. He is being gracious and magnanimous in victory, and reaching out to McCain and Hillary proves that he meant what he consistently said during his campaign(s).

This is what Wisdom looks like.

by QTG 2008-11-15 02:46AM | 0 recs

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