Richardson at Commerce:"Not an A list position"
by yellowdem1129, Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:05:18 PM EST
Yesterday, I took grief for stating my opinion about the lack of Latinos in the "A" level cabinet positions.
I thought that Obama had created a problem for himself because he willingly played the identity politics game (where you address different segments of the population as members of self-identifyed groups, and make political bargains for votes) and not adequately showing respect to Latinos who were a crucial swing group. This was especially true with the perceived black-brown racial tension, and the potential of McCain to appeal to latinos (at least much more than any other Republican).
For some reason, almost everyone disputed the notion of "A", "B", and "C" level cabinet posts. They also felt that this wasn't an embarrassment for Richardson.
Well maybe a Politico headline, "Downwardly Mobile?, How bad does he want it" will show you I'm on to something.
Well politico, which is the Conventional wisdom has come out and said:
"How bad does New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson want to be a part of the Next Big Thing in American politics?
Apparently enough so to accept what is effectively a political demotion.
Richardson is on track to become President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of commerce -- not a bad gig but also not an A-List position a la Treasury, Justice, State and Defense."
Exactly what I talked about yesterday.
Now, you can continue to disagree with the notion. But it's real.
Also, you can quibble with which cabinet posts are perceived as the best, but the fact is, Commerce is an afterthought.
Obama will now have to commit himself to fixing this problem with a grand gesture.
I suspect it could be a Supreme Court nominee,
maybe fix it so that a latino takes his place in Illinois.
I wish Democrats would transition away from playing these political games to get elected. Perhaps that will be change for the future. But I linked to a politico story yesterday that showed there was a meeting where various Latino leaders got the understanding that if they performed in terms of getting the vote out for Obama, they would get repaid.
My solution is for the President-elect to select the very best people for each job regardless of anything else.
He has the credibility as a Democrat to do that.
I believe in affirmative action when its' clear there are people not reaching their God-given potential because of reasons inherit in them or their circumstance. In those cases we should take affirmative action to try to remove the barriers, stigma, or other hinderances so every child grows up believing in themselves, and we as a nation will prosper overall in the long term from greater productivity and advances.
However, Obama is the living example of the best America has to offer, and so he is in a position to move us toward a post-racial society where it truly is color-blind. He can make it clear that this is not desirable everywhere and all the time, but where it is, that should be the goal.
Failing all of that, we will continue to play these identity politic games to the detriment of our country.
I like Hillary for sec of state over richardson because he's too weak and focused on diplomacy.
He is not qualified for any other "A" level job, so he is where he deserves to be.