Sunday, December 21, 2008

Choosing A Presidential Cabinet

Should a candidate for President, once he is nominated, tell the voters who will become members of his Cabinet, if he is elected? There has been quite some discussion over this subject. Does the general opinion seem to be that as a Cabinet has so much to do with the shaping of an Administration that advance information should be given? But apparently it is not done, although there have been some elections which cast tell-tale Cabinet selection shadows before them. All in all, it seems likely that the plan of the future will be one we have always followed, but in all cases to bend our energies to the selection of candidates whose judgment is to be relied upon in the making of wise Cabinet choices. It cannot be otherwise than true that a splendid Cabinet might make a success of a weak executive’s Administration. Such things have been witnessed by men and women still living.

When the Convention nominated the young man, he had not been well known, almost an unknown outside the Midwest and had not enjoyed a wide reputation among political activities. His term in Illinois politics—the Illinois legislature, an attorney—had been rather a short time. In going over very carefully the events of his career up to that time we can find no task which called forth the skill, the patience, tact and diplomacy which he has displayed in his picking of his Cabinet at a time when the country is as divided with such internal strife as we now face.

If some writers are to be believed, he picked his Cabinet members on Election night. But the Cabinet was not selected then, nor was the task so easily disposed of as some would have us believe. It actually took several weeks to pick his team, and for those persons to accept the positions offered them.

His reasons for picking his Cabinet seemed to be to combine experience, integrity, popularity, regional, and bipartisan.

If there is ever a time when this country of ours was on tip-toes over Cabinet-making, it was when the choice for Secretary of State was an outspoken opponent and a New Yorker, but was not Hillary Clinton, as you might think. Then, in 1860, it was William H. Seward, and the President choosing his Cabinet was Abraham Lincoln.

The above had been written about Abraham Lincoln’s selection of his first Cabinet of seven men, at a time when the country was being devastated by Civil War.

Sounds familiar, though, doesn’t it? I could have added Barack Obama, our President-elect, herein, but I was writing about our 16th President. Of course, I personally see such similarity between the two men, both going into the Presidency at a time of turmoil in the country, a time of needed change and excellent leadership. With Lincoln we had a man of vision, a man of compassion, honesty, and humor, and a man dedicated to his role as President. I believe we have those same qualities in Obama, and although he faces great challenges in getting our country back on track, and respected in the world, I feel confident that he can do so, and I feel confident with his Vice President Joe Biden and with the Cabinet choices.

I am optimistically looking forward to a swinging of the pendulum which has already began its movement with the historic election of Obama.

I do hope my grandchildren appreciate the historic event that has taken place. I look forward to the day when women’s rights, gay rights, and other issues of equality are no longer a political issue used by the Republican party. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a ways to go to achieve what every citizen deserves. And let’s hope years upon years do not have to go by before diversity and equality for all is accepted by all citizens of this country.


“I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father's child has." ~Abraham Lincoln


Ricky Kendall said...

I have never seen such transparency in the selection of a cabinet as is being witnessed today by the Obama administration. Each selection gets me more excited. Finally, a president who is choosing intellect and experience over politics and cronyism. Great minds do great things and I am confident that great things will happen. We are finally getting some "A" professionals to replace those "D" and "F" cabinet members of the Bush administration. Those leaving should have to stay after school in detention for all their screwing around with our countries financial, physical and emotional health. The class clowns are finally on their way out. Thank God.

Linda Pendleton said...

Hey Ricky,
You are so is looking good to know there are intelligent people who will be surronding our up-coming President Obama. I see some of them as well-experienced, and visionary, and it should be a good fit for a man with the intellect and personality of Obama. There can't help but be change with this group of people and the others of this last administration gone, gone. Thank goodness. There is so much to much damage done...but I am optimistic it can be done with this team.