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Obama: Name your Cabinet

Monday, September 08, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named cabinetBowler.jpgOkay, let's cede a point, the Republicans were brilliant, if cynical, in nominating Sarah Palin for VP. It one-upped Obama in newness, in a year when newness matters, and it shines a different kind of light on McCain, he got his "maverick" back -- even though he never really was that much of a maverick. Obama can try to refute it, but it probably isn't worth it, it probably won't work. Permalink to this paragraph

So is Obama stuck on the sidelines, like McCain was when he took his European pre-victory tour? Is there any way Palin's sparkly newness could fade before Election Day? The answers seem, at first to be yes he is stuck and there's no way to make her seem less new before we vote. So, do we lose, as Adam McKay thinks we must in today's Huffpost?  Permalink to this paragraph

His theory is pretty solid -- he says that four companies own broadcast media, and they're incentivized to only air the hottest images. That's why McCain looked so sour when Obama went to Europe. In a golf cart looking old, with an even older Bush I, while our hero, Young Obama was greeting heads of states and speeching to hundreds of thousands of rapt Germans. The visuals were so compelling, it didn't matter that he wasn't President, he looked like one, and he looked good as one. Permalink to this paragraph

They don't care if you're lying, as Obama basically was (without giving voice to the lie), as the McCains are, as long as it's hot, you get air.  Permalink to this paragraph

Ed Rollins says that Obama should have chosen Hillary, and maybe he's right, the thought had crossed my mind. Although I didn't imagine I could vote for her if she won the primary back in the spring, I had the thought yesterday, listening to Biden on Meet the Press (he was great, btw), that I could actually vote for her. Who cares if Bill is a bastard, I love the speech he gave at the DNC, and I'm sure if Obama had lost the primary he would have given an equally stirring speech on behalf of Hillary. He would have said "We have to defeat the Republicans, at all costs, including our pride," and I would have agreed wholeheartedly. I can get my pride back in December, as long as we win in November. We can't let them win by Swiftboating us again, not this time. We have to play to win, and if that means playing dirty, so be it. Permalink to this paragraph

So here's the dirty little thing Obama can and should do, imho.  Permalink to this paragraph

Are you ready? Permalink to this paragraph

Hehe. Permalink to this paragraph

Name your Cabinet! Permalink to this paragraph

In a major break with tradition, in a year when tradition counts for naught, he should show us the depth of the Democratic bench and show us the role that powerful women will play on his team. And for the racist vote, powerful white people too (and Hispanics). Permalink to this paragraph

He should show voters who may be thinking about voting for McCain because of Palin that they can be inspired, they will be inspired, without compromising on health care, jobs, keeping their homes, getting their kids good educations, rebuilding our infrastructure, and bringing our troops home. This is what change looks like, says Barack Obama -- and show them, visually. (That's what really counts, don't yah know? You betcha.) Permalink to this paragraph

Now when each of the nominated Cabinet members shows up at a campaign stop they're not just surrogates, they're The Government. Permalink to this paragraph

Now, you might say, McCain will just match this move, but you'd be wrong -- he can't. The Republicans don't have that kind of depth. They just don't have it. That's why McCain says there will be lots of Democrats in his Administration, he has no choice, there aren't enough qualified Republicans to fill the positions.  Permalink to this paragraph

And by the way, here's a second chance to put Hillary on stage in more than a ceremonial role, with more than a sliver of hope for her and her followers. Offer her anything to get her on board. First choice of any Cabinet position she wants. Secretary of State or Defense or Treasury -- FBI or CIA director or Homeland Security. Baseball commissioner. Doesn't matter. And at the same time, really help her retire her campaign debt. Again, the visual is what matters. Hillary on stage, with power and pride. That should push the Republicans off the air. Permalink to this paragraph

I like Jon Corzine, the governor of New Jersey. Now he's got some executive experience, and he's one hell of a congenial guy, and smart to boot. Don't forget Bill Richardson! I still wouldn't count out Al Gore.  Permalink to this paragraph

And Janet Napolitano from (eeks!) Arizona, and Kathleen Sebelius from Kansas, Claire McCaskill from Missouri, Evan Bayh from Indiana, Jim Webb from Virginia. Chris Dodd from Connecticut, someone from Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Want to have some fun? As much as I don't trust him, make an offer to Colin Powell.  Permalink to this paragraph

I would suggest just filling a few positions at once, to get the press to start speculating anew about who else you might tap. Permalink to this paragraph

What do you think?? Permalink to this paragraph

Update: Cross-posted at Huffington. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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