car·riage re·turn

n. the lever or mechanism on a typewriter that would cause the cylinder on which the paper was held (the carriage) to return to the left margin of the page

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Filling the New Cabinet,Intro

As I mentioned yesterday,Tim has asked me to post on potential appointees to President-elect Obama’s Cabinet. I’d originally intended to simply run down a list with the likely contenders for each post and provide a small blurb about each,but in the process of researching potential Treasury heads,I decided there was simply too much information to condense into one post.

As a result,over the next few days I’ll be posting about each position in the new administration. At first I intended on doing this based on the order of precedence,but I reconsidered and instead will be grouping them as logically as possible. You can expect something approximating the following order:

The Big Four
  • Secretary of the Treasury
  • Secretary of State
  • Secretary of Defense
  • Attorney General
National Security
  • Secretary of Homeland Security
  • National Security Advisor
  • Secretary of Energy
  • Ambassador to the United Nations
Industry
  • Secretary of Commerce
  • Secretary of Labor
  • Secretary of Transportation
Public Welfare
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Secretary of Education
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Natural Resources
  • Secretary of the Interior
  • Secretary of Agriculture
  • Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

So,what you can expect is a post each devoted to Treasury,State,Defense,and Justice,followed by posts on positions organized into the National Security,Industry,Public Welfare,and Natural Resources logical groups. Of note:I have placed the Secretary of Energy under National Security instead of Natural Resources to highlight the implications of our reliance on foreign-produced energy commodities. In grudging deference to the financial crisis,I’ll lead off the series with the Treasury post,as I suspect the economic crisis is of greater present concern than foreign policy (though I think this is mistaken).

I’m not entirely certain how this will play out in terms of duration. The Washington Post’s excellent diagram indicates I might have somewhere between six to nine weeks to do this series based on past Presidential selection rates. (Interesting side note:Nixon and Reagan were finished picking their respective Cabinet members soonest,while George W. Bush took the longest,finally selecting his Secretary of Labor in Week 11.) If I post twice weekly for the Big Four,and then once a week thereafter,I would be right at six weeks in duration,which would carry me through finals week to 23 December. This will be the goal –we’ll see how time and school responsibilities (and any interim appointments) conspire in allowing me to remain on schedule or not.

One disclaimer:I will readily admit my nearsightedness in certain areas,particularly when it comes to prospective HUD,HHS,and Interior secretaries. I’ll do my best to correct this,though I’ll be relieved if one of these posts is preempted by an announcement from the President-elect.

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