Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cabinets, rivals, history

Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, A Team of Rivals, has become the standard historical context (also) for analyzing the Obama cabinet. Lincoln appointed all of his political opponents from the Republican party in the election of 1860. The Lincoln cabinet included William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Simon Cameron and Edward Bates.

President Obama has brought in former rivals Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. He attempted to put Bill Richardson on the cabinet and has asked two Republicans to serve including Commerce Secretary-designee Judd Grey (announced today) and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served President Bush in the same position is also a rival of sorts, although Gates is not a registered Republican.

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