During the run-up to the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination, the relationship between the competing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns plumbed impressive depths, culminating in now-Secretary of State Clinton’s poorly worded intimation that Obama might not serve out his entire term.
But President Obama managed to bury the hatchet (although perhaps not in the precise spot for which he was aiming). The two camps put aside their differences with Obama’s nomination of Clinton to the Nation’s top diplomatic post. With Clinton relegated to the State Department, Obama could focus on his top priorities: blaming others for his failures, remaining “unaware” of malfeasance in his cabinet, grubbing for cash with Lady Gaga and playing golf.
Nonetheless, with America waking to the reality that Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like Andrew Jackson, Obama better start bringing his A game. Otherwise, he and Hillary can discuss what might have been over coffee in the Berkeley poli-sci department. Meanwhile, I thought it might be fun to imagine what might be. Therefore, I humbly present my ideal version of the leadership of the nation post-2012.
I did not include the entire cabinet in my musings. On one hand, I suspect most of you share my opinion that the Office of the United States Trade Representative can be filled by almost anyone who recognizes that prostrating ourselves before the ChiComs is a bad idea. On the other hand, in my utopian Presidency, there is no Department of Education, so the Secretary thereof can go back to colluding with teachers’ union thugs.
Meet the Presidential ticket: Cain/Paul 2012. That’s right, I said Herman Cain and Ron Paul, not the reverse. Cain’s close ties to questionable institutions like the Federal Reserve will be reined in by his close proximity to the brilliant Paul, and Cain will present a much more electable face than Paul, who is less palatable to moderates. Cain also possesses a certain presence which Paul — who looks every one of his 76 years — lacks. Additionally, Cain is better suited to the diplomatic obligations of the Presidency. I understand that many of you are die-hard Paul supporters and will, therefore, curse a blue streak at my conjecture. To you, I say: Think of it as a co-Presidency. It could hardly be worse than the last one; Hillary isn’t involved.
Serving at the pleasure of President Cain and Vice President Paul will be the following:
White House Chief of Staff: I could go the same route as Obama did and select a spectacularly profane man who looks like an extra from a zombie film. However, Rahm Emanuel is busy in Chicago, and Carl Paladino would scare off all the interns. I suggest the anti-Rahm: Representative Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Cantor is bright, direct and reliably conservative. He possesses the same grit and determination that Emanuel displays, with neither the crippling liberalism nor the visage of Nosferatu’s younger brother.
Secretary of State: Ambassador John R. Bolton. Bolton possesses diplomatic acumen forged through years of foreign service, and he is specifically versed in the worst of growth industries: weapons of mass destruction. As an added bonus, Democrats so abhor the man for his unwavering belief in American greatness in the global arena that they filibustered his U.N. nomination, forcing President Bush to recess-appoint him. That has to be a plus in any conservative’s estimation.
Secretary of the Treasury: Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.). With both Paul and his father close to the top of the Administration, the American economy will benefit from the presence of not one, but two Horatios at the bridge. Senator Paul is the type who would assign his Secret Service protection detail to keeping a 24/7 watch on the national checkbook. Something tells me he would also revoke the Fed’s visitor passes. At the very least, I’ll bet he can navigate the logical labyrinth that is the TurboTax® software.
Secretary of Defense: former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. If you thought Donald Rumsfeld was tough, say hello to his iron-willed sister. Rice has already proved she knows no fear, and her presence in the Administration will make our more-organized enemies (think the ChiComs and whoever is in charge of the increasingly unhinged Russian Federation) remember their place. Rice engenders universal respect, which is a powerful resume addition when dealing with both military leaders and the lowest-ranking service members.
Secretary of Homeland Security: Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona. Give Sheriff Joe six months, and the 38th Parallel in Korea will have to hand over the Most-Heavily-Militarized-Border-on-the-Planet belt. If Arpaio gets the nod, buy stock in electric fencing and anti-personnel mine manufacturers. And gone will be the days of airport security personnel who are fat guys with mustard stains on their shirts. Instead, the guys at the metal detector will be Navy SEALs who will look twice at the dude wearing the dishdasha, but won’t molest your 4-year old.
Secretary of the Interior: former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. We’ve all seen the helicopter-coyote-hunting videos. Who better to handle the trials of wildlife policy than someone who has actually seen wildlife in places other than documentaries? As for resource exploitation: “Drill here, drill now.” Yes, ma’am, Madame Secretary.
Attorney General: For the nation’s top cop, I initially considered former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. However, his views on the 2nd amendment don’t necessarily jibe with mine, and that’s a deal breaker. I want an Attorney General who is tough on crime, tough on terrorism, tough on immigration and will pursue real bad guys without wasting time and tax dollars on harassing the enemies of the President and his cronies. I wonder if former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez would consider returning to the Justice Department?
Secretary of Health and Human Services: former Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). He’s a doctor, not a lawyer, which means he’s head and shoulders above anyone associated with Hillarycare, Obamacare or any of the other socialist systems the Democrats seem to have lifted from the let’s-be-just-like-Cuba playbook. Judging by his performance during the regrettable Terri Schiavo affair, he’s also capable of delivering diagnoses via photograph and video. All right, that’s silly; but it’s no sillier than letting the ambulance-chasers take control of the people waiting for the ambulances.
Secretary of Agriculture: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. Daniels possesses real executive experience at the Federal level as the former Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He’s the Governor of a grain and farm belt State. In addition, he stood up to the Scientologists, which has no bearing on his potential effectiveness as Agriculture Secretary, but it does mean he’s not big with the Hollywood crowd. That must count for something.
Secretary of Labor: Raymond J. LaJeunesse Jr. Who? Vice President and Legal Director of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, that’s who. In the Cain/Paul Administration, the focus will be on productive and working Americans, not union thugs. It’s about damned time someone sat down in the Secretary’s chair who knows that Taft-Hartley isn’t a prep school in New England.
Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs: How many of you were even aware that Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs is a cabinet-level post? The way the Democrats treat the military, I suspect Secretary Eric Shinseki spends a fair amount of time polishing his medals. Let’s replace him with the war hero whom the Democrat-controlled Senate promised not to reconfirm as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Retired Gen. Peter Pace. As the old sage says: Send in the Marines.
I am aware that I left a few cabinet posts unaccounted for. Some were excluded for lack of space. Others didn’t make the cut because President Cain and Vice President Paul took the proverbial axe to their departments. Who needs an Ambassador to the U.N. after we evict the U.N. from its cushy Upper East Side digs? And with the Cain/Paul Administration wresting control of the Nation’s education from the grasping paws of bureaucratic functionaries, the Department of Education is rendered as useful as Joe Biden at a Mensa conference.
You’re all welcome, as always, to offer your own suggestions. Mr. Livingston doesn’t delete even the remarkably absurd remarks from the comments section below. After all, this isn’t Dailykos.com. I am aware that many of you will take umbrage with some of my choices. Keep in mind, mine is a somewhat utopian concept of what government might look like after 2012. Think of it as hope… for a change.