Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Quick Hits

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quick Hits

Just a little more about Lieberman, and then I hope we'll be through. Sam Stein has an enlightening report about the session that allowed Lieberman to hold on to his position in the caucus, and he relates how little choice senators were given by the Democratic leadership. Lieberman seems to be able to play the inside political game like a master, even if his electoral vote counts seem to be shrinking.

Earlier today, Mike Chary suggested that the Lieberman problem be solved by having Obama place him in his Cabinet. On first blush, this sounded ridiculous, but the more I thought about it, the more it occurred to me that this might just be what Obama had up his sleeve. Although Obama didn't publicly say that he wanted to see Lieberman keep his gavel on the Homeland Security committee, he was very clear that he wanted to see him stay in the Democratic caucus. If he has anything like this up his sleeve, he would've been seen as thwarting the Senate leadership if they'd drummed Lieberman out of their club. But now, that wouldn't be a barrier to moving him up (and out). What might be a good fit? Homeland Security? He's remaining the chairman of Homeland Security in the Senate, so he's got as much training as anyone else would. Oh, sure, he didn't do much in that role, but the Department of Homeland Security is such a mess that it may not be viable to do anything with it anyway. There are reports that Homeland Security will go to Arizona governor Janet Napolitano (thus neutralizing John McCain's biggest threat for his next senatorial contest--what's that about?), but if that's true, surely there's another unobtrusive position in the administration where Obama could allow Lieberman to fade into obscurity (Office of Faith-Based Initiatives?).

Missouri has finally counted its vote, and it unofficially went to McCain (the actual result hasn't been certified yet). I'm just as glad to see this, because I've been annoyed at all the fuss made over Missouri and the fact that it's voted for the winner in every presidential election since 1956. Their streak's broken, so get over it.

But after seeing the reports, it started to sink in to me that the last time Missouri threw its electoral votes to the candidate who did not then take them to the White House, it was when Dwight Eisenhower faced Adlai Stevenson for the second time! In 1952, Missouri voted for the World War general, but in 1956, the state voted against him? And we considered the Show-Me State a good indication of how the nation as a whole was likely to go? Life can get weird some time.

Tom Daschle appears to be Obama's pick for Health and Human Services. I don't have much to say on that, but people who should know seem to think that this is a strong indication that the Obama administration is being primed to make significant strides in health care. Now that's something to be hopeful about.


At 11:49 PM, November 20, 2008, Blogger Mike Chary said...

What does the department of transportation do, anyway? Perhaps he would make a good ambassador to Ireland.


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