He may not be the first person to blame, but Barack Obama deserves some criticism for letting the Arizona immigration law befall us. If he had left Janet Napolitano as Arizona governor instead of putting her in charge of Homeland Security, there's no way this law would've passed. Instead, Jan Brewer took office, signed it, and is now saying that her state is under terrorist attack from illegal immigrants.
Additionally, we could've had Napolitano as a Senate candidate. How that would've affected John McCain's votes over the past year and the 2010 Senate outlook is left as an exercise for the reader. The smart thing would've been to have somebody else do Homeland Security with the understanding that they might be asked to step out in two years, and that the Cabinet job would be Janet's then if she put in a good showing but lost her Senate race. Similar things apply, mutatis mutandis, to Kathleen Sebelius at HHS and Tom Vilsack at Agriculture.
This is all true, in terms of strategy, but I wonder if some of these decisions weren't influenced in other ways. Do we really know what any of those prospective Senate Candidates wanted? Maybe none of them want to be in the Senate. Also, at the time, the recession was really in full swing, and I can imagine that Sebelius and Napolitano wanted to get as far away from their homestates as soon as possible, to avoid the incumbent backlash taking them out of politics longterm. I am not sure that Napolitano would have been interested in being the sacrificial lamb to getting McCain to stay "moderate" (not sure it would have worked, either, since he seems to be motivated now by spite as much as protecting his right flank) if she could be a member of the Cabinet. And if she wasn't, then well, I am not sure that trying to force her to do it would have been a wise way for Obama to go about treating his allies.
I guess what I want to say here is that Cabinet appointments are a big deal, and if anybody really wants one they should be willing to jump through some hoops for it.
I suppose that's a good way of looking at it, although when the people we are talking about are governors and senators, I am not sure if you can expect to put them through two years of trial before the prize and still have happy allies. That seems like a good way to bleed loyalty to me.
(Honestly, I have never understood the attraction of the cabinet positions. Are they really considered a step up from governor and senator? I mean, with those positions you have a shot at being president. Cabinet positions seem destined to be your last job in government. Which is of course insane. Sec. of State, at the least, should be a good resume builder for President, as it was during the country's founding. But as it is, a Representative has a better shot at the top job.)
I'm not convinced Napolitano would have vetoed SB1070. I was upset when Obama yanked her to be DHS secretary, since she had done good work in blunting the wackiness coming out of the AZ legislature. But if she were running for Senate in the current climate (where 70% of Arizonans support the law), I can easily imagine she would have calculated it would win her more votes in the center than it would lose her on the left (who else are they going to vote for?).
Yes yes, and Clinton deserves some blame for Iraq because he could have appointed Bush instead of Cohen to Sec Def...
This is a totally lame argument. What's the point?
Unless Coons scores an upset against Castle (not impossible but pretty unlikely), add Delaware to this list. Although perhaps Biden is personally to blame for that one . . . I'm not sure the White House could have predicted the series of events there when Biden was selected.
At least they didn't take Byah instead and give that seat to the Republicans immediately (one shutters to think what would have become of health care reform).
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