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The Tally Ho

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Cabinet Changes & Mandate

According to this Reuters article, cabinet position changes are "inevitable".
Many Republicans think both Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State colon Powell will leave, if not immediately, then after a reasonable interval.

Pentagon officials have indicated Rumsfeld plans to remain defense secretary into Bush's second term.

Chief Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said there are priorities remaining that Rumsfeld wants to do not only on Iraq but on continuing to reshape the U.S. military from its Cold War past into a more agile 21st century force.

Bush stayed with Rumsfeld, 72, amid calls in the spring by some Democrats for his firing after revelations of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Rumsfeld's deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, would be considered a candidate to replace Rumsfeld, but as a leading voice for the Iraq war over weapons of mass destruction that were never found, his confirmation by the U.S. Senate could be difficult...

...Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Bush's best friend, has been considered a possible successor to White House chief of staff Andy Card if Card leaves. Card has given no indication lately that he is leaving.

Many think Evans wants to go back to Texas.

Also believed to be gone in a second Bush term: Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge, Education Secretary Rod Paige and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, among others.

A key question is what happens to Bush's trusted national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. The talk about her is that she could stay in her job, eventually move to Defense or State, or go back to California.

Many administration officials believe if Bush were to ask his close confidante to stay on in some top capacity, she would do so. But Rice, weary of the long hours, has often talked of going back to Stanford University.

I really wonder what the shakeup will be with the Administration. Afterall, it is not like they were the most competent during their first term. I imagine that there will be lobbied by the both the neo-cons and conservatives to fill these spots. Does Mr. Wolfowitz stay? Does Mr. Feith stay? Does Mr. Armitage stay? If they fill some of these positions with cons, will the President try to get Hagel, McCain, and Luger out (though Luger as Sec of State wouldn't be bad)? This fight will be interesting. I would like to believe that he would ask some prominent Democrats - Sam Nunn has been speculated on the radio. Like the possibility of using Specter as a scapegoat, they could appoint moderates on either side as their attempt at unity. I just don't see bipartisan. They think they have some kind of broad mandate...

Lets look at this mandate! Mr. Bush received 51% of the popular vote. 49% of voters in the United States rejected him. Bush could not muster 300 electoral votes. Historically, this is a pretty weak re-election considering no major third party challenge was there. Lets face it, if you take a 200,000 votes and disperse it through a few states we are fighting about the validity of the Electoral College and how it failed to reflect the popular vote in two straight elections. Anyway, point being, their mandate is not very strong. Center-right is what it looks to me. Seeing what they did after losing the popular last time - we are in for even more craziness.

I know a lot of people are sad right now, but look the "liberal" Democratic candidate from Massachusetts got over 48% of the popular vote - and the second highest number of votes in the history of U.S. elections. Mr. Gore did better than Mr. Clinton, Sen. Kerry had millions of more votes than Mr. Gore (what were Clinton's percentages overall?). So I think the infrastructure is there - it just needs to be expanded in the growth regions(locally), and that isn't going to happen until we really understand the shifts and desires of these voters, not to mention more media infrastructure... but this is for later. I leave you with this quote from below from Elwood
The Democratic Party didn't collapse on Tuesday, it collapsed in 1968/72 when radicals alienated America. We are on our way to rebuilding, with good showings the past two cycles (much better than Clinton who won with Perot's help). We need a focused message and a new appeal. We need a Contract with America for '06 and a candidate like, well, Bush in '08.

I would never want a Mr. Bush as a candidate, but I get his point.


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