Saturday, January 24, 2009

And the winner is......

Way back on Election Day I made my prognostications about the Green Team.  The most important omissions -- an energy and environment czar and the CEQ chair.  I didn't know about the plan to have a top policy advisor, although it makes infinite sense.  I don't know why I didn't do CEQ -- I guess because I haven't perceived CEQ as the source of real power on the environment.  And I don't think that will change with Obama, especially with Browner in the top policy advisor role.  So, at any rate, here are the winners.  Again, you can see why I don't gamble in Las Vegas or anywhere else!

Here are some predictions/picks on the Cabinet positions of most significance to environmental matters according to Politico's semi-official leaks.  My picks and comments are in green.  Results are in red.

Attorney general: Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine; Eric Holder, who was deputy AG under Clinton and is now with Covington & Burling and led Obama‚Äôs vice presidential search; Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick; Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. Odds on favorite is Holder  Score one for the home team

Supreme Court nominee: Washington superlawyer Robert Barnett; legal scholar Cass Sunstein; Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick; 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York; Elena Kagan, dean of Harvard Law School. Consensus is it would most likely be a woman. First nominee has got to be a woman - Kagan is smart and has credibility, but this is a much shorter list than Obama will look at.  Nope - Solicitor General instead, but give her a couple of years at Justice and she's teed up for a trip to the Court

Secretary of State: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.); Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind)  State is too important to give to a Republican, Kerry's too valuable in the Senate, and Richardson was UN Ambassador so he knows  international diplomacy   Boy, did I blow it.  Clinton was an obvious and brilliant choice.

Environmental Protection Agency administrator: Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.); Kathleen McGinty, former head of the Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency Again, McGinty is an odds on favorite who knows her stuff  Not even close -- Lisa Jackson wasn't on the short list even.

Commerce secretary: Penny Pritzker, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)  Need some Republicans and Olympia Snowe is a liberal one; although she's more valuable in the Senate.  So maybe one of the non-environmental positions will go to a Republican and Obama will stick with a Democrat.  I'd take Sebelius -- she's articulate and mid-Western.  This is a black box question mark now that Richardson's out of the running along with Sebelius. 

Secretary of the Interior: Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  This is the position most likely to go to someone who hasn't been in the running.Well, I didn't get Salazar's name, but I did figure out that the right name wasn't obvious.



Secretary of Energy: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.); My pick would be Lincoln Chafee, a liberal Republican who understands environmental issues as well as energy issues.  Again, Bingaman's too valuable in the Senate.   Way, way, way, way wrong!!!  Chu's a far better choice than I would ever have imagined. 

Secretary of Agriculture: Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)  Vilsack is odds on favorite.  OK, got this one

Cabinet Positions

Attorney General

Nominated

Eric H. Holder Jr.

Agriculture

  Confirmed

Tom Vilsack

Commerce

Defense

Nominated

Robert M. Gates

Education

  Confirmed

Arne Duncan

Energy

  Confirmed

Steven Chu

Health and Human Services

Nominated

Tom Daschle

Homeland Security

  Confirmed

Janet Napolitano

Housing and Urban Development

  Confirmed

Shaun Donovan

Labor

Nominated

Hilda L. Solis

State

  Confirmed

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Interior

  Confirmed

Ken Salazar

Transportation

  Confirmed

Ray LaHood

Treasury

Nominated

Timothy F. Geithner

Veterans Affairs

  Confirmed

Eric K. Shinseki

Other Key Positions

Assistant for Legislative Affairs

      Appointed  

Phil Schiliro

Central Intelligence Agency Director

      Nominated  

Leon E. Panetta

Chief of Staff

      Appointed  

Rahm Emanuel

Director of National Economic Council

      Appointed  

Lawrence H. Summers

Director of National Intelligence

      Nominated  

Dennis C. Blair

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

  Confirmed

Lisa P. Jackson

National Security Adviser

      Appointed  

James L. Jones

Office of Management and Budget Director

  Confirmed

Peter R. Orszag

United Nations Ambassador

  Confirmed

Susan E. Rice

United States Trade Representative

      Nominated  

Ron Kirk

White House Coordinator of Energy and Climate Policy

      Appointed  

Carol M. Browner

White House Press Secretary

      Appointed  

Robert Gibbs

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