A note in an AP story Rahm Emanuel being offered the chief of staff job caught my attention. According to some Democrats, John Kerry would like to be Secretary of State, but the freshly shaven Bill Richardson would also like the job, and let’s not forget the role of Joe Biden.
According to the AP, “Several Democrats also said Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was actively seeking appointment as secretary of State in the new administration.” Newsweek is also reporting that Obama is considering Kerry for Sec. of State, but notes that this could change if Joe Biden has questions about it. Biden is the real wild card here, because he is going to have a major hand in the foreign policy direction of this administration.
Kerry isn’t a foreign policy expert, and most interestingly, he voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq. Either Kerry is simply getting consideration because of his support of Obama during the campaign, or Obama thinks that he might be the person to carry out his diplomatic vision. I think that Bill Richardson is a more obvious and better fit for the administration. If Obama wants to hit the ground running, it would be beneficial to have someone as experienced and connected with diplomacy as Richardson is.
The final choice belongs to Obama, but Biden is going to have a great deal of influence in this decision. I do wonder if Biden and Richardson, who both see themselves as foreign policy experts, and have the egos to match, would be capable of working together, or could this, be too many cooks in the kitchen. Obama does admire the Team of Rivals style cabinet, so he might welcome the possibility of two differing views. This is truly a fascinating time as we are starting to get a glimpse of how a potential Obama administration might look.