A New Cabinet and the Verge of a Cliff

by James Maynard December 27th, 2012 | Winners & Losers
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kerry nomination whJohn Kerry has indeed been named by President Obama to take over the position of Secretary of State on the departure of Hillary Clinton from the post. As was rumored last week, the senior Senator from Massachusetts will take the highest position in government that he has yet attained upon his (presumed) confirmation.

As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry has extensive experience for the office, and has a great deal of respect from his fellow senators on both sides of the aisle, and so is likely to be easily confirmed. This makes John Kerry our biggest political winner of the week.

Representative John Boehner, leading the charge for Republican plans to avoid the fiscal cliff, lost several allies on Thursday the 22nd, as many of his fellow party members cast themselves away from the Speaker of the House. Just six weeks after being reelected unanimously to that post, Boehner may now have to question his future in politics. He has allowed the President and other Democrats to paint him into a corner, labeling him an obstructionist. This behavior has cost the Representative dearly, and has earned him a loser of the week mention in this column.

The NRA also came out this week suggesting that they train guards to protect public schools from shooting incidents similar to the tragedy that happened last week at Sandy Hook Elementary. How this “plays in Peoria” is the real question – will this offer be considered help or profiteering by the gun-rights lobbying organization?

As more rumors fly about who will be named to make up the cabinet of a second Obama administration, talk is abounding that former Senator Chuck Hagel may be named the new Secretary of Defense. This gives Hagel a mention as a weekly political winner. However, as scrutiny begins anew about his past, the former senator from Nebraska has had to apologize for remarks he made in 1998 about gay people serving in the military. He has also stated that he believes that there is a “Jewish lobby” petitioning government for favors. Senator John McCain, while praising Hagel for his military service in Vietnam, has mentioned that he “has issues” with Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary, so his nomination is not likely to be as close-to-assured as that of John Kerry for his expected post. For these reasons, Chuck Hagel also takes home a loser of the week mention from this column as well.

Next week will prove interesting in politics as more names surface for the President’s choices for several cabinet posts, and the country will be on the verge of the “fiscal cliff.” Let’s see what happens then.

(White House photo)


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