Whither the Cabinet Republicans?
Appearing on CBS’ “60 Minutes” last Sunday, Barack Obama reiterated a campaign-trail promise.
“Yes,” the president-elect told Steve Kroft, he would include Republicans in his Cabinet.
Pressed if there would be more than one, Obama declined to elaborate.
As the top tier of his Cabinet begins to come into focus, however, it looks increasingly unlikely that Obama will break new ground when it comes to fashioning a bipartisan government.
Instead, he appears to be taking a check-the-box approach that would differ little from the pattern set by predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
They both made a nod to the opposition party in their Cabinet selections but in the main did not depart from Washington’s to-the-victor-goes-the-spoils tradition in their personnel choices or the policies that flowed from them.
The most likely Republican for a top Obama post, based on published speculation and reporting within his transition team this weekend, is Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who might keep his job in at least the opening phase of the new administration. Obama has said foreign policy is the area most in need of more bipartisanship, and the likely appointment of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) leaves few other openings.