A little while ago, while considering the Republican candidates for president, I found myself thinking that we might not have the ideal candidates, we did have a lot of people who would likely do pretty well in lesser offices. In fact, you could probably put together a damned good team out of the current slate. Going down this list, in alphabetical order:
Michele Bachmann: Secretary of Health and Human Services. She’s raised a ton of foster children, so she knows the system from that end. Plus, she’d be well positioned to smother ObamaCare.
Herman Cain: OK, he’s my current favorite, so I’ll make him president.
Newt Gingrich: Vice President. He’s a idea man, but kinda shaky on follow-through. Plus, he was Speaker. Making him Veep would essentially make him an “at-large” Cabinet member, with whatever duties Cain gave him. And with his only official duty to preside over the Senate, his Speakership would serve him well. Plus, just imagine him debating Joe Biden…
Jon Huntsman: Ambassador to the UN. He’s got the dimplomatic chops to take Cain’s message of STFU to the UN and make it slightly more palatable.
Gary Johnson: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. Let’s put a pot-smoking libertarian in charge of the EPA.
Ron Paul: Ambassador to Uranus. ‘Nuff said.
Rick Perry: Secretary of Homeland Security. “Border State governor” was enough qualifications for Janet Napolitano, so it’s good enough for Perry. Besides, he actually has spent a lot of time not only thinking about border issues, but dealing with them. I don’t agree with him across the board, but I can live with that.
Mitt Romney: Secretary of Commerce or Secretary of the Treasury. The guy’s a businessman; let him work with big business.
Rick Santorum: Nothing spring to mind. Sorry, Rick.
And now, for the als0-rans and never-weres:
Tim Pawlenty: Secretary of Education.He was a pretty good educational reformer as Minnesota’s governor.
Donald Trump: Can’t see him taking the pay cut and playing second fiddle.
Sarah Palin: Again, not much of a follower, and has far more influence as a free agent, but she’d make a decent Secretary of Energy.
Rudy Giuliani: He’d make an interesting Attorney General. Plus, cleaning up the messes Eric Holder is leaving behind could be almost a big a challenge as 9/11.
Chris Christie: As entertaining as the thought of him (or Governor Scott Walker) as Secretary of Labor, they both have other duties.
Paul Ryan: He’d make a wonderful Director of the Office of Management and Budget — but ONLY if the GOP were to lose the House. But as long as the GOP holds the House, we need him right where he is.
John Bolton: Secretary of State.
I know, it’s rare for a president to tap former rivals for Cabinet positions (short of Vice-President — Kerry, Clinton, and Reagan all took rivals for running mates), but it’s hard to look at the list of Republican candidates (etc.) and not fill out the scorecard.