Thursday, December 17, 2020

Embrace Biden’s New Cabinet – It’s the Anti-Trump Team

November 25, 2020 – 3:00 pm ET
By Rich Weissman, Palm Springs, California (

 To anyone who is displeased that their Democratic primary candidate or other favorite politician isn’t included in the Biden administration: We voted to end Trumpism and its politics of cronyism, grifters and political payoffs. Biden is the anti-Trump (and that’s why he won), and he is assembling a thoughtful, professional (yes, professional) cabinet and group of advisors based on expertise, experience and ability to implement change. He has many issues to immediately tackle (COVID, economy, climate change, racism, women and LGBTQ equality, immigration reform, American leadership in world affairs, voter suppression and election reform, Supreme Court reform, electoral college reform, undoing all of the horrific executive and other orders introduced by Trump, etc.). He needs to have people on his team who can day-one take on the job and quickly effectuate change in the U.S. and on the world stage. He doesn’t have time, and he needs to immediately operate and win on multiple fronts concurrently and have an administration that can within months can clean house.

For the past four years we have been screaming that Trump’s team was one of pure kleptocracy and personal gain, and that we needed a President and team who focused on moving the nation forward, not padding their pockets or furthering their political careers. And we won, and we now have a President who embraces a future without political cronyism. Hooray! Sure, there are people we would each personally love to see in the administration but who won’t necessarily be offered a position because they are not the foremost professional fit for a job based on hiring the best and the brightest with demonstrable leading expertise and experience in a particular field.

As an example, Janet Yellen has a Ph.D. in economics from Yale, taught at Harvard and other institutions throughout the world, and was head of the Federal Reserve. Clearly, she’s most qualified to head up the Treasury. Antony Blinken, who will be Secretary of State, served as Deputy Secretary of State, Special Assistant to the President and Sr. Director for Strategic Planning, NSC Senior Director, to name just a few foreign affairs positions this Harvard alum has held. The bios of others named Biden cabinet members thus far are equally impressive and show depth in their fields of professional expertise.

In addition, there are considerations for moving people from the Senate to the cabinet, particularly in states with Republican governors (e.g. Massachusetts and Vermont). This could further undermine Biden’s ability to move legislation forward. We need to see the big picture and support Biden in his efforts to create a cabinet that has the experience and expertise to tackle the job at hand, while growing the Democrats in Congress, hoping for wins in the upcoming Georgia election, so that Biden has a friendly House and Senate. That is more important than egos or self-promotion.

So, proponents for the cast of the primary runners and other political supporters of Biden may be disappointed. I understand, but they (and we) supported Biden not to get a job offer (that’s a strategy of the likes of Betsy DeVos), but because Biden could move the nation away from the evils of Trumpism. Executive positions shouldn’t be pay-back jobs and they shouldn’t be currency (that would be Trumpism); they are professional jobs for the most qualified. Hats off to Biden for doing just that, and hats off to those who have supported Biden’s initial choices. If some Democrats complain, then they are no different from the cronies of Trump.