Politico takes a look at a possible Obama staff and cabinet. (See also Grist’s look at possible green-related Obama appointees.) It gives a mixed view with some knockouts and some … not-so-knockouts.
These EPA pics don’t thrill me:
Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.); Kathleen McGinty, former head of the Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency
My vote? Topsies on Grist’s list, Mary Nichols, the kick-ass head of CARB who’s done pioneering work developing and implementing climate policy in California.
For Interior, Politico mentions Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — either of which would be about as far from Bush Interior as you could conceivably get. I strongly suspect Kennedy’s too hot, and possibly Inslee too, though he has done righteous work in some House Natural Resources Committee hearings. I find Schweitzer, Grist’s top pick, more plausible.
For Energy, Politico floats Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). Both these guys would get flack from enviros, but I think their hearts are in the right place. Better to have them here, figuring out how to invest in renewables, than somewhere in charge of climate policy. I like our pick of Dan Reicher, though it strikes me as pure fantasy.
Interestingly, Politico and Grist agree that the top candidate for Ag is the not very inspiring Tom Vilsack.
Best of all in Politico’s picks are the two possibilities for Transportation, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), both outstanding advocates for smart urban development, transit diversity, and long-distance rail. Either of those would be a home run.