In most companies when someone is promoted to a different job and have a staff, that person gets to pick members of his or her own team. It usually involves people they are familiar with and know the kind of job they will do. It is also an opportunity to choose people they know they can work with and who will have their back in cases of conflict.
Even though an incoming president gets to choose his team, he may or may not have the final say in who gets the jobs.
The United States Constitution gives the Senate the authority to advise and consent to the appointment of officers of the United States, including cabinet heads. The constitution also gives the president a lot of latitude in selecting members of his cabinet.
A senator is not supposed to vote against a nominee simply because of a strong policy disagreement. Under the constitutional plan, the senate is supposed to give the president free reign in choosing the people who he will be working with daily.
That may have been the plan of our forefathers, but you can bet things will not go smoothly when the time comes for President-elect Joe Biden to get approval for his cabinet.
Since Democrats gave the Trump administration a hard time with some of his nominees, I cannot see Republicans rolling over and not returning the favor.
Joe Biden has begun to make announcements about potential candidates for cabinet posts. Republican senators are already unhappy with several of his choices.
The selection of Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget has them riled up because she posted tweets that were critical of them.
Senator Marco Rubio, a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee criticized Biden’s nominees for Secretary of State and Director of National Intelligence saying his picks “will be polite and orderly caretakers of America’s decline.”
None of this sounds like it will be an easy process getting the cabinet confirmed.
There has been drama already with his choice of Jen O Malley Dillon as the deputy Chief of Staff. Apparently in an interview with a magazine, Dillon called GOP lawmakers “a bunch of f-----ers”.
Republicans immediately took to Twitter criticizing Dillon and demanding an apology. They were outraged at her use of such a derogatory comment.
Donald Trump never met a nasty word he did not like to use to describe people, so their response is laughable. These same people who sat quietly while he did so have a lot of nerve.
She did apologize.
But it should never have happened in the first place. If your goal is to sell yourself as an alternative to abhorrent behavior by administration officials, then you better deliver the goods. Participating in similar action only makes you a hypocrite.
And the media should call you out for it.
Even members of Biden’s own party have issues with some of his picks.
His pick for Secretary of Agriculture upset many farmers of color who feel his record on civil rights should have disqualified him from the job.
The retired general he nominated to lead the Defense Department will need both chambers of Congress to pass a waiver before he can be confirmed. Yet no one realized that until his name was mentioned.
Choosing a VA Secretary who has never served in the military did not go over well with some veterans’ services organizations. And rightly so.
The person chosen to lead the National Economic Council worked for a giant Wall Street hedge fund. There is concern he will have little knowledge about real working -class Americans.
Biden made a promise that his cabinet would look like America. He also says his cabinet picks convey the message that government experience will matter in his administration.
The problem with that experience is where they got it.
Two-thirds of his picks are former members of the Obama-Biden administration. One third of the cabinet members are old enough to qualify for Medicare.
Polls show that voters have a great distrust of government institutions and life-long politicians. After all, that is how we ended up with Donald Trump as president.
There must be middle ground somewhere.
Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.”
Voters are tired of the same old names and the same tired ideas. It is unclear where future leaders will come from if all policy makers are in their 60’s and 70’s.
There must be a better path for our country than recycling people from previous administration.
With half the country still upset about Trump’s loss and the other half wanting real change in Washington, Biden needs to choose his staff more carefully.
Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.