Friday December 6, 2013
Kerry Enters Cabinet: Opportunity for Bipartisan Coalition AwaitsBarry Lee Coyne, MSW Salem-News.com
When Inauguration Day greets us come Jan. 20th, let us inaugurate a collaborative Cabinet as well.
(SALEM) - "Stalemate" and "deadlock" are the two ominous words that refer to DC doings between President and the Congress these past four years. Instead of the Constitution, we have Constipation.
If we truly want to get things moving again, Mr. Obama needs to strive to create a bipartisan-style Cabinet that consists of pragmatic peacemakers. Selecting ideological types will boomerang. If we take a glance of the battles over debt and the budget, we have proof positives that matters are still negative.
Senator John Kerry is well-respected by his Senate colleagues. It was a master-stroke to place his name in nomination as our next Secretary of State. It averted a bitterly partisan showdown.
As his UN Ambassador or Undersecretary perhaps, why not outgoing Sen. Dick Lugar? The two have long worked together as they rotated the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee and both men have travelled the globe. They know many world leaders personally, and Lugar, now in his 80's, has an enviable track record of backdoor diplomacy in Asia.
With Secretary Hillary Clinton leaving, the visibility of another respected GOP Senator--Olympia Snowe of Maine--merits a possible Cabinet post. Or at least an ambassadorship. Her Greek roots might make an ideal fit and be very timely. The economic woes of Greece welcome a helping hand.
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San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a keynoter of late, is a natural for Secretary of HUD. His urban immersion and familiarity with immigration issues offers us assets few others would present.
Likewise, the ougoing Mayor Mike Bloomberg of NYC has tremendous financial background and the needed clout to help bring relief from our emaciated economy. He knows the market intimately and has demonstrated the courage that an independent approach requires. May Mike make it happen.
Other names in the hopper run from ex-Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska to the current respected Mayor Landrieu of New Orleans to a possible diplomatic post retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. And there are a spate of ex-governors and comptrollers and attorneys general waiting in the wings.
When Inauguration Day greets us come Jan. 20th, let us inaugurate a collaborative Cabinet as well. In these stressful times, cohesion and cooperation are omni-important for our survival as a civil society. Is anyone listening?
Salem-News.com Community Writer Barry Lee Coyne brings to our readers stories from his combined career of journalism and gerontology, and explains that these paths shaped his values. Lee Coyne once worked for The Civil Service Leader in NY State and covered the Legislature. He has also done features on mediation and arbitration, and believes in healthy skepticism. This writer-therapist often views the world as the masks of comedy and tragedy placed upon the scales of justice. For him, optimism inevitably wins. "Lyrical Lee" has traveled to 30 nations aboard and was once a press intern at the UN. His first published article was in The NY Daily News in '59, dealing with the need for integrity in public office.
He also launched the nation's first tele-conference on health education for shut-ins, created the Eldermentors project in VA to pair retirees with immigrant students needing role models, and was the main catalyst behind CCTV's "Public Public" panel show here in Salem. Lee received his BA in International Relations and an MSW in community organization. He currently serves as a member of Salem's Library Advisory Board. To send Lee an email, please write to this address: email@example.com
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