Meet the Cabinet: A Zagat-inspired Primer
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESName: Tom DaschleAge: 61Education: South Dakota State UniversityPrevious job: U.S. Senator from South DakotaWhat he's supposed to do now: Improve the health, safety, and well-being of all Americans.Survey says: Daschle brings "A knowledge of Congress, especially the Senate, far deeper than President Obama," along with some "snazzy red glasses"(though some argue that "It's all the geek with none of the chic.") His Senate office was targeted with "the strain of anthrax that caused a skin infection" in 2001, but everything turned out fine. "Health policy wonks and universal health care advocates celebrated the move."
HOMELAND SECURITYName: Janet NapolitanoAge: 51Education: Santa Clara University; University of Virginia Law SchoolPrevious job: Governor of ArizonaWhat she's supposed to do now: Protect the United States from terrorist attacks and respond to natural disasters.Survey says: Named one of America's "5 best governors" in 2005, Napolitano is postpartisan to a fault, "even if it infuriates the left and the right." She brings "law-and-order experience from her stint as the Grand Canyon State's first female attorney general," though some Republicans are still pissed about her role "as an attorney representing Anita Hill."
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENTName: Shaun DonovanAge: 42Education: HarvardPrevious job: Head of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and DevelopmentWhat he's supposed to do now: Execute policy on housing and cities.Survey says: Obama's pick of Donovan signals his understanding that "HUD can play a big role in the economic recovery" of the country. With his "hands-on experience managing the vast bureaucracy and special interests involved in housing in New York City," he should transition nicely to a federal agency that is derided by critics as "a dysfunctional mess." He also has the "shortest Wikipedia page of any cabinet nominee."He is respected in Colorado by politicians of both parties for his measured approach and is praised as an honest broker, particularly by environmentalists, but also by business interests." He often wears a dope "cowboy hat ... and bolo tie."a heavyweight résumé bursting with legal and law enforcement credentials." His role in the "infamous Mark Rich pardon" has divided democrats and republicans somewhat, but during his confirmation hearing, "witnesses prais[ed] Holder despite past disagreements."A reputation as an advocate for low-wage workers" and is also a big time union booster ("I know that my seven siblings and I would not be where we are today without the wages and other protections my parents earned with the help of their union"). Solis would be tasked with implementing the Green Jobs Act, which she faught to "smuggle through" a hostile Congress in 2007.a naturally gifted diplomat," Obama's appointment of Clinton was seen as an example of his ability to "turn a rival into a partner." Some wonder if "Hillary's appointment as secretary of state could pose a conflict of interest" with her husband's numerous business and philanthropic contacts the world over, most just agree that "Hillary is seriously popular" right now.surprise;" "It appears as though others with longer, more distinguished résumés were bypassed." Even so, LaHood brings "a centrist reputation and a proven ability to work across party lines." The Republican congressman from Illinois would "play a major role in overseeing the huge public works program the administration plans to implement to stimulate the flagging economy."Tim Geithner, this mess is yours." Thankfully, he seems equipped to handle it: he has "a deep understanding of monetary and fiscal policy and broad experience in international trade issues," and is "smart but not arrogantly so and has a wry sense of humor."
VETERANS AFFAIRSName: Eric K. ShinsekiAge: 66Education: U.S. Military Academy; DukePrevious job: Four-star generalWhat he's supposed to do now: Administer benefits for veterans.Survey says: He and Obama share the view that "the Iraq war was botched by the Bush administration." He is seen as hero to troops for his insistence that you would need a force "on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" to successfully occupy postwar Iraq.
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