Kerry’s Cabinet

Bruce Bartlett, a conservative columnist for The National Review, ponders who should comprise the economic team in a Kerry cabinet. Typically, I disregard or at least heavily discount advice from conservatives on what Democrats should do. For example, conservative NYT columnist David Brooks often waxes on about what Democrats should do to appeal to “real” Americans (notwithstanding the fact that Brooks basically made-up his version of real America), and his advice is invariably bad, if not disingenuous. But I digress.

Back to Bartlett, I see little if anything to disagree with in his recommendations to Kerry. Some Democrats or economists may want the members shuffled around a bit or have slightly diffferent preferences, but all in all, it’s a good list:

  • Department of State: Felix Rohatyn, Richard Holbrooke, or Sen. Joe Biden
  • Department of the Treasury: Roger Altman
  • Office of Management and Budget: John Spratt

  • National Economic Council: Steve Rattner
  • Council of Economic Advisers: Alan Blinder; “potential CEA members would include economists Bill Gale and Peter Orszag”
  • U.S. Trade Representative: Gene Sperling or Lael Brainard
  • Federal Reserve: “Alan Greenspan will retire at some point in the next four years, giving Kerry the ability to replace him. Former Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin will be at the top of the list of potential chairmen. “
  • Department of Commerce: Laura Tyson
  • Department of Labor: “The unions will demand that Dick Gephardt be given this slot to protect their interests. Should he turn it down, labor economists Lawrence Katz or Harry Holzer are possibilities.”
  • Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy: “Sarah Bianchi, Kerry’s top policy adviser, is a sure thing unless she desires something better.”


P.S. Bartlett also wrote that he “won’t be voting for Kerry”; not mentioned is whether he’ll be voting for Bush (I suspect not).