15 thoughts on “Lugar as Obama Secretary of State? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. At this time, I don’t understand the point of this “reaching across the aisle” business. That’s not to say there aren’t any able, decent politicians who also happen to be Republicans, but don’t the Democrats have any of those themselves? Why exactly would a President Obama need to bring Republicans into his cabinet?
    To me, the “centre” is a quite arbitrary term, and pretty irrelevant. Where exactly is it? Is it in the middle between whatever positions Dems and Reps happen to hold at any time? Ask 10 politicians – or voters – and you’ll get 11 answers, most of which, I bet will start with “Err, um, well, you know”.

  2. IMO, choosing Colin Powell as Secretary of State was the one good thing that Bush did in his first term.

    The Secretary of State is informally known as “the nation’s chief diplomat”. A Secretary of State should be able to get along with his/her counterparts abroad
    (foreign ministers), talk to them, and put them at ease. Powell could do all of these things, and thus made an ideal Secretary of State. He was a vast improvement over the insufferably arrogant Madeleine Albright.

    I would agree that Bush’s first term serves as a “negative template” in most respects, but not respect to Powell.

  3. @ Richard
    Sometimes I don’t understand your way of thinking.

    But who cares, if it means reaching across the aisle to show moderate Republicans that their views, if not those of the right wing of the Party, will get a hearing from Obama and the Democrats.

    My good Man, you need to Get Your Priorities Straight
    The newly elected majority in both houses and Obama will have a formidable task ahead restoring the shambles left by Bush & the neocrazies. A new secretary of State must make a “Gang nach Canossa;” to various UN-organizations, to your allies in Europe and elsewhere. In the ME he’ll be busy talking to people ..Revive the “noble art of diplomacy” which have been laying fallow the last 8 years.
    Obama will have plenty of opportunity to reach across the aisle when he shall reinstate the Constitution and restore the Republic. His secretary of State must reach across the Atlantic.

  4. @ Richard

    And why would you ever presume that Senator Lugar couldn’t do an excellent job at this?

    I would not. I’ll go even further. He has an excellent record in global warming/energy issues. So I was’nt questioning your conclusion,only the arguments behind.
    Zbigniew Brzezinski would be my choice as a negotiator in ME.

  5. Sweetness and light, and all that? Reach across the aisle to present an incredibly significant award? Why? Just to prove how nice Dems can be when juxtaposed by what has transpired these past 7 plus years? Yes, Lugar does seem like a decent person – quiet, civil, etc. – and even perhaps a capable one, but he opted to remain in the Republican Party, didn’t he? Nor do I recall his standing up tall and brave to defy the horrendous activities of the said party’s regime and its various enablers and fellow-travellers such as the neocons; instead, he remained a card-carrying member of the political structure that did so much to damage the remarkable experiment we call America even unto attacking that 14th-century writ titled “habeas corpus”. And as to Andy’s marvelous Colin Powell, I recall that Republican sycophant as the one who referred to the content of his war-mongering speech to the UN as “bullshit” before proceeding to deliver said speech in order to justify our soon waging a murderous and criminal aggression. How can any Republican who remained such during these Bush/Cheney/Delay/Rove/Rice/Gonzales/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz days and years honestly evade the epithet of oxymoronic when described as a “nice Republican”?

  6. Since 1994 after the Gingrich “Contract With America” the Democrats have, for all intents been denied a real voice in politics. Now you want to propose that Obama REACH ACROSS THE AISLE and put Lugar in his Presidential Cabinet? I would suggest you not hold your breath. What you might want to look for, is two things we would like to see here in America:

    1. Faith Based Charity immediately lose its office in the White House.

    2. A Presidential Degree striking from the record all of George Bush’s signing statements.

    If we are lucky, the Democrats will win a 60 seat majority in the Senate, thus allowing them the majority they need to dismantle some 14 years of Radical Right Wing damage done to America.

    The only position that Right Wing Republicans had right was on Illegal Aliens…we as a nation need to say no to Amnesty, need to deport those here illegally (along with their children), and imprison any company executives or church leaders that either hire illegal aliens, or aid and abet them in remaining illegally in America.

  7. @Royce Penstinger: Man, yr politics sure are strange. While you’re criminalizing illegal aliens & those citizens who hire them why don’t you criminalize being a Republican as well? And maybe criminalize bloggers who don’t agree with you too.

  8. I had been making the case for Dennis Ross because he has been on the speaking circuit for the past year. He is a public educator on foreign policy, extensive experience in the Middle East, of course. The Jewish Democratic leadership had him in Columbus, OH a week ago making the case for Obama. Lugar would be a good choice for crossing party lines, keeping the heat off from the rightwing.

  9. @Rev John Momo: I think she may’ve blown her wad when she called Hillary a “monster.” Not to mention saying that the U.S. might have to impose a solution on Israel. But hell yes, she’d be a great secretary of state. My guess though is that she’d probably be better in a role as number 2 at State where she wouldn’t necessarily have to take all the heat.

  10. My guess though is that she’d probably be better in a role as number 2 at State where she wouldn’t necessarily have to take all the heat..still would require a Senate confirmation that would cause her to come face to face with the monster

  11. @Rev John Momo: Yup, no doubt about it. She might be a hard sell esp. if there might be other stuff that the right can dig up against her during the confirmation process. It could get ugly. They’ll be desperate to attack Obama right fr. the beginning & looking to do so via the confirmation process if they can get a leg up.

  12. @Ward Cornett III: I’m not nearly as sanguine about Ross as you. He’s a darling of the moderate wing of Aipac and is a fellow at their think tank. I don’t think he’ll bring much in the way of fresh thinking. Remember that Bill Clinton failed at Camp David and Taba. There were many reasons but at least one of them was some of the advice Clinton took fr. advisors like Ross.

    The best I can say about Ross is that he seems an intelligent honorable fellow. He might not do great harm if he takes a major foreign policy role in the Administration. And he’d certainly be a lot better than that lot that Bush currently has running (or ruining) things like Elliot Abrams and David Welch. But don’t we want something more than someone who won’t do great harm??

  13. Two thoughts:

    1) Reaching across the aisle, particularly in the Senate – creates the potential for reducing the Republican count in the Senate – at least by 2010.

    2) Lugar might not be the most outgoing guy in the world, but he’s also not a screw up. He understands foreign policy, is extremely well respected at home or abroad, understands Russia better than anyone in Congress. He also has a good working relationship with Obama and Biden.

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