Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

A cabinet dreamteam

Back when I was younger, I always used to like to think of movies I wanted to see and then cast them in my head. This was in the nineties, and one of the major objects of my hobby was always an X-Men movie. While that has come and gone, I remember that pretty much the only character from my dreamcast who made it to the movie was Patrick Stewart as Professor X. Bearing in mind this was the mid-90s, I’d always thought Kurt Russell and Gates McFadden would have made a terrific Cyclops and Jean Grey, respectively, while Jean Claude Van Damme was at that time popular enough, short enough, and Canadian enough to seem like a good choice for Wolverine.

I can’t say I’ve stopped. I still would love for Gore Verbinski to buy my adaptation of Macbeth and direct it with Christian Bale as the titular character and with a supporting cast including Cate Blanchett, Sean Bean, Dougray Scott, Angelina Jolie, and Anthony Hopkins. That’d be so, so rad. Imagine the swordfights of Pirates of the Caribbean but in medieval Scotland (which, admittedly casts the setting a solid several hundred years post Scottish play, but whatevs).

And now that President-elect Barack Obama (God, there’s a lovely ring to that) is considering his cabinet members, I have, too. I think it’s really important, too, because these are people chosen, rather than elected, and you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps. The cabinet consists of 15 members (You can find the current list here): they are the Secretaries of Agriculture, the Interior, Commerce, Justice, Defense, Labor, Education, State, Energy, Transportation, Health and Human Services, Treasury, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and Housing and Urban Development.

Now, there are a couple I wouldn’t even venture a guess toward, like Agriculture or Interior or Commerce. But a couple of the others? I’ll start with the ones I’d certainly offer:

Secretary of Labor: John Edwards. Don’t care that he had an extramarital affair. I’d at least ask him.

Secretary of Defense: General Wesley Clark. Dude’s awesome, and seems to know what he’s doing.

Secretary of Homeland Security: Richard Clarke. Because Against All Enemies is, by all accounts, genius. He was counter-terrorism czar for a while, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State until he “retired.” Thing is, dude is only a couple years older than my father. Again, I’d at least ask him.

Now here’s the thing: I considered John McCain in one of those. I think I’d want John McCain in my cabinet. Thing is, you can’t very well offer either post to the man who joked about Bomb-bomb-bombing Iran. So I think that what I’d do is ask McCain to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs, but also increase the synergy between the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veteran’s Affairs. They seem related, after all.

Secretary of State: Bill Clinton.

Secretary of Education: Hillary Clinton.

Now, I wrestled over this one. But Hillary wrote It Takes a Village, and education has always been near to her heart.

Secretary of Energy: Al Gore. Because we need new energy if we want to end global warming, which is his cause and all, and hey, the man invented the Internet, so I’m sure he could come up with something (that’s a joke. I know he didn’t actually build these here tubes). And shit, dude won a Nobel, no? And for Peace? I would so totally want a Nobel Prize winner in my cabinet.

Secretary of Treasury: Paul Krugman. Hell, why not two Nobel Prize winners? Dude is the latest winner for economics. He’s got to know something. I’ve heard Warren Buffett’s name mention a couple of times, though, and I’m sure he’d be good.

I wish I could figure out who my attorney general would be. We’ve been in desperate need of a good one for several years. But I don’t know enough about law to know whose name should be mentioned here. But I can tell you what I’d want: an expert in constitutional law, and someone unafraid to follow it closely. Someone unafraid to denounce torture as an interrogation technique. Also, would it be this guy’s job to introduce legislation to abolish the electoral college and revise the way voting works? Because I think we need that guy, too.

So those are my big choices, I think. Looking over it, it seems to lean slightly left, but I left several slots unfilled, and I’d definitely try to balance the cabinet in filling those.


  1. Seeing on how well the “no child left behind” program went I think having the clintons anywhere near education is a bad idea.

    Colin Powell would be a good choice to put some where on that list. McCain singing “bomb, bomb, Iran” dosen’t make him unqualified for positions of military statis. Most everyone, political or not, has a dark sence of humor. McCain just didn’t stop to think before he used his publically. Not that talking without thinking disqualifies you of anything either as our new Vice president elect has proven and I do mean that seriously.

  2. @Gotham: given that NCLB was signed into effect in January 2002, I have difficulty blaming it on the Clintons.

    Powell would certainly be a good choice, definitely. And you’re right about McCain. I’d really like to see him somewhere.

  3. I share your cabinet dreamteam.

  4. There desperately needs to be a good Scottish play adaptation! I don’t see Angelina Jolie having any chemistry with with your other picks though (as awesome as she is).

    I like your cabinet picks, but I don’t think either Gore nor Hillary would accept a cabinet position. I think Hillary would want to stay in the Senate and I think Gore is happy doing his own thing right now.

    I also think Warren Buffet might be the better choice, but I’m pretty ignorant on the matter. All I know is he certainly has a lot of books for sale.

  5. @Shannon: I was thinking of Jolie as one of the witches. Otherwise, you raise a lot of good points, particularly re: Gore and Clinton.

  6. Ok, I think i could see her as one of the witches (imagine the media attention the film would get if they messed with her beautiful face? It would be reminiscent of Kidman in “The Hours”).

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