A Bunch of Reasons for Which I’m Thankful…

This video is long, but if you really want to get a sense of where President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are in terms of their approach to America’s place in the world–and the interrelationship between foreign policy and our nation’s families–it’s well-worth watching.

I’m thinking not only of American readers of my blog who may not have seen this presentation, but also our many friends around the world who have been fearful and flabbergasted as they’ve watched the current administration over the past four years.

The individuals in the above video are the choices to handle foreign affairs and national security, although some critical positions, such as Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA, haven’t yet been filled.

The emphasis is on diplomacy, and I view the inclusion of John Kerry in a newly created Cabinet-level post as US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate as a very welcome, important addition, showing the Biden administration’s seriousness on this most critical issue that must be addressed yesterday!

These people show that Biden prizes knowledge, governmental experience, and independent thinking. Keeping in mind the huge dilemmas that face him and us, I am not at all put off that Biden has selected people whom he knows well, who have solid relationships worldwide, and have previously received security clearance, meaning they’ll be ready on Day One (which means they’ve already begun working).

I expect some fresh new faces will be included when subsequent appointments are announced–though perhaps not on the Cabinet level.

Add to these appointees the previous announcements of Ron Klain as Chief of Staff, which gained nearly universal acclaim, and Janet Yellen, former Chair of the Federal Reserve, as Secretary of the Treasury, a choice that excited both Senator Elizabeth Warren and the stock market, and I think we’re starting off very well.

If you watch the video, you’ll hear some extraordinary personal stories from Antony Blinken, appointed Secretary of State, Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as US Ambassador to the United Nations, a position that now has Cabinet level status.

And you’ll meet Avril Haines, the first woman to be appointed Director of National Intelligence, as she tells the President-elect that she will deliver hard truths that he won’t always want to hear, and that she knows from working with him that he welcomes her doing so and will depend upon it. (Haines is such a fascinating person, a sort of Leonardo da Vinci in terms of her interests and capabilities, that I’m including this article about her.)

Now we just have to hope that the Senate, ideally with a Democratic majority, will act like a fair, truly deliberative body that defers to the President on his choices and confirm these highly qualified public servants. (Klain, Kerry, and Jake Sullivan, who will serve as National Security Advisor, do not need Senate approval.)

“America is back!” the President-elect told NBC’s Lester Holt in an interview. He’s certainly doing his best to make that happen–while consistently and wisely stressing that we’re not going back to what was, that we need new thinking for the problems we face.

And I, watching these masked and socially distanced individuals, and continuing to hear each speaker greet “Madam Vice President-elect,” am filled with hope and gratitude right now.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody, and cheers to those of you elsewhere in the world.

Annie

24 thoughts on “A Bunch of Reasons for Which I’m Thankful…

  1. Wonderful. With no family assembled this Thanksgiving, I’ll invite Biden’s team to my kitchen and enjoy learning about them. Looking forward to it, Annie. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Thanks giving to you all.

    Yes Joe Biden and Kamala are really choosing a diverse team, and experience and people with integrity. Well I am no expert sitting here in the UK.

    But I have been a Biden fan from the time he was VP to Obama. I love the the Obama

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was in New York for work a few months after Obama was made president. And my colleague where walking around and there was all this fuss. I forgot he was in town. And I just happened to be at a corner to see Obama was from his motorcade. It was something to see. And a total accidental but what luck. In contrast I saw our then prime minister David Cameron go by in the UK when I was driving an really it is nothing in comparison, it cant be compared.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As I posted a little while ago, I was actually moved to tears watching the introduction yesterday of truly highly qualified and extremely competent leaders in the incoming Biden administration. It was so refreshing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No Sleepy Joe there for sure!

      Now we have to win Georgia so Biden can carry out his mandate. Americans who vote for divided government don’t seem to understand that Mitch & Co aren’t interested in governing one whit.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Here’s hoping that you and your family had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. Sending hope, too, that the incoming Biden administration does not have to deal with the obstacles that kept Obama from accomplishing even more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Matthew, my friend—I’ve been missing you! I know you have a crazy busy life, but you’ve been such a loyal and valued commenter that I was about to contact you to make sure everything is ok.

      Yes; Kerry is about as serious as they get—and very knowledgeable and dedicated, so I think he’ll be a real asset. Some people find him arrogant, but so be it.

      My husband is reading a book by Thomas Ricks about the American founding fathers, and he told me they looked to Scotland for direction and enlightenment. Neither of us knew that. Did you?

      Cheers!
      Annie

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No I didn’t actually – I’d be fascinated to find out which snippets they adopted (or ignored!). I’ve been concentrating on the doctorate for the last couple of weeks so have a lot of good reading to catch up on (I’ve apportioned myself a half hour with a scone and a coffee to read your latest articles)!

        Like

      2. Much appreciated in advance; warms my heart that you’re taking the time now to read my posts.

        Hope the doctorate is going well. I’ll get back to you, eventually, after I’ve read the book, about the founders’ Scottish inspirations.

        Enjoy your scone!

        Liked by 1 person

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