Think Biden Might Become a Consequential President? He Already Has…

It is worth the time to watch this slightly long video and hear the appointees’ speeches

A Slightly Giddy Little Ditty–Dressed in White

In this Centennial Year of Women’s Suffrage
A guy named Joe gave the celebration a nudge

We’ve never seen a move in the White House like it
Ya know that glass ceiling? Well, Joe sure did spike it

With Kamala VP always close by his side
He’s taking the US on a wondrous new ride

Selecting through merit so many strong women
It’s almost like Iceland—with a few men thrown in!

There’s Yellen the North Star to guide the Treasury
A smart Senate would confirm her ASAP

And Rouse, Princeton’s A-Team: the Council she’ll chair
Will use economics to stress what’s most fair

While Boushey, a Member, adds even more aplomb
To redress our inequalities of income

The same’s true for Tanden who’ll head the OMB
She recalled her youth spent mired in poverty

At Intel, with Haines, there’s already solid proof
She’s a humble genius who will tell Joe the truth

Adding strength at the UN, the world soon will see
Thomas-Greenfield will feed them her diplomacy(*)

The Communicators whom the public will know
Are all quite experienced running such a show

We’ll hear Psaki, Bedingfield, Tobar, Jean-Pierre
Deliver the messages to make us aware

Etienne and Sanders will both round out this team
They’re Kamala’s point folks as the efforts gain steam.

They look like America, a promise Joe made
But no need to wonder if it’s just a charade

Not one has been selected who isn’t topnotch
No fools, frauds, or fakers can be found on this watch

Our country is truly in such great distress
Who better than women to clean up the mess?

__________

The Women Selected Thus Far

Kamala Harris, Vice President

Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary
Cecilia Rouse, Chair, Council of Economic Advisers
Heather Boushey, Member, Council of Economic Advisers
Neera Tanden —Director, Office of Management and Budget

Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence
Linda Thomas-Greenfield— Ambassador to the UN
(*Thomas-Greenfield has described having people join her in cooking as a diplomatic tool)

Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary
Karine Jean-Pierre, Principal Deputy Press Secretary
Kate Bedingfield, White House Communications Director
Pili Tobar, Deputy White House Communications Director
Symone Sanders, Senior Adviser and Chief Spokesperson for VP Harris
Ashley Etienne, Communications Director for VP Kamala Harris
Elizabeth E. Alexander, Communication Director for Jill Biden

But the Men Are No Slouches…

Although I am obviously enjoying this long-overdue broad recognition of the talents and accomplishments of women, I hasten to add that the men Biden has selected are equally illustrious: Chief of Staff, Ron Klain; Secretary of State Antony Blinken; National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan; John Kerry in the new and important cabinet position of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; Jared Bernstein as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Adewale (“Wally”) Adeyemo as Janet Yellen’s deputy at Treasury.

Each one of Biden’s selections is stellar in terms of intellect, accomplishments, and experience. Economist Paul Krugman, expressing delight at the economic appointees, said they’re actually overqualified: any one of the members of the Council of Economic Advisers could easily be the Chair.

The fact that Biden’s appointees are also diverse in terms of backgrounds, race, and life experiences delivers the important message that there is no discrepancy between getting the best people and tapping into talent that hasn’t always been recognized because of artificial barriers.

If you listen to the economic team nominees in the video above, I think you’ll be inspired, as I was, by their discussions of their upbringings, the setbacks they faced and overcame, their determination to attack America’s economic problems for the benefit of individuals and families, and their visions of the ways they see their mandates woven with social justice, the pandemic, the climate, national security.

They bring expertise in unemployment and job creation, consumer financial protection, the fraying social safety net, and other areas of immediate importance to improving the lives of workers, families, and people who have been invisible for far too long.

And the President-elect wisely recognized that the enormity of the problems he’s facing demands a highly experienced team.

Taken together, these appointees represent a strong, progressive group that is, to me, positioned to provide us with what most Americans want and need–urgently. “Help is on the way,” President-elect Biden said in introducing them.

(The team to address the pandemic will soon be announced.)

Questions will be raised because several nominees have past experience with lobbying groups. Those questions are legitimate, and I believe the Biden administration is prepared with strict guidelines. But I hope people will acknowledge that when individuals leave government service, they have a right to use their skills in the private sector. And they can return to government if they adhere to certain conditions. We can curb the worst excesses of lobbyists’ influence without losing some of the best people in the process.

Yet Here’s the Reality Check…

It bears repeating that so much of the potential of the Biden Presidency will depend on the Democratic candidates in Georgia—Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock—winning their runoff elections on January 5 against two opponents who have been caught as insider traders and are running truly despicable, racist campaigns.

With luck and karma, Trump’s attacks on the Republican governor and secretary of state for refusing to lie about his loss there may cost the Republican candidates votes. As of this writing, he’s following the suggestion of his erstwhile delusional attorney Sidney Powell and demanding that the Georgia election be cancelled.

(Reminder: donations and volunteer work are needed, now, for Ossoff and Warnock through their own websites, electjon.com and warnockforgeorgia.com and Stacey Abrams’ fairfight.com).

The Republicans are already gearing up to oppose Neera Tanden’s nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget because—get this—several of them found some of her tweets were mean to them (!)

The absurdity and hypocrisy, which we should be used to by now, was spelled out in a tweet from George Conway, spouse of former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

“So if I have this right: Republican senators who didn’t seem to care that an OMB director illegally allowed the president to withhold congressionally mandated security assistance to a foreign ally so that the president could extort personal help from the ally in support of whacked-out conspiracy theories to bolster the president’s reelection campaign think it’s potentially disqualifying that a nominee for that position tweeted uncomplimentary things about them.”

There’s so much to be positive about with the incoming administration that I’d love to leave all this stuff out. Still, reality checks are needed, and I’ve yet to see anything suggesting that the word “loyal,” which used to precede “opposition,” is operative–even as the Senate Republicans are beginning to grudgingly accept that their longtime friend Joe Biden won the election.

In 2015, Lindsey Graham described Biden in a tearful interview as “the nicest person I’ve ever met in politics…as good a man as God ever created.”

Lindsey: Tell McConnell, another old Biden friend, to let the man have the cabinet he wants and believes he needs! It’s time the Republicans acknowledged that they need to start governing and stop obstructing.

And tell McConnell what the President-elect and Federal Reserve Chairman have said: Americans need stimulus help now–they can’t wait till January!

Fortunately, I feel comfortable that the President- and Vice President-elect—and all the terrific people who have signed on to extremely demanding jobs with their administration as we face so many life and death issues—do have the country’s best interests at heart.

And I like to think that eventually many more Americans will come to realize that’s true.

Annie

38 thoughts on “Think Biden Might Become a Consequential President? He Already Has…

  1. Biden hired four women to speak for him — Trump has had to pay the Devil knows how many to keep quiet.

    This is all very encouraging, and from Biden I would have expected no less. It’s going to be about ability instead of ideology. Perhaps a couple of the moderate Republicans will vote for at least some of the cabinet choices. It may take guts, though. The knuckle-dragging Deliverance mutants in the hinterlands think Biden stole the election and anyone who “collaborates” is a traitor.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A very comprehensive summation indeed….and if it weren’t so hypocritical, what could be funnier than GOP senators opposing Neera Tanden’s nomination because of some uncomplimentary tweets about them. How convenient of them to overlook that Trump has spent half of his Presidency tweeting insults and absolute garbage.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Well done Annie! I esp. liked the last line of your poem. I had noticed that Biden had chosen quite a few well qualified women for top positions – quite a stark contrast to the present soon to be departed regime, where the only qualification for a position seemed to be whether you were a “yes” person. Just tell him what he wants to hear. I’m thinking of useless Bill Barr or that Atlas guy for example. I am wondering about those two Senate seat run-offs in Georgia in January though – why is that necessary? ie why weren’t those seats part of the regular election process. And why are they delayed until January?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The elections in GA require that a candidate get 50 percent plus one of the vote, a clear majority rather than just a plurality. Both elections in GA ended up with neither candidate getting over 50 percent. Also, rather than only 1 senator up for re-election there are 2 because the Loeffler/Warnock election is a special election to replace Johnny Isaacson who retired in 2019 and was replaced by Loeffler appointed by Kemp.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, and welcome! I did correct my explanation of the elections in my responses to Joni further down, though I should have said “more than 50 percent” instead of “at least…” so I appreciate your taking the time to clarify.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Infidel: You get an “A” on your “compare and contrast” response.

    I am hopeful. I expect there will be a few Republicans who may reach back into their memories for bipartisanship. Biden’s presence in the Oval Office will be a constant reminder of what that meant.

    He is certainly showing strong and steady leadership. We are very lucky in that regard.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mistermuse: I debated with myself whether to include George Conway’s tweet because I’m really trying to live “on the sunny side of the street” post-trump. But it so succinctly set out the absurd hypocrisy that I kept coming back to it.
    The Grifter lumbered in and stole so much spine. Do they notice?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Joni: I think Barr, Atlas, and most other trump officials have been far worse than useless: they lied and helped trump effect so many dreadful policies—too numerous to mention. By design, they were anti- whatever position they were supposed to be holding.

    Georgia state election law requires a runoff if no candidate in November gains at least 50% of the vote. Warnock and Loeffler are vying for a seat that had been held by Johnny Isackson, who resigned in 2019 due to illness; the governor appointed Loeffler, who has zero experience but is very rich, to fill out his term. Ossoff and Perdue are running for an open seat. The Republicans’ sole message is “stop the socialists/Communists,” and they’ve been attacking Rev Warnock as a “fake pastor” because he supports women’s reproductive rights. Ugly racist stuff too.

    In Georgia, local and state runoffs are held in December; the Senate race in January. The interesting thing is that the winners will immediately be sworn in. So if Warnock and Ossoff both win (many people think it will be both win or both lose), the Senate will be tied 50-50 and will have a Democratic majority
    when Biden and Harris are sworn in Jan 20, as Harris will break the tie.

    Like

    1. Joni: I just realized that I left out something very important about Georgia’s impact: If there’s a 50-50 tie, Chuck Schumer, now the Senate Minority Leader, becomes the Majority Leader–and is thereby able to push forward the Biden agenda, despite McConnell and the Republicans’ continuing intransigence.

      Also, Perdue has been a Senator since 2015; he’s running for re-election. I incorrectly said it was an open seat. He has the distinction of being the biggest stock trader in the Senate— buying and selling stocks at strategic times in companies where there’s apparent conflict based on his committee and subcommittee assignments.

      Like

      1. No, but I don’t like the look of her. And yes I know we shouldn’t judge on looks but….you’d have to be rich to maintain that kind of hair! And yes, I know I’m bad, but she seems like Trump’s type, and he’s all about appearances, no substance.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She’s pretty awful—has nothing to say for herself so just attacks Warnock as a “radical liberal socialist” (?) who will destroy the American dream. Unfortunately, I don’t think he responded as strongly as he could have/should have.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I think the Democrats will take both seats, as I think Trump is done. I’m currently reading, Melania and Me – and it’s an eye-opener. I didn’t think I’d like it, but the author was an event-planner who organized the Met gala for 9 years and worked for Vogue, so she was highly regarded in her business. She got enlisted by Melania to help with the inauguration festivities and then got blamed for the costs and the chaos. The whole family are like leeches – it they end up in jail it wouldn’t surprise me. Probably why he’s fighting so hard, he knows what’s coming.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. There’s a big controversy among those who think it’s important that Trump be tried and punished for federal crimes, which is why he’s talking about pardoning himself and everyone else in his immediate world, and those who think it’s a bad precedent to “lock him up,” which would make the new administration no better than his—banana republic stuff. It would also be the focus when there’s so much to be done by the Biden administration. I’m of two minds..Either way, he’ll have civil and criminal problems in New York State, where he’s not protected by pardons.

        Sure hope you’re right about Georgia. The Republicans have already reduced the number of voting locations in three of the most populous counties.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. It was more the civil and criminal lawsuits I was thinking of. I don’t see how he can escape those. I agree Biden won’t want to go after him, nor is he the vindictive type to do so.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Nicely laid out, Annie. Agree completely with your insights here and thanks for the round-up. Am all for this new administration (duh) yet we’re not out of the woods yet, as the “knuckle-dragging Deliverance mutants in the hinterland” remark makes abundantly clear (and so perfectly stated). All eyes on Georgia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, as always, Denise. Fortunately, the continually unwinding guy determined to shred our govt seems to have sown more confusion in Georgia: I understand the Republican candidates at last night’s rally couldn’t be heard over the crowd’s demands that they help overthrow the results for trump. I have suggested that Ossoff and Warnock, constantly being hit by charges of Communism/socialism/ economy wrecking, should adopt the slogan that their insider trading opponents “give capitalism a bad name.”

      But Jan 20th can’t come soon enough.

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  8. Georgia is a really difficult one to call as far as I can see. I’m not sure whether Trumps latest rally will get out the Republican vote or whether calls from talking heads to boycott the vote will stymie it. Like you say, a lot hinges on two seats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A huge amount! I’m about to start writing my weekly post cards to GA Democratic voters urging them to request vote by mail ballots. We’ll do it for several more weeks.

      Is all going well with the doctorate?

      Like

  9. Nice post. I agree that Biden and Harris have the country’s best interest in mind and that alone is a huge step in the right direction. As far as Trump supporters arriving at the same conclusion, I’m not holding my breath.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carol. I am hopeful that some of the apolitical people who are concerned more about their own lives than about any ideology or personality fixation may, if the Biden administration isn’t largely obstructed, realize that life is getting better as a result of sound governmental action. I acknowledge that more people than we’d like to think will continue sending their hard-earned money to the con artist who’s turning his loss into a giant piggy bank for his next failed venture—or his legal fees.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, it’s nice that someone is optimistic. I see a looming love-fest among big government, big tech, big business, big education and big media. I see foreign policy with large blind spots about the dangers from China and Iran, for two. I see people who will be civil, will talk a good game but who will not deliver for middle America. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would fall over in a dead faint if you had expressed even the teensiest sense that it will be a welcome change to have people who follow the law and norms established long ago and never broken til now—such as the peaceful transition of power and a president who doesn’t encourage his hapless supporters to threaten even Republicans who tell the truth about the election results—and cares about the several hundred thousand dead Americans and…and…

      I like to think you really hope you’re wrong, but that would mean you’d have to rethink your entire philosophy of the role of government as a potential positive force when people are starving and have been evicted from their homes through no fault of their own.😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Ed” is a right-wing troll who specializes in leaving attack comments on posts that have been linked from the Crooks and Liars blog round-up. I’m pretty sure he never even comes back to see whether he’s gotten any replies. Any time you’re linked from there, you’ll probably get a spamment from him. Probably best to just delete them and forget them.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks, Infidel. I sorta found his comment amusing—akin to a soon-to-be-erstwhile president’s plea to the “housewives in the suburbs.” I just don’t know how these characters slip through the screening moderator feature.

    Liked by 1 person

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