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Advice to Barack Obama: Look to the GOP to fill some key jobs

November 5, 2008 |  5:30 am

The resumes probably already are streaming Barack Obama's way. And as he dives into the process of staffing his administration, he'll be getting plenty of public and private recommendations, starting today.

Even before the first vote counts were released Tuesday night, however, the New Republic's John Judis was on the record with a piece (smartly headlined "Cabinet Making") offering provocative suggestions for the president-elect.

Here's is the key point Judis makes:

In making Cabinet choices, Obama has to realize that he faces some issues where he will need bipartisan support -- not from every Republican, but at least the moderates and independents.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Barack Obama cabinet?

These issues include the conduct of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (where the opposition will be ready to criticize him for abandoning Iraq, negotiating with terrorists, or not supporting our troops), as well as global warming and national health insurance (where powerful lobbies will attempt to divide the Democrats and mobilize the Republicans against his initiatives).

He should choose his Cabinet appointments accordingly.

Judis endorses the view many have previously expressed that Bob Gates should remain at the helm of the Defense Department. And then he gets interesting.

For a high-ranking environmental post, he floats the names of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine.

His "perfect choice" to spearhead the push for a revised health insurance system: Mitt Romney.

Judis concedes that's a highly unlikely prospect. But it certainly is one worth contemplating, as are the two Democrats he promotes for attorney general.

-- Don Frederick

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Photo credit: Associated Press