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26 September 2008


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i was thinking, one clinton or another to state, the other to justice.
but then, i'm such a dreamer.

i also expect that an obama presidency will continue to lead more of us to be better, more active citizens, year long, not just on voting day.

Mad Dog

Clap, clap, clap!


Bah Humbug!

Paul in NC

What other rational choice do we have?


A recent article (NYT magazine) described what Obama's students from the U of Chicago thought of him; one said his administration would be characterized by "ruthless pragmatism". After the last 8 years this sounds pretty good.

The beaver

First time posting though I have been a lurker for some time. Can't vote in the US election but as the neighbour from the North, I am in total agreement

Maureen Lang

Thanks for putting up this post, Pat. Right there with you supporting Obama/Biden.

Hagel is certainly qualified as SecDef, & his choice would be a good effort toward actual bipartisanship instead of the hot air variety we've come to expect from the current Fed Admin. HRC on the Supreme Court? Excellent- she's a natural.



Thank you for taking a stand. I don't imagine it was an easy one for you. I know you're not a huge fan of Obama, and you had at least one personal, very unpleasant, experience with Biden. But I agree with you that temperament matters a great deal. I used to admire John McCain (didn't we all?), and I still honor his service to his country, but his recent behavior frightens me.

Love your blog--I've learned a lot from it.

Richard Armstrong

I respectfully submit that COL Lang would be an excellent choice to be President Obama's National Security Advisor.


Yes on Obama/Biden! Yes on Chuck Hagel for Defense! Yes on appointing the Clintons (Hillary would be great on the Supreme Court)!
I knew you were a very smart man.....Any thinking person would not be comfortable with Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency. The way the McCain campaign is "handling" her is an insult to women everywhere. If she can't answer simple questions, why did he choose her in the first place? His choice of her made me lose all respect for the man. He could have chosen a number of Republican women with smarts--as it is, it appears he just chose her to be window dressing in a flagging campaign. How cynical.


Dear Sir, I cannot think of a better placement for former President Clinton than the United Nations, unless they relocate to Iceland or Finland.


Both Senator Clinton and President Clinton have asked me to vote for Obama. I will honor their request. Even so I will always detest the screaming harpie supporters of his that slandered Mrs Clinton. Hopefully he will drop those supporters in the garbage dump where they belong if he wins the Presidency.

Not sure I agree about appointments for either of the Clintons. Hillary can accomplish much more for this country in the Senate than in the Supreme Court, and there are many judges more qualified than her. And the same for Bill, as a former president and friend of the Obama administration he can accomplish much more than as the UN ambassador.

Besides - why would they take a handout from Obama after his supporters slimed them and played the race card during the primary? They both support him for policy reasons and not in any hopes of political patronage - they don't need it.


putting Hillary on the Supreme would take her out of the realm of politics and neutralize her- a waste of her prodigious talents.

hmmm- one good way to remove a possible challenge in 2012.


Your sentiments are right on.


It's clear that Obama/Biden should win easily, but may just narrowly squeak by. However, getting elected may turn out to be the easy part!! Looking beyond the Congressional elections, the Republicans are going to be diminished in the Senate. However if they hold the Democrats below 60 seats it could be that obstructionism will reach new heights. Senate rules require 60 votes for many procedural votes, and if the "rump" Republicans in the Senate can withstand the pressure from a President Obama they can block a lot of the action. This is especially true as many of the Republican senators who will be knocked off by the Democrats will be the more moderate ones!

On the other hand, if the Democrats reach or exceed 60 seats in the Senate then I think a President Obama would have the most trouble with his own party. Without Republicans to be against their cohesion will evaporate (after all, don't most senators think they are just as qualified to be President?).

I wondered earlier if/when it would come to the point where Republicans (in desperation) would say 'vote for McCain to ensure divided government' George Will came out with that a week ago, but it doesn't seem to have taken hold at all... If it did and actually resonated (currently pretty unlikely) enough to tip the election, that would seriously change the game ...



Col Lang,

I respect you and your opinion so much. I read your blog all the time to learn...and I learn not just from you, but from those who comment here (thank you, commenters!).

Your endorsement of Obama/Biden made an impact on me.

I would also like to see Sen Hagel in Obama's cabinet.

And Sen Clinton on the Supreme Court? WOW! That is something that I never thought you'd suggest! As a woman, I would LOVE to see her there!!

I have nothing important to say; I just wanted to let you know how I feel.




It is one of the peculiar joys of this space to see you suffer conference with those with whom you would most obviously disagree on any number of issues.

Sufferance is no longer a political asset, but it remains an admirable trait of individual character.

Insufferably yours,



In addition to the intellect and temperament issues you mention I think that McCain, whatever his "change" initiatives might be, will have a very difficult time preventing those efforts from being sandbagged by uncooperative political appointees of his own party. The more non-ideological, moderate members of his party have largely left in disgust, and what are left are mainly neoconservatives and right wing hacks. This, together with his own impulsiveness, will make for an ineffectuality that we do not need at this point in our history.


I am curious as to why you recommend Sen. Hagel for DOD instead of State. Who would you recommend for Secretary of State?

g. powell

I would prefer to see Clinton as Senate majority leader. Reid is weak and I think Clinton would be great in that position. She would also stand up to Obama time to time, which would not necessarily be a bad thing.


I wouldn't mind if McCain dumped Sarah Palin and replaced her with someone like Tom Ridge or Tim Pawlenty; the thought of someone as uninformed and inexperienced as Sarah Palin becoming president is frightening. And there are a number of Republicans who agree with me (e.g. Kathleen Parker).

I thought Obama really should have chosen Hillary. If Biden really screws up and decides to "spend more time with his family" within the next month, I would hope Obama picks her.


A well argued endorsement, with which I agree.

But, fellow citizens, remember that we have enormous, long term structural problems and expectations in Obama to make *change* need to be managed.

Once he gets the chalice, I simply don't see him, for example, reversing the creeping Ceasarization of the Presidency, or reducing government surveillance of US citizens.

If Obama is really so "ruthlessly pragmatic," he will realize that this is not the real 'change' election. He will realize that his will be a caretaker administration whose main goals are a) to kill off the remnants of Cheneyism, and b) lay the ground work for actual reform/change in 2016.

If Obama fails or overreaches, I predict the change will indeed be made - by a bigger, badder, more competent version of Bush in 2012.

Get ready for a long, hard slog, my fellow Americans.

G Hazeltine

Col. Lang - I think your idea of announcing cabinet appointments is excellent.

But regarding Hagel and the Clintons, I'm curious. As someone who finds Obama too far too the right, but who strongly supports Hagel's appointment to a ranking position in an Obama administration, I would have recommended him to be Secretary of State. No one in government has given foreign policy speeches like his. Serious, informed, with actual American interests, and respect for the world at large, at their core. The Clintons on the other hand are, one might say, not so clear in their thinking. With Hagel at state and B. Clinton at the UN, one could imagine less than smooth going. And after all the Clintons, or Bill at least, are responsible for a very great deal of death and suffering, of innocents, in Iraq. At little cost to us at the time, but...

And their ME policy in general, certainly as executed then, and as proposed recently, are not Hagel's.

So if Hagel goes to Defense, who then at State?


Hillary enjoys mixing it up in the Senate. She wants the gavel and while not a fan, I think she would be a great Majority Leader; "madam president" indeed.

Hagel for DOS.

Richard Danzig for DOD.

I know this choice was not lightly made.



Will is on to something here:

putting Hillary on the Supreme would take her out of the realm of politics and neutralize her- a waste of her prodigious talents.

Hillary Clinton's natural talents, I think, are best used in the US Senate. Not the White House, not the Supreme Court. She's been most effective in the Senate, and she's still pretty young -- give her a decade and she could become the next Robert Byrd.

Why people (including her!) keep trying to shuffle her off somewhere else, leaves me baffled.

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