1. I can see Daschle's value to Obama as a senior advisor in the white house, but I don't see how he has the demonstrated administrative competence or "health and human services" expertise to run that bureacracy.
2. Same with Clinton and the State Department. She seems at most qualified to be an assistant director to the director of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.
3. More qualified people for State are clear. I'm curious who is demonstrably more qualified for HHS (Shalala's top subordinates? People who run the equivalent in large states? Presidents of large research hospital administrations? Top career HHS people? I know the positions to look for them but not the names of the people.)
4. So far all of Obama's economic people are great in qualifications. Holder I have to bregudgingly admit is highly qualified in competency, if not in judgment, although I feel he got spots along the way that should have gone to more qualified people. (did he graduate columbia law with honors? If so, why is it not on his resume?) Reader, you know who I feel is not highly qualified for their positions.
5. What do people get paid in the private sector for running equivalent size organizations in terms of budget and numbers of employees as these bureacracies? The pay should be commesurate to attract the talent.
6. I'd like to see honors programs for elite JD, MPA's in JAG (the military lawyer division) focusing on administrative law, military strategy in the context of international laws of war, and policy. Folks like Obama and Clinton could've been JAG reservists while climbing the ranks of power, but there was no prestige in it for them. Similarly, I'd like to see honors programs that channel them into running for county executive and mayoral positions (honors programs in county administrative law?). A path that graduates from assistant city/county manager, to elected county executive or mayor, to the governorship, while serving as a JAG reservist or national guard member that gets deployed overseas once or twice, will create more experienced presidential candidates for the job of President. Obama and Clinton both seemed to me to take the easiest paths to national power for themselves. So we should make the path that actually builds technocratic presidential competencies easier for the politically ambitious than alternate paths that will have them ruling over us with less optimized technocratic competence.
7. Bloomberg warmed my technocratic heart in his first administration but he's become an object lesson in the corruption of power. Unfortunately, he seems very unabled by his constituents. And overall the pool running against him is weak on talent and resume. This surprises me because there's so much talent in NYC -but apparently it's concentrated in the private and academic sectors. Check out the 5 borough presidents, they all have weak resumes, and none are intellectuals. In contrast, Houston a mayor that better seems to fit the technocratic ideal (in comparison to the other largest cities of the United States).
8. New York, California, Texas, Florida. None of the governors are great, but at least they're actually running something only one order of magnitude smaller than the United States. They should be the ones we look at first to challenge Obama in 2012. I'm surprised states with more than 20 million citizens couldn't end up with more impressive executives than this bunch. Charlie Christ seems like the most competent of them, but he's far from my ideal.
9. "Senator for life" what an awful phrase. I hope Republicans run on term limits like they did in 1994. Senators should have a 2 term limit, reps a 5 term limit, and Supreme Court justices an 18 term limit in my opinion (the president could appoint a new justice every 2 years).