Four years ago, Barack Obama gave us Jan Brewer. Of course, what he did was choose then-Governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, which left the governorship of that state to Brewer. Now, four years on, we are told that Sen Harry Reid is objecting to a plan to name Sen. John Kerry as Secretary of State or Defense, because Reid worries Sen. Scott Brown, who just lost, would make a formidable candidate to take Kerry's seat. The other leading candidate for the post, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, has plenty of opposition, and not only on the right as this article by Dana Milbank indicates , and Obama should save his chits for a better cause.
I have two candidates for Secretary of State of whom Reid would approve - and so would the full Senate. Obama should consider appointing either outgoing Republican Senator Olympia Snowe or former GOP presidential hopeful and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman. Either choice would help achieve what I believe is one of the most important task facing the President, rebuilding a foreign policy consensus that is truly bi-partisan so that the world knows America's political divisions end, or mostly end, at the water's edge. Both Snowe and Huntsman are from the sane wing of the GOP. Both have displayed bipartisan tendencies in the past. Both are more diplomatic than Ambassador Rice. And, neither party would risk a special election from the choice.