The Politico reports that, “California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in an interview aired Sunday that he would be open to the idea of serving as energy czar in a Barack Obama administration.” This is all hypothetical as no position has been offered, but a liberal Republican such as Schwarzenegger is the type of Republican which would make sense to include in an Obama administration. The Politco observes:
A Schwarzenegger appointment would add even more star power to a hypothetical Obama administration, and would allow Obama to make an appointment from across the aisle that would not upset his core supporters.
It probably would not upset his post-partisan core supporters but some long-time Democrats might not go along. I find via Memeorandum that Pamela Leavey at The Democratic Daily does object. Seeing this objection to Schwarzenegger raises a question in my mind about support or opposition to California politicians. Pamela, at least back in the days when I worked with her at The Democratic Daily , did seem to support Diane Feinstein. She is a Democrat that, while certainly not as bad as Lieberman, is one which I think the Democrats would be wise to get rid of. Between her right wing record on civil liberties issues and her support for Bush’s Medicare policy she has not been a Democrat who I would see any value in voting for (beyond backing her over a worse Republican opponent).
Living far from California I am certainly not as aware of all the specifics of the positions held by either Feinstein or Schwarzenegger but I have a hard time seeing how someone could support a conservative Democrat such as Feinstein and oppose a liberal Republican such as Schwarzenegger. While there might be some specific examples, in general I do not see that overall Feinstein is any closer to liberal Democratic positions than Schwarzenegger. In both cases I am sure there are positions where I would agree and disagree, and therefore I would not care if either wound up in a cabinet position dealing with an area where I agreed with them. To support Feinstein and have such a blanket opposition to Schwarzenegger can only be based upon pure partisanship. Hopefully reducing such knee jerk partisanship will be one of the accomplishments of Obama.
Pamela also writes:
It’s incredibly far-fetched that Obama would even consider Schwarzenegger for the role of “energy czar” when there’s a wealth of Democrats far more qualified than Schwarzenegger. Of the top of my head, Schwarzenegger doesn’t hold a candle on environmental issues to Democratic Party environmentalists like Al Gore, John Kerry and Barbara Boxer.
Perhaps our views on Feinstein aren’t as far apart as she does pick the better of the two California Senators. I doubt Gore would be interested in the position. Kerry would be a fine choice but I would prefer to see him as Secretary of State, or possibly even Attorney General. Energy policy might actually be a good position for a liberal Republican to help develop a bipartisan consensus, so the appointment of Schwarzenegger does actually sound like a reasonable choice.