McCain's Wealthy Cabinet Picks

CNN reports that John McCain said he'd include Democrats in his cabinet. Since Sen. Barack Obama said the same about Republicans months ago, there's no story there. (Unless it that's McCain gives us Joe Lieberman, hardly something to write home about.)

But, this quote is curious: [More...]

He said he'll also ask some members of his Cabinet "to work for a dollar a year. They've made enough money.

And for the poor? No mention of cabinet positions, but in a attempt to get over the backlash his surrogates and VP candidate have caused over their "community organizer" comments, he adds:

But I'll also ask people who have struggled out there in the trenches to help people, to volunteer in their communities, who understand these problems at that level, which obviously is lost on a lot of -- a lot -- a big segment of Washington."

Update and clarification: As commenters have pointed out, it's not clear from the placement of the comma whether he's saying he'd ask those who have stuggled to help out in their communities or to serve in his cabinet. If it's the latter, good for him.

< Two Criminal Cases to Watch This Week | Media Pressure Works: Palin to Be Interviewed by ABC >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I read these comments differently (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by davnee on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:45:26 PM EST
    He clearly implies in that first statement that he may have non-wealthy cabinet members in addition to wealthy ones.  That first statement is a pretty standard stunt to look populist.  Not really worthy of praise or rebuke.

    The second statement is pretty standard conservatism in action - rely on volunteers rather than government to make things better in our communities - I'm sure he'd be making that statement even if his surrogates hadn't made fun of Obama's community organizing.  And I really don't see where he's asking the poor to volunteer to help the poor.  He's asking the hypothetical average American to help the poor.  Once again standard conservative call to service as a way of avoiding investing government resources in helping people.

    I'm not trying to stick up for McCain here, but we run the risk of only helping him if we try to forward such tortured interpretations of his words.  Just my opinion.

    Eh (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by nell on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:46:53 PM EST
    I don't know that there has been a backlash in the "real world" over the community organizer comments...frankly, I think most people have no idea what Obama is talking about when he lists that as a qualification for the presidency, which he has done often. I always thought it was a mistake for him to put it out there so much, without actually talking about what he accomplished. When I did some work as a community organizer, my parents had no idea what that meant and I am willing to bet they aren't alone. I think people in urban communities are familiar with community organizers (and not so familiar with small town mayors), while it is the opposite in small town and or/suburban communities. The only backlash over those comments is in the blogosphere.

    You know, this may not be a popular view around here, but I don't see a backlash at all for McCain from the Palin pick. My circle of acquaintances at school and work is diverse and across the board people have been buzzing about Palin. I have talked to people who generally vote republican who weren't enthusiastic about McCain who are now voting, I have met Obama voters who are still Obama voters who thought her speech was great, I have met a few soft Obama voters who are reconsidering...I have yet to hear one negative comment about her as a person, or frankly, about her speech. That doesn't mean she is pulling in tons of voters, but I think it does indicate that people like her and relate to her...

    Dems really need to focus on McCain and just ignore Palin.

    What backlash? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by myiq2xu on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:02:58 PM EST
    The only people I've seen that are upset about Palin's community organizer comments were already voting for Obama anyway.

    or, more aptly, (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:06:57 PM EST
    they were already voting for McCain.

    Not so (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by nell on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:28:22 PM EST
    I am not voting for McCain and I was not disturbed in the slightest by those comments, it was ridiculous that Obama belittled her as a small-town mayor when she was first announced, completely ignoring the fact that she is a GOVERNOR, not just a small town mayor. She hit him back with disrespect as well. It's politics....

    And a lot of Obama supporters I know who are voters, but who do not follow the day in and day out of politics, were very favorably impressed with her speech and did not take personally her criticisms of Obama.

    I guess I just think sometimes the blog world can be disconnected from the "real world." The people I talk to around me who are by and large not extremely politically active, do not follow every point and every issue. They see what they want to see and then they vote. I don't think they are in the habit of getting themselves worked up about political tit for tat.


    I haven't seen any upset McCain voters (2.00 / 0) (#18)
    by myiq2xu on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:12:42 PM EST
    nor anyone who isn't supporting either ticket.

    "Poor" cabinet members? (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:55:37 PM EST
    Clarification request: When was the last time any President, living or deceased, appointed anyone to a cabinet-level position whose financial worth did not exceed the national average? The $1 pledge is an interesting rhetorical flourish; by the same token, it is hard to criticize unless there is some comparison to others who appointed "average Janes or Joes" to their cabinets.

    Speaking of Wealthy: Obama hedges on tax hikes (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by BlueMerlin on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:05:47 PM EST
    On "This week on ABC" Obama was asked:

    What about increasing taxes on the wealthy?

    "I think we've got to take a look and see where the economy is. I mean, the economy is weak right now," Obama said on "This Week" on ABC. "The news with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, I think, along with the unemployment numbers, indicates that we're fragile."

    Oh great.  Hey, can anyone here list the policies on which Obama still holds a progressive position?  I just, you know, need someone to throw me a crumb.

    he spoke this morning about the need (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:09:33 PM EST
    to create more jobs, particularly in manufacturing. He spoke about the need for health insurance and mocked McCain's campaign or surrogates for suggesting the uninsured could just go to an emergency room and therefore weren't really uninsured.

    He brought up the people who have to choose between buying gas and groceries.


    That's great. But did he (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by rooge04 on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:23:37 PM EST
    say he would raise taxes on the rich? Because that's what he said every time before now.  I liked that he said that. I don't like that he's hedging on it now.

    Tax Cuts (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by WS on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 06:40:19 PM EST
    According to an AP article just released, Obama plans to let the Bush tax cuts expire instead of actively rolling it back in new legislation if the economy is down (near certainty).  He would push for his income tax credit idea and presumably make the Bush tax cuts for everyone but the top 5% permanent in tax legislation.  

    Since the Bush tax cuts will expire in 2010 anyways, I'm fine with this plan.      


    Didn't his advisers come out before (none / 0) (#23)
    by nycstray on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:37:16 PM EST
    the convention and say they wouldn't kick in for ten years? The tax on the rich that is . . .

    he did mention his plan (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 06:23:25 PM EST
    to raise taxes on over $250k, and said something like 90% of Americans would see a tax cut. The ABC video of his interview is available on their website.

    Where did he say that no non rich (none / 0) (#1)
    by tigercourse on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:31:50 PM EST
    people would be allowed on his cabinet?

    I didn't say he did (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:34:36 PM EST
    Nor did I say only wealthy people would be in his cabinet. His remark about "those who have struggled" e.g. the poor, referred only to having them volunteer for service.

    That last statement is open to interpretation. (none / 0) (#3)
    by tigercourse on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:36:58 PM EST
    Depending upon where you put the comma and emphasis, it could easily mean "I will also ask community organizers to be in my cabinet".

    you might be right (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:42:09 PM EST
    perhaps I misread the comma and he is saying he will put community organizers in his cabinet. I hope so.
    That would make an even better headline and show even more disagreement with his surrogates and VP pick, not to mention be something we could hold him to if elected.

    Don't talk about him being president. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Salo on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:44:01 PM EST
    almost sounds like a premature concession.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#26)
    by fercryinoutloud on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:43:15 PM EST
    No mention of the poor for cabinet positions? How about this:

    "And for the poor? No mention of cabinet positions,..."

    And then after the comma in your post you proceeded to second topic to which you updated that it didn't mean what you first thought it did.

    But the second topic does not change your question and response quoted above.


    A good point (none / 0) (#5)
    by Salo on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:42:52 PM EST
    The idea of working for a buck for year of stressful work is basically offensive. That was McCain doing his "Mi'ludship" routine.

    There are plenty of whiz kids who need to be paid properly.

    that buck (none / 0) (#9)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:47:21 PM EST
    DC was full of dollar-a-year workers in FDR's time.

    And Kennedy donated his (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:52:58 PM EST
    to charity...

    Bloomberg worked for a dollar a year (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by nycstray on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:01:54 PM EST
    his first term. I think he may have given himself a raise in his second. 2 bucks a year, unless he was joking . . . .

    Isn't he talking cabinet level? (none / 0) (#12)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:56:49 PM EST
    Most folks who get brought on at that level aren't your $1500/month English Basement dwellers.

    I'm still trying to figure out...... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 05:40:45 PM EST
    ...which rich people he is talking about. Mitt Romney comes to mind. But who are the rich Democrats he's considering?

    Dems in the Cabinet? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:46:22 AM EST
    Last I looked, Gurney Joe was no longer a Dem, he is an independent who caucuses with the Dems in exchange for Committee tenure/chairmanships and works directly with the R's including campaigning for McCain.
    So maybe one Indie and who for a Dem?