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Our View-Barack Obama’s kitchen Cabinet won’t remain bare

Now that the 2008 presidential election is over, it doesn’t take a genius to notice that the “Politics” category has disappeared from the Google news tab. You don’t have to take our word for it, even though we have nailed nearly every political quick pick in the past year and a half.

Hit Google and pop the “news” button at the top of the page. No “Politics” section, right? But politics Barack Obama-style is just beginning and he’s already showing that caution can lead to mastery.

It’s time to move on in the world of future Americana to the guessing game of who the president-elect will choose to fill the hottest spots to best bring about hope and change. Senate majority leader Tom Daschle was tapped for and accepted the Health and Human Services position, The Associated Press reported yesterday.

Obama is in an enviable position with his lottery options. The talent pool he has to draw from for the other positions is rife with potential winners. While many insiders pretend to be in the know about who will fill which Cabinet posts, Obama is playing a deliberate, thoughtful transition game.

The two front-runners for the high profile secretary of state slot are possibly the toughest choices of all and it doesn’t seem likely Obama could lose with either prospect.

At the top of the stack is Sen. Hillary Clinton, a favorite of the Daily Forty-Niner staff in an impromptu poll yesterday.

Clinton showed the American public many positive leadership attributes during her bid for the Democratic race. She proved that she is steady, focused and capable of tackling just about any task.

Clinton hasn’t shown that she is expressly interested in the spot, as insiders speculate she might not want to take a backseat to her former opponent. Staff members told The New York Times that she has to weigh giving up the independence of being her own boss as a senator.

Most expressed preference for Clinton because they didn’t have enough information on the other potential for the position, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico.

Richardson would fit the role nicely. He definitely comes with qualifications, having served as the Secretary of Energy and as Ambassador to the United Nations. Richardson is highly respected for his diplomatic interventions as a special envoy in some sticky situations, having helped broker hostage releases of American military personnel, journalists and aid workers in Cuba, Iraq, Sudan and North Korea.

The main drawback on enticing Clinton, numerous media agencies have reported, is letting Obama’s crew look in the hubbie’s finances. Former Pres. Bill Clinton has made a lot of money on the speaking tour and some believe Obama might not want the connection to his staff by a few of those who picked up the tab for Bill’s speaking engagements.

Whatever calculus the incoming commander in chief is using, it’s certain that he is taking his time picking lottery numbers. Or perhaps, he is trying to avoid gambling at all, opting instead for a sure thing.

What is obvious is that whether he chooses Clinton or Richardson — or some unannounced possibility — Obama is not merely putting on a blindfold and tossing darts at the Oval Office walls.

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