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Capitol Showdown: Who do you believe is best for the positions of U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Secretary of Defense?

9 December 2012 One Comment

Rachel Eldringhoff, Towson College Republicans:

The best candidate for the Secretary of State is hands down Jon Huntsman. Huntsman was running for the presidential election a while back but lost majorly. Huntsman is the best candidate because of his moderate views. The only way to get issues and policies addressed in politics is to be able to find a compromise.

First off, it is very important for the candidate to have experience. Huntsman has this experience with being a former ambassador to China. President Obama chose Huntsman for this position. Huntsman has also has experience with being the former governor of Utah.

Additionally, he has served in White House staffs under the Reagan administration as well as under both Bush Sr. and Jr. Even though Huntsman is a conservative, he still has a very open mind while working with the Obama administration. We need someone like Huntsman to deal with interstate communications due to his moderate views. We cannot have someone who is hard-headed and refuses to see the other side of the spectrum.

When people’s minds are open, the amount of negotiation and compromises skyrocket. Interestingly enough, the Towson College Republicans were lucky enough to meet Jon Huntsman and hear him speak a few weeks ago at Goucher College. Huntsman’s character and disposition toward people is very commendable and one to make note of for when he would be making negotiations in foreign affairs.

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is definitely a potential choice to head the Pentagon. Hagel’s appointment would give Obama’s second-term Cabinet a bipartisan company. Hagel has experience as he served two terms in the Senate representing the state of Nebraska. Additionally, Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations; of Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees. Also, Hagel has experience in international economics due to his time his chair of the Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion Subcommittee; and the Banking Committee’s International Trade and Finance, and Securities Subcommittees. Hagel was the Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the Senate Climate Change Observer Group.

Hagel has an impressive résumé and definite potential in being the best candidate for the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Hagel’s positions in so many different topics—climate change, economics, trade, and security—shows his ability to be well-rounded and knowledgeable on many different topics. This knowledge will help him bring many different insights to negotiations. Hagel has enough foreign security and leadership background to help him be an adviser to the president about the military and defense.

 

The best candidate for the Secretary of State is hands down Jon Huntsman. Huntsman was running for the presidential election a while back but lost majorly. Huntsman is the best candidate because of his moderate views. The only way to get issues and policies addressed in politics is to be able to find a compromise.

First off, it is very important for the candidate to have experience. Huntsman has this experience with being a former ambassador to China. President Obama chose Huntsman for this position. Huntsman has also has experience with being the former governor of Utah.

Additionally, he has served in White House staffs under the Reagan administration as well as under both Bush Sr. and Jr. Even though Huntsman is a conservative, he still has a very open mind while working with the Obama administration. We need someone like Huntsman to deal with interstate communications due to his moderate views. We cannot have someone who is hard-headed and refuses to see the other side of the spectrum.

When people’s minds are open, the amount of negotiation and compromises skyrocket. Interestingly enough, the Towson College Republicans were lucky enough to meet Jon Huntsman and hear him speak a few weeks ago at Goucher College. Huntsman’s character and disposition toward people is very commendable and one to make note of for when he would be making negotiations in foreign affairs.

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is definitely a potential choice to head the Pentagon. Hagel’s appointment would give Obama’s second-term Cabinet a bipartisan company. Hagel has experience as he served two terms in the Senate representing the state of Nebraska. Additionally, Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations; of Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees. Also, Hagel has experience in international economics due to his time his chair of the Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion Subcommittee; and the Banking Committee’s International Trade and Finance, and Securities Subcommittees. Hagel was the Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the Senate Climate Change Observer Group.

Hagel has an impressive résumé and definite potential in being the best candidate for the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Hagel’s positions in so many different topics—climate change, economics, trade, and security—shows his ability to be well-rounded and knowledgeable on many different topics. This knowledge will help him bring many different insights to negotiations. Hagel has enough foreign security and leadership background to help him be an adviser to the president about the military and defense.

Matt Sanford, College Democrats of Towson:

Currently, there are two obvious front-runners for the position of Secretary of State, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and the current ambassador to the United Nation, Susan Rice.

I personally believe that John Kerry should be the next Secretary of State. He has a long résumé and experience at the forefront of American foreign relations.

Kerry currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and has served on the committee since his election to the Senate in 1985. His work has been instrumental in achieving every success of foreign affairs of this administration.

Kerry helped ratify trade agreements, personally wrote key provisions in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), and has lead more fact-finding trips than any serving US Senator. Before Kerry was elected to the US Senate, he served in the US Navy and received a Purple Heart Medal for being wounded in action three times before being sent home.

While Kerry’s experience in the realm of foreign policy makes him an obvious first choice for the position, Susan Rice is not far behind. Rice was a Rhodes Scholar, fellow at the Brookings Institution, member of the National Security Council, and an Assistant Secretary of State under the Clinton Administration.

Recently, as UN Ambassador, Rice has been involved with writing the UN declarations instituting a no-fly zone in Libya, calling on Hosni Mubarak to step down as president of Egypt, putting pressure on Bashir al-Assad to stop killing his own citizens, and forcing Iran to continue allowing inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Despite these obviously significant accomplishments, Republicans have an objection to Susan Rice’s appointment. Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) said Rice is “not very bright” because in the wake of the recent attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Rice made statements saying the attack was the result of a protest. These reports later turned out to be false and Republican took the opportunity to criticize the President and his team. What these Senators neglect to acknowledge is that at the time Susan Rice made the statements about the attack, they were based on the best reports of the intelligence community. In my opinion, if Rice had said anything that was not based on the best intelligence available, then she would have been at fault.

At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has not made any public statements about his retirement, so it is likely that he will be around for a bit longer. Even so, the White House has already begun to generate discussion about Panetta’s successor. The buzz has surrounded former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, former top Pentagon official Michele Flournoy, and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. It is unclear though who the real front-runner is at the moment, but I tend to think that the first two names on that list, Chuck Hagel and Michele Flournor, would be the best choices. Hagel is a Republican, so his appointment would be a symbol of bi-partisanship. Michele Flournoy has an impressive résumé with years as a defense policy analyst.


One Comment »

  • Bob4883 said:

    Good analysis, Rachel. Huntsman and Hagel both have deep and rounded backgrounds in foreign and domestic areas, and share a unique ability to compromise and work across the aisle. The only reason I might be against them accepting these posts is that they would also make one heck of a formidable 2016 Presidential ticket.

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