The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 12, 2012

Our View: Time for choices

The Joplin Globe

— The American people have spoken. President Obama will govern our country for four more years.

But any president needs a lot of help governing, and the people appointed to high-level positions to help the president can make a big difference as well. Who becomes the new faces in the president’s Cabinet should be a part of the public debate now.

Who should be the real “keepers” from the current Cabinet? The secretary of education is our first choice. Arne Duncan has brought new ideas to our public education system and we support four more years under his leadership in that regard.

Leon Panetta as secretary of defense is a harder choice. He seems to recognize both the need for reducing defense spending while at the same time keeping our military in a position to achieve our national objectives. However, his role in the Benghazi affair is far too murky at this point for us to understand if that dysfunction in our National Command Authority should be blamed on him. More needs to revealed about Benghazi before we would call for his continuation as our secretary of defense.

Hillary Clinton is leaving as secretary of state of her own accord. The president must find a replacement whether he wants to do so or not. We wonder if Colin Powell might be willing to jump back into that caldron in the coming four years.

Finally, the attorney general, Eric Holder, has drawn more fire from many Americans than any other Cabinet level official in our view. He should be replaced by as apolitical a person as the president can find. The AG is the single official on the tip of the spear to enforce the law, not try to change it. A law enforcer is needed, not another politician trying to change the law or selectively pick and choose the ones to be enforced.