Tuesday, January 26

The new Biden team: a cabinet of experienced and competent

President-elect Joe Biden during the speech before Thanksgiving, in which he assured that “life will return to normal.” | PHOTO: Demetrius Freeman – The Washington Post Demetrius Freeman – The Washington Post

Joe Biden’s speech to congratulate Thanksgiving began with a promise: “life will return to normal.” He was referring to the COVID-19 situation. Although also to institutional stability within the United States. The announcement of their expectations for the economic recovery also depends on the evolution of the pandemic. It is expected that the arrival of vaccines will allow a return to normality as 2021 begins.

The main concerns are not only in the pandemic but in a transition towards a more open government and officials with management experience. Biden has continued to make announcements about his new team of advisers and secretaries. Some describe these new members of their cabinet as ‘boring’ people.

All of its appointed cabinet members, including Janet Yellen for the Treasury and Anthony Blinken for the Secretary of State, are experienced and competent. And a favorable point for the internal balance of the Democratic party: They are acceptable to both mainstream Democrats and progressives.

They are also noted for their abilities to not stand out or create any public spectacle. There is no agitator among them as of this writing, not Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.

However, in recent hours, voices have emerged within liberal groups calling for Biden to cancel Michèle Flournoy’s proposal as Secretary of Defense, arguing that the Obama administration veteran could drive a “potentially catastrophic” military confrontation with China, according to Explain el Washington Post.

RootsAction or Code Pink, among other liberal organizations released a statement Monday opposing Flournoy, long considered Biden’s most likely option as Pentagon chief. Biden did not name anyone to the Defense Department position when he deployed other national security advisers last week, amid questions about whether he had settled on Flournoy.

“We urge President-elect Joe Biden and US Senators to elect a Secretary of Defense who has no history of advocating belligerent military policies and has no financial ties to the arms industry,” the statement said. “Michèle Flournoy does not meet those qualifications and is not fit to serve as Secretary of Defense.”

Boring, reassuring, normal – these are Biden’s great strengths, according to recoge The Guardian. But they could also be its great weaknesses. For the same reasons, they are unlikely to elicit strong opposition from Republicans, a necessity for Senate confirmation, particularly if Democrats do not win both Senate elections in Georgia on January 5.

Given the path we were on, neither Trump nor COVID were aberrations. They were inevitable. The moment we are in now – with Trump practically out of the White House, Biden rallying his new cabinet, and most of the nation starting to feel a bit of relief, at least temporarily.

The presidency of Donald Trump is coming to an end. Four years of turmoil, nativism and dominance over the tweet end in January. The impending administration of Joe Biden heralds a turning point for the US and the world, promising greater international collaboration, consensus and reconciliation, an opportunity for the world to address its problems with civility, diplomacy and expertise.


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