Jordan Debbink
Cabinet picks: Election night promises or political machination?
By Jordan Debbink
November 30, 2016

The recent cabinet picks of retired Neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Governor Nikki Haley for UN Ambassador and philanthropist Besty DeVos for Education Secretary have raised some presentiment about the future administration. Are these choices promises being kept or political intrigue?

Gov. Nikki Haley, announced last week as Trumps cabinet pick for the UN Ambassador, comes with plenty of success and gumption as a governor. Previously having served 3 terms in the South Carolina state house, she fought the status quo and establishment consistently. She quickly became recognized as nettlesome, but respected enough to win the governorship of South Carolina, a heavily racist state at one point.

While her credentials for UN Ambassador are limited and mostly related to the economic growth of South Carolina, her reputation as a governor is impeccable. Many believe with Haley at the helm of UN negotiations, she can calm the xenophobic behavior denoted on the Trump campaign. Her composed handling of the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse was nationally recognized. One can hope that this same demeanor will be brought to this high profile position.

Betsy DeVos comes to the national stage with no elected experience, but a cornucopia of experience in education and conservative politics. Having served as the Chair of the Michigan Republican Party, she touted strong reform and support for candidates that shared these ideologies. During 2 various terms, she proposed ideas that were counter to those of the democratic governors at the time. Her credentials for Secretary of Education some argue, lie in her vast experience on various education boards across her state and nationally. While she has cosseted private schools and worked to direct dollars away from public schools, there is no denying her desire for a better education system. This is highly noted in her foundation that funds scholarships to lower income families. These funds allow parents to decide where their students should attend. This aggrandizing of her ideas, have many in the unions concerned for the future of public schools.

Dr. Ben Carson, a retired Neurosurgeon who ran for the president against Trump, is perhaps the most surprising cabinet pick yet. With many accolades on top of the success of his medical career, an author of over 10 books, 1 a bestseller, and a career as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John Hopkins, some believe he would be better used of service as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. As the founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, he has had the privilege of awarding over 6,000 scholarships to deserving youth embodying humanitarian qualities in educational excellence. This also puts him in the running for Education Secretary.

Carson will have no problem addressing the day to day operations of HUD Secretary. He will need to work with the housing market to assist the economy and create inclusive communities. His intellect and connections will aide him in this requirement.

While all three of the aforementioned picks will need to be confirmed by the Senate, time will tell whether these are the best men and women for the posts. While all are clearly capable of taking on these posts, we can look forward to seeing this play out in the New Year. One thing is clear. The diversity of these three picks is welcoming and rewarding after such a divisive campaign season.

© Jordan Debbink


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