Here are the "top ten ways to position for a political appointment with the Obama Administration" (with apologies to Letterman).
1. Use Obama-like Techniques- Leverage grassroots and personal campaign connections; be your own "community organizer" for a role. Just like Saul Alinsky's approach mirrored by Barack Obama!
2. Clinton Legacy - Use relationships from 1992 and 1996 to advance your cause. For me, working on the Clinton Transition Team for Vernon Jordan (now might be Valerie Jarrett) in Communications - including scheduling and even correspondence - will help position me for a transition role. Also my friendship with Mike McCurry and Melanne Verveer has helped along way.
3. Rahm - How are you connected to the new chief-of-staff. Chicago? Northwestern University? As your Alderman? As your Congressman? From the Clinton Years?
4. Plum Book - Comes out on Nov. 12. Be ready to read the whole thing for plum positions! There are 3800 expected political appointee jobs.
5. DNC - Don't forget to punch that ticket. Howard Dean or even Terry McAuliffe who told me in jest at Virginia's Democratic Victory Party that I could be Secretary of Commerce!
6. Podesta? Who do you know with the last name of Podesta. I know Tony.
7. Sweat Equity - How did you put in the hours on the campaign trail and who can document.
8. Campaign Staff Relationships - I have 25 people in my blackberry that I met in early Iowa Caucus, Texas Primary, Virginia Primary, DNC Convention and on the road in National (Traveling) Media. Most of these folks are going to be gainfully employed by Obama Admin.
9. Campaign to Transition Groups- my relationships are with Tech, Media and Telecomm committee and with the Small Business Advocacy outreach group. These people such as Julius Genachowski and Alec Ross in the former or Larry Strickling and Dave Burd in the latter should be "friends."
10. Educated Guess/Luck - like so many serendipitous things in life, "if it's supposed to happen," it will. But you must make educated guesses about who is getting vetted for cabinet level positions and where you can leverage your personal relationships.