12/07/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Obama-Clinton Cabinet? We Voted for Change , Not Recycling

Please, president-elect Obama, keep your promise, starting with your cabinet and bring change to this nation, not re-cycling.

It's been a long time since Democrats have worked in the White House or have had cabinet positions. Maybe it makes some sense that to start things off, Obama would consider bringing in some democrats with White House experience. That, almost by necessity, means Clinton people, or pretty old Carter people.

Personally, when it came time to choose between Obama and Hillary, there was no question in my mind. I did not want another Clinton in the White House. And I don't want the Obama cabinet or administration to look like a Clinton one.

While way too conservative for me, and because he's crossed progressives too many times by supporting more centrist candidates in Democratic primaries, Rahm Emanuel makes sense as a choice. He's extraordinarily well connected to the house and is known as a tough guy -- perfect to play good-cop bad-cop, a game Obama is a master at. He'll be able to work with or on Pelosi, Hoyer, the blue dogs, progressives and other caucuses.

But, I fear, will Emanuel open the gates for a herd of Clinton vets to invade the White House? That would be a betrayal of the millions of voters, who in the primary, made a very clear non-Clinton choice. We need fresh blood, not Clinton people who were involved in supporting and defending NAFTA, the WTO and Clinton's effort to move the Democratic party to the right.

Come on, President-elect Obama. Sure, it makes sense to start with a few experienced hands. But we hired you to make change happen, not to recycle.

For example, appoint Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head the EPA right away. You'll be bringing in a fresh face who has a stellar history defending the environment.

And, when it comes to recycling, please, please do not recycle more Goldman Sachs people. That culture got us into this mess. There are plenty of really smart people who actually think with the bottom up approach you've spoken about so often. Prove you meant it by hiring someone who's walked that talk.

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