Who is in your dream Administration, and what role would they play? I JUST finished tabulating the results you sent in as part of our new "What"s Your Take" community feature. I am thrilled that so many of you chose to get involved in this initial exercise, and tickled that many of you had fun with it -- my two goals in starting this project. One person, Daniel Raymond, made a video of his cabinet picks, which you can find here. My next goal is to find a few people who'd like to help me with this feature. Got ideas for "What's Your Take"? Send your suggestions for topics to email@example.com. BE SURE to put -- "Here's My Take: topics" in the subject line. Willing to help sift through responses? Write the same address and put "Here's My Take volunteer" in the subject line.
To my surprise, an overwhelming majority of you agreed with my cabinet member picks -- although you gave many different reasons for your choices. Below you'll find answers first, and your reasons next.
* The most common selection for President was Barack Obama -- by 90 percent; Hillary Clinton barely registered in the responses for President but she is a suggestion for nearly any other position within five feet of the Oval Office.
*The three most common for VP were Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Bill Richardson.
*Exactly the same three are the most common choice for Secretary of State.
*The most common choices for Labor Secretary were Dennis Kucinich and Dolores Huerta.
*Secretary of Defense was another ninety percent in favor of Jim Webb or Wesley Clark.
*The two most common choices for Attorney General/DOJ are John Edwards and Ralph Nader -- the latter of which makes me turn my head like my dogs do when they hear the food hitting the bowls.
*Health and Human Services had one name come in around 75 percent, Elizabeth Edwards. The second most common were John Edwards and Hillary Clinton.
*The most common choice for head of the EPA was Robert Kennedy Jr., by a margin of about 60 percent.
* The most common choice for Secretary of Education is actually one of the most interesting in the entire exercise, Bill Gates.
*The two most popular kids in class for SCOTUS are Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.
*The singular most popular choice for Head of Veterans Affairs was Max Cleland, followed by Tammy Duckworth.
*Nearly all of the emails -- about 78 percent -- want to do away with the Department of Homeland Security entirely, some want to replace it but most just want it gone.
If I look at the common responses, outside of Bill Gates and Ralph Nader, I see that elusive unity waving its flag. Nice to see!
Steve Card: Senator Barney Franks
Dava Tyson: Al Gore. No one with a better advantage of hindsight, and probability of learning from his own mistakes.
Joan M. Hirsch: John McCain. Just because I could not vote for Obama because of his inexperience.
Elan4444: Hillary Clinton
Steve Card: Senator Ron Paul
Dava Tyson: Chris Dodd. Fully competent in courage to lead on Constitutional values should it become necessary
Joan M. Hirsch: Condoleezza Rice. She would be a definite asset to McCain in foreign affairs. I do not think we can underestimate the value of an African American woman to this campaign.
Erin Medlicott: Ed Rendell. An older, wiser companion to Obama and can balance the ticket, bringing in a Clinton "proxy" will appease the Clinton supporters and he is knowledgeable about Beltway politics, and is surprisingly charming
David Raatz: Caroline Kennedy. She is a committed civil libertarian, and she is a good person.
George Dugan: Howard Dean. The original antiwar, pro-civil union candidate has redeemed the scream and proven himself a hero to the party.
Lauren Canonico: Claire McCaskill. What a woman! She is feisty, smart and oh-so-grounded. She can corral the Midwestern vote while keeping Obama truer to his liberal base than he has been recently.
Cristina Chang: Mike Bloomberg. Currently, Obama ties with McCain among independents and choosing Bloomberg would help him further reach out to this growing constituency, as well as among skeptics of government.
Peteyman: Captain America
Robert Crabtree: Tom Daschle.
Darren Jarvis: Jim Webb . He has military experience, he gave a great rebuttal to George Bush's State of the Union address a while back, he had a son that served in the Iraq war, and he is from Virginia, a swing state.
John Delloro: Brian Schweitzer. Reinforces Obama's post-partisanship approach to issues. His "down to earth" speaking style both equals and complements Obama's communication skills. His previous experiences building infrastructure in the Middle East, scientific expertise on energy alternatives, and appeal to the working class further strengthens his qualifications.
Trevor Johnson: Kathleen Sebelius. She has been with Barack since before Super Tuesday. They get along great, which I believe just might be the most important quality in a VP. She has no negatives, she bridges all demographics. Outside of Richardson, she has the best resume.
Secretary of State:
Joan M. Hirsch: Hillary Clinton. There are quite a few of these women who cannot vote for Obama. She definitely has the experience for this position.
Jeanne Roberts: William J Burns. Ambassador to Russia, for his knowledge of Arabic and his understanding of Middle Eastern policy, diplomacy and mentality.
Eric Gilmartin: Joe Biden. Biden is the current Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Secretary of Labor:
Marge Naslund: Ben Cohen or Jerry Greenfield. Ben OR Jerry! Respect for workers is profitable and they have proven it. The Secretary of Labor should have a real understanding of the Labor situation in the USA. He/she should not be an Ivory Tower CEO but instead someone very much like the two men named. They took $12,000, hard work and made millions while also being fair to their employees.
George Graham: Chris Dodd. The position calls for a respected liberal with backbone and brains.
Chris Korp: Dolores Huerta. She helped to create the United Farm Workers. What the American Labor movement needs now is a miracle worker and Dolores Huerta has already performed enough Labor miracles to be canonized. "Giving kids clothes and food is one thing but it's much more important to teach them that other people besides themselves are important, and that the best thing they can do with their lives is to use them in the service of other people - Dolores Huerta."
Secretary of Defense:
Joan M. Hirsch: General Patreaus. He has held increasingly important posts in the U.S. Army and served in Haiti, Bosnia, and Iraq. He holds the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star - - among many other decorations. He also holds a master's degree and doctorate in international relations from Princeton University; he would be a very strong force in this cabinet.
Marshall Stern: Dennis Kucinich (It would be interesting)
Chris Korp: Jim Webb. He has served as the First Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs and the Secretary of the Navy. As a Senator, he serves on the Foreign Relations, Veterans Affairs and Armed Services committees.
Robert Crabtree: Max Cleland. I think he is a great man and intelligent and wise. He would not be tricked by enemies, fooled by the military industrial complex, or schmoozed and bamboozled by lobbyists.
Darren Jarvis: Wesley Clark. He has an outstanding military background, and was higher in ranking than McCain ever was.
Erin Medlicott: Patrick Fitzgerald. Former Justice Dept. "special counsel," previously served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York, as Chief of the Organized Crime -Terrorism Unit - not afraid of coming after the big guns and he remains calm in a crisis; I see him as a major "GHOST-BUSTER".
David Raatz: Russ Feingold. There is no one in Congress who is more passionate and knowledgeable about civil rights. He can restore the public's faith in the Department of Justice.
Federico Moramarco: Vincent Bugliosi. His recent book on Bush, The Prosecution of President George W. Bush for Murder, convinces me that he is the man for the job.
Chris Korp: Mario Cuomo. He is a legal scholar who President Bill Clinton considered for a nomination to the Supreme Court. "The price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that someday they might force their beliefs on us - Mario Cuomo"
Gerald Savage: Bill Clinton (time for some payback)
Dtmaciag: Arlen Specter. Republican, but fair.
Secretary of Transportation:
Steven Meyer: Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. A visionary in promotion and development of mass transit systems for growing urban areas. Driving force behind creation of largest light rail system in country. Named one of the top-5 big city mayors in America by TIME Magazine, won reelection in 2007 with 87% of the vote.
Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Riley Murray: Nancy C. Andrews. MD, PhD - Dean, School of Medicine, Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs - Duke University.
Administrator of the EPA:
Bob Vanderet: Mary Nichols. Currently heads the California Air Resources Board, would be a dynamite choice. Brilliant, a graduate of Cornell and Yale Law School, she served as an assistant administrator at the EPA under Clinton.
Robert Crabtree: Jerry Brown. A very ethical, intelligent, and no-nonsense sort of man, he would protect our environment and the environment of future generations with a mad passion.
Secretary of Agriculture:
Steve Card: Willie Nelson
K.L.: Tom Daschle. From an agricultural state, nationally known, widely liked and now out of office, he would do well in this role and continue to be a valuable political advisor.
Secretary of Energy:
Dava Tyson: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Pragmatic and already well versed not only in what problems there are, but also in how to build new infrastructure for our coming needs and probable problems, not an oilman!
Ryan Kauffman: Christine Gregoire. Governor of Washington, has spear headed the search for alternative energy in the Evergreen State. She also called out McCain and the rest of the drill-first Republicans when they wanted to go offshore for more oil.
George Graham: Jason Grumet. Head of Obama's environment and energy policy committee. President of the Bipartisan Policy Center, which focuses on developing bipartisan solutions to national security, health care, energy, agriculture, and transportation problems. He was executive director of the National Commission on Energy Policy, a coalition of industry, academic, and environmental representatives focused on promoting environmentally friendly energy policies.
Marie Weingarten: Carl Pope. As executive Director of the Sierra Club, he has fought for and designed campaigns to further the need for energy conservation, the wise use of energy, and the establishment of alternative energies.
Peteyman: Green Lantern
Secretary of Education:
Bob Vanderet: Bill Gates. Sure, he is a contentious monopolist, but he is also someone who has put his money where his mouth is in recent years in creative initiatives to improve education in our country.
Rachel Port: Laura Bush. I know this is far-fetched, but Hillary started the, I hope, trend of former first ladies having separate careers. She has been a teacher and librarian, is strongly committed to literacy - and talk about reaching out! I love the idea of two former first ladies in the Cabinet.
John Delloro: Don Nakanishi. Director the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and faculty member of the UCLA Education Department. He intellectually and profoundly grasps the importance of a relevant education system and has the practical sensibilities to make it happen.
Secretary of the Interior:
Rachel Port: Janet Napolitano. She knows about land preservation, Native Americans, and managing conflicting interests. She has been head of the Governors' Association.
Skip Mendler: Winona LaDuke. Native American activist, author, and environmentalist. She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and serves as co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network. She was the Green Party candidate for Vice President in 2000.
Eric Gilmartin: Brian Schweitzer. He has demonstrated ability to cross partisan boundaries, (as when he ran on a two-party ticket with his Republican Lt. Governor, John Bohlinger). With a master's degree in soil science, and experience irrigating Third World countries, he seems poised to address the challenges faced by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service.
Riley Murray:Carl Pope. Sierra Club Executive Director - "Back at you" answer to 8 years of Bush II neglect.
George Dugan: Ryan Philippe (Eyes), Ewan McGregor (Stage presence) or Topher Grace (It just works).
Elan4444: Madeline Albright
Rachel Port: Arlen Specter. He has earned it.
Marie Weingarten: Laurence Tribe: he is THE leading Liberal Constitutional Lawyer in the US.
Dtmaciag: Mario Cuomo & Diane Fienstein.
Secretary of the Treasury:
David Raatz: Bill Gates, Sr. As one of the leaders of Responsible Wealth, Gates is a passionate advocate for a just economic system. He might be the nation's most effective spokesperson for the estate tax
George Dugan: Warren Buffet. Who better to manage our money? Besides, if all else fails, he can bail us out.
Federico Moramarco: Steve Jobs. His return to Apple remade the company and set it on the right track. He is creative, an innovator, and Lord knows we need someone with imagination to turn this economy around.
Ryan Kauffman: Paul O' Neill. O'Neill was Bush's first Secretary of the Treasury. He fell out of favor for speaking his mind and attempting to warn the public about the massive budget deficits that were about to come and the recession it would bring. Now that he's been exiled from the Republican party - -a Washington outsider.
Jaelithe: Claire McCaskill. Before she became a Senator, she was one of the best state auditors Missouri has ever had. Her investigations exposed the fact that 40% of Missouri's public agencies were not complying with the Sunshine Law providing for citizen access to government records, and caught numerous inaccuracies in state child support collection records.
Secretary of Commerce:
Marshall Stern: Bennet Cohen. Ben and Jerry's. What more is there to say?
Stanley Dumont: Lee Iacocca. Legendary American, has had extensive dealings with Washington, and, fittingly, has emerged from semi-retirement to become a political activist. He gets the nod by virtue of his professional credentials and outrage over Washington's leadership which he sums up thusly: "We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff...".
Trevor Johnson: Olympia Snowe. "Team of Rivals Cabinet". She is very progressive domestically as far as Republicans go, heck as far as many Dems go too. She has done great work fighting for the average worker and small businesses. Voted against Bush's tax cuts, and works towards UHC. Also, clears the way for a Democrat to take her seat in the Senate.
K.L.: Caroline Kennedy-Schlossberg. The world would accept her as both a serious player and an icon.
George Graham: How about our little pal, Dennis Kucinich?
Lauren Canonico: Eddie Vedder. Sometimes it takes a rock star to reach out.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs:
Marge Naslund: Tammy Duckworth. She is a hero from the Iraq War. She lost both of her legs when her Blackhawk Helicopter was shot down. She ran for Congress to take Henry Hyde's seat but lost. She now works for the State of Illinois for Veterans Affairs.
David Gluck: Paul Reikoff. He has been a tireless advocate for both active duty gulf war military personnel, as well as the veterans of these conflicts. He has written books, appeared on TV, and worked with homeless veterans on the streets.
National Security Advisor:
Jeanne Roberts: John Warner. For his ongoing attempts to secure US ports by keeping them out of the hands of Dubai, which has no stake in American security, only profit.
Lauren Canonico: Dennis Kucinich. Oh yes.
flyinglion3000: Russ Feingold. Wouldn't that be cool and interesting?
Gerald Savage: Robert Wexler
Secretary of Homeland Security:
Jeanne Roberts: Valerie Plame. If only to repay her for her sacrifices and the chicanery of Libby, Cheney and the Rovians.
Ryan Kauffman: Patrick Leahy. This department has had no oversight since its creation after 9/11. Sen. Leahy is one of the harshest critics of the information piracy but at the same time has demanded tougher laws in regards to the leaking of classified information.
Another responder, Nick Zanjani, had this to say: "Ideally, I would like to see President Obama put together a 'Portrait of America' cabinet. I won't name any specific individuals, but I would ideally like to see the cabinet be composed of 7 Whites, 2 Latinos, 2 African Americans, 1 Native American, 1 East Asian, 1 South Asian, and 1 Middle Easterner. Of this group, 8 would be female and 7 would be male. One would be openly gay. Of the Whites, 5 would be Protestant, 2 would be Catholic, and 1 would be Jewish. The Latinos would be Catholic while the African Americans would be Protestant. The Native American would be Animist, the East Asian would be Buddhist, the South Asian would be Hindu, and the Middle Easterner would be Muslim."
So there you have it, the first "citizen think tank" results show! I have to say that I am REALLY digging Topher Grace as Press Secretary and, of course, Ironman and Green Lantern are naturals! Again, I need to express my joy and pride in this experiment and I owe that to all of the people who sent in replies. The diversity is staggering and if we can get the campaigns to read this posting - who knows - maybe some of us will see our dreams come true.
We will be continuing this type of discussion with a new scenario soon. Let me know if you want to help out! Email me at campaigntrail AT huffingtonpost.com and put "Citizen Tank" in the subject line.