The President-Elect and his cabinet picks have received plenty of attention from the media and other sources over the past few weeks. However, with most of the spots now filled I believe it is time to take a look, evaluate and grade Trump’s cabinet picks.
Attorney General – Jeff Sessions
Grade – B
Despite unfounded cries of racism and discrimination from the left Sessions isn’t a horrible pick. He has experience as Attorney General for Alabama and is considered one of the most conservative Senators at the moment. With that said, he’s still not a home run as there were plenty of other potential, possibly more appealing picks for Attorney General.
Secretary of State – Rex Tillerson
Grade – D
Tillerson’s resume doesn’t look all that bad, as an American Business and CEO of Exxon he has succeeded; however, there are plenty of concerns with him, mainly his ties to Russia. At the current moment, Russia is our greatest geopolitical foe and Rex Tillerson seems a bit too cozy with them. With the 52-48 split in the Senate it would not take a great deal of Republican defects to block this nomination. Senator Rubio, McCain, Paul and Graham have already expressed their concerns. With that said, this could be the first major showdown on The Hill between Republicans and the Trump administration.
Education Secretary – Betsy Devos
Grade – A
Betsy Devos is exactly what an education secretary should look like. She is a strong advocate for school choice and charter schools. Granted, there has been some backlash because of how close she is with organizations that support Common Core. However, she has made it extremely clear that she in no way supports the education legislation.
Secretary of Health and Human Services – Tom Price
Grade – B+
Another safe pick without much to complain about. Price is a longtime critic of the Affordable Care Act and is actually one of the few members in Congress to propose a balanced alternative to the ACA. Price’s role will be vital this year if Republicans truly are aiming to “repeal and replace” and Price looks like the right man to lead this fight.
Secretary of Treasury – Steven Mnuchin
Grade – C+
Plenty of experience in the banking industry, and has promised a rigorous examination of Dodd Frank. Points are docked solely on the lack of public policy experience.
Secretary of Defense – General Mattis
Grade – A+
Secretary of Homeland Security – Gen. Kelly
Grade – A
After forty one years serving the country all across the globe, it’s hard to find anything wrong with this pick.
Secretary of Energy – Rick Perry
Grade – C
It seems a bit odd that the man who couldn’t remember the name of the department is now head of it. Nonetheless, I would have liked to see Perry as Secretary of Agriculture since that’s where most of his experience lies.
Ambassador to the U.N. – Nikki Haley
Grade – F
This is the pick I have the most issues with. I am confident that Nikki Haley will be an exceptional Ambassador and will exceed in every form. However, it just seems like a waste of talent. The outspoken, “bless your heart” governor from SC and potential VP is being sent to the UN. It just feels as if her talents would be better spent elsewhere.