Meet the Cabinet: A Zagat-inspired Primer Meet the Cabinet: A Zagat-inspired Primer
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Meet the Cabinet: A Zagat-inspired Primer

by Zach Frechette

February 1, 2009
There is no shortage of information on the internet about Obama's new cabinet, but it's scattered in a lot of different places, and sometimes it's a bit much to digest. So, like the nice folks at Zagat, we've taken the scattered ephemera of the 44th cabinet and collected it below, in an easy to digest format.
AGRICULTUREName: Tom VilsackAge: 59Education: Hamilton College, Albany Law SchoolPrevious job: Governor of IowaWhat he's supposed to do now: Make sure farmers are happy, and the food we eat is safe.Survey says: Tom Vilsack served as the "40th Governor of the state of Iowa" before "kicking off his 2008 presidential run." While considered a "shoo-in" for confirmation, sustainable agriculturalists worry that "You can't be a politician from Iowa and not be identified with a pro-corn, pro-ethanol stance," and that he "promoted the interests of large agribusiness."

DEFENSE

Name: Robert GatesAge: 65Education: College of William & Mary, Indiana University (M.A.), Georgetown University (Ph.D.)Previous job: Director of the CIA; President of Texas A&M; Secretary of Defense (under George W. Bush);What he's supposed to do now: Coordinate all the functions of the United States's armed services.Survey says: While some lament the "stay-the-course feel" of keeping Gates on in his current capacity, and that appointing a Republican to this positions "makes [Democrats] look like they're too wimpy to be trusted to run the building," many agree that "it suggests an awareness of the importance of continuity at a time of war." Obama-bonus: Gates "would not have to be reconfirmed by the Senate."

JUSTICE

Name: Eric HolderAge: 57Education: ColumbiaPrevious Job: Deputy Attorney General; attorney at Covington & BurlingWhat he's supposed to do now: Enforce the law, and ensure fair and impartial administration of justice.Survey says: Holder holds (nyuck nyuck) "a heavyweight résumé bursting with legal and law enforcement credentials." His role in the "infamous Mark Rich pardon" has divided democrats and republicans somewhat, but during his confirmation hearing, "witnesses prais[ed] Holder despite past disagreements."

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Meet the Cabinet: A Zagat-inspired Primer