Still no pick for Secretary of Agriculture

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by LizKat, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #1
    Well it's becoming harder for farmers who voted for Trump to think the guy is grateful... most preceding presidents picked their Ag Dept nominee a lot sooner than almost at the end. So is the delay just because there are so many possibly contentious issues at stake here? Immigrant farm labor, food stamps program, food safety inspections, food-export ramifications of foreign backlash against a protectionist trade policy, for instance. Or just because Donald Trump doesn't have a lot of experience with or interest in agricultural issues? Maybe he doesn't get how broad the reponsibilities of that agency are. Time will tell. Farmers and their spokesmen won't be shy speaking up if the pick comes up short in their eyes since agricultural exports are a big deal. Civil rights advocates may not be shy if Trump is dumb enough to pick Sid Miller.

    Who's been considered:

    A leading candidate is former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, according to a person familiar with the matter. Others interviewed include former Lieutenant Governor of California Abel Maldonado, former Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano, former U.S. Representative Henry Bonilla of Texas, and Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

    Agriculture and Veterans Affairs are the only two cabinet posts the president-elect has yet to fill. Among seven additional senior positions, Trump has named all but his chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
    What's at stake:

    The job of agriculture secretary has a broad mandate, which means any appointee will need time to get up to speed, according to Dave Johnson, who led the Bush transition team in 2000. The department employs about 100,000 people, directs about $140 billion in programs and has a presence in every U.S. county.

    “It is not just farm programs,” Johnson, a longtime Senate Agriculture Committee chief counsel who is now retired and living in Indiana, said in an e-mail. “USDA oversees school lunches, meat inspection, food stamps, the Forest Service, rural electrification and much more. If the secretary-designate is unfamiliar with USDA, the need for intensive briefings and thorough background memos increases.”

    Hopes that Trump may not intend to install a fox in this chicken coop:

    One bright side to the extended search is that the candidates interviewed haven’t been strongly ideological, said Harwood Schaffer, an agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Some agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department, have nominees whose policy preferences may be in conflict with the missions of the institutions they’re leading.

    Not so with USDA, which traditionally keeps a lower profile among departments despite its wide scope, he said.

    “If you aren’t rattling Trump’s cage, he might not notice you and things can just go on,” Schaffer said. “A little benign neglect may not be all that bad.”

     
  2. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #2
    How much experience did Obama have with agriculture prior to taking office? Rolling a joint doesn't count. I didn't vote for Trump but man this guy can't wipe his ass without being criticized for it.
     
  3. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #3
    Sid Miller.
     
  4. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

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    Did Monsanto's CEO get offered the position?
     
  5. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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  6. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #6
    Whoever she or he is, they should come from Washington. We know how to grow.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #7
    Personally I think the delay is less about who the pick is and more about whether he can still find a a Democratic Senator to choose for this job , where the replacement is likely to be a Republican, to help widen the gap for McConnell on close votes. If he did that, he'd make the Senate 53-47. Every vote counts if the situation needs 60 to pass.

    Trump's team may have waited too long to try to do this, however, even though it's a traditional maneuver for the purpose of getting a better margin in the Senate. By now the prospects of someone like a Heidi Heitkamp accepting the job have probably diminished anyway. By time a new Congress has been sworn in, reluctance of a Senator to "go to the dark side" is pretty high. Early in the transition period it's a little different. Maybe this year it was never going to happen, as Trump was always and still is pretty radioactive to Congressional Democrats.


    @yaxomoxay Sid Miller? You discount his radioactivity to women and muslims? I know he disavowed that tweet and some consultant was invited to fall on a sword for it, but that's his standard line for when one of his jokes or gaffes or fake photos put up online goes sour on him. It's always some staffer who doesn't actually work for his agency.... meanwhile his reputation for ready insult and high living persists. Texas is big but so is the USA. He'd never be confirmed by the US Senate. Not every Republican Senator in flyover country is likely to be a fan of a guy who spent half a million bucks on his agency's office decor because he felt it looked too much like an insurance company.

     
  8. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #8
    @LizKat I was joking... kinda. He already gave amnesty to cupcakes, I might support him if he could extend amnesty to pizza.
     
  9. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #9
    Oh well. How about quinoa. Maybe I could be persuaded. ;)
     
  10. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    Too healthy!! #LockQuinoaUp!
     
  11. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    I merely wonder why he has left this post to nearly the end for making a nomination. Obama chose his Agriculture nominee in mid-December of his transition. One can make up for lack of experience by chosing advisors wisely, or getting help choosing them wisely by consulting with legislative leaders, etc., but you cannot invent time needed to vet a choice, nor invent time to let the nominee acquaint himself with his new bailiwick, which in the case of Agriculture is huge with respect to scope, budget, constituencies and interactions with state agencies charged with similar or parallel responsibilities.

    That job, as with any Cabinet post really, is a whole lot to put on anyone's plate. Perhaps Trump realizes this and the transition team is just doing a lot of homework to get someone who will best serve ordinary Americans atop that agency. I'd like to believe that is the case.

    But it's maybe not a great sign when people up and down that constituency, many of whom voted for Trump, don't hear of any progress towards an Ag nomination. Either it means it's going to be an ideological choice, read: yet another hit on budgets for food stamps, reduction of USDA regulations and so there's an effort to find someone who won't rile up too many Dems or any Republicans, or else it's just low on the totem pole for some reason. If the latter, that's a dumb move politically speaking, since pro-Trump farmers are or were part of his base all over the country. There's at least one Ag department agency or sub agency in every county in the country, with connections to state counterparts and educational facilities as well.
     
  12. unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    Maybe Republicans have a deeper bench of people to pick from. Or maybe Tom Vilsack is a pretty strong politician. Aparently he was Hillary's second choice for VP.
     
  13. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #13
    Most likely trump will see him and try to deport him.
     
  14. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #14
    Just out of curiosity who was Obama's last cabinet appointment in 2008?
     
  15. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #15
    [​IMG]

    Obsessed much?
     
  16. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #16
    Trump should put jk in charge of constructively distractive memes. Donnie could use some help there because a lot of the Trump memes that people pick out when left to their own devices don't exactly improve his image.

    As for Agriculture, maybe they should just keep Vilsack. A guy that's managed not to get fired for 8 years when he's accountable to mostly Republican farmers with access to pitchforks, hey, how bad could he be at the job.

    Sibelius for HHS, no? Daschle had to withdraw over tax issues.
     
  17. unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    #17
  18. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #18
    ''Twas a joke. Srsly

    Allthough trump would do it.
     
  19. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #19
  20. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #20
    [​IMG]
     
  21. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #21
    No I'm fairly certain about trump.
     
  22. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

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  23. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Would he want to associate himself with someone as dirty as trump though?
     
  24. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

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  25. noisycats, Jan 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017

    noisycats macrumors 6502a

    noisycats

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    #25
    It's got to be someone from Monsanto or other big agro. Just has to.
     

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