A Socialist’s potential cabinet includes a few surprising choices

In a press release, Socialist Party candidate for president Brian Moore announced his first picks for cabinet members “if lightning strikes.” The diverse group of people included Mike Gravel for Secretary of State, Howard Zinn for Secretary of Labor, and the infamous Jeremiah Wright for UN Ambassador, among others.

The press release:

SPRING HILL, FLORIDA, November 2 — Responding to recent speculation regarding potential Cabinet members in an Obama Administration, Brian P. Moore, the Socialist Party’s candidate for President, announced his own “Shadow Cabinet” in a statement released early Sunday. Among other individuals that Moore said he would approach about serving in his administration in the unlikely event that he is swept into office on Tuesday, the little-known Socialist nominee said he would ask the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s former minister and mentor, to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Moore said that his ideal administration would also include individuals such as former California congressman Paul N. McCloskey as Secretary of State and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, a longtime critic of the military-industrial complex, as Secretary of Defense. The former Alaska lawmaker, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic and Libertarian Party presidential nominations earlier this year, recently co-authored A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and One Man’s Fight to Stop It, published by Seven Stories Press. The Socialist candidate said that he would also ask retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski to serve as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

The Socialist standard-bearer said that he would also ask David McReynolds, the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate in 1980 and 2000, to serve as Secretary of the newly-created Department of Peace. McReynolds, who recently turned 79, is a retired staff member of the New York-based War Resisters League. Deron Mikal of Florida, a service officer for the Disabled American Veterans, would be asked to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, the federal government’s second largest department. The department has enjoyed Cabinet-level status since 1989.

Meredith Whitney, a managing director of Oppenheimer & Co., would be approached about serving as Secretary of the Treasury. “I have no idea if she would be willing to serve in my administration,” admitted Moore, “but she was alone among the Wall Street analysts in accurately predicting the current financial and banking crisis. She has the ability to see around corners — a quality seemingly in short supply on Wall Street.” Moore has been highly critical of the recent $750 billion bailout of the country’s financial institutions. Longtime Socialist activist and former economics instructor Eric Chester would be tapped as Moore’s Secretary of Commerce. “As a member of the Cabinet, Mr. Chester would play a critical role in the transition to a socialist economy,” said Moore.

The 65-year-old Moore, a semi-retired executive health care recruiter from Spring Hill, Florida, indicated that he would like to see the Justice Department headed by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, a position that the 86-year-old radical lawyer held during LBJ’s presidency.

Moore, who is on the ballot in eight states and an official write-in candidate in twenty-one others, said that he would ask historian and social activist Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, to serve as Secretary of Labor. Walter F. Brown, a former state senator from Oregon and the Socialist Party’s candidate for president four years ago, would be named Secretary of the Interior. A lifelong member of the Sierra Club, the 82-year-old Brown authored the first legislation in the United States outlawing dangerous chlorofluorocarbons in aerosol cans in 1975 – a full year before the National Academy of Sciences issued its ominous warning about the harmful effects of CFC’s on the ozone layer. C. T. Weber, a longtime activist in the California Peace & Freedom Party, would be asked to serve as Secretary of Energy, according to Moore.

In his statement, the Socialist candidate said that Chicago physician Quentin Young, a longtime advocate for single-payer health care in the United States, would be approached about heading the Department of Health & Human Services. William McGaughey, a political maverick from Minneapolis who once co-authored a book on a shorter workweek with the late Senator Eugene J. McCarthy, will be asked to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Consumer advocate and presidential rival Ralph Nader would be an ideal choice for Secretary of Transportation and Marsha Feinland, a longtime public school teacher who is currently running for a seat in the California State Senate, would be his first choice to head the Department of Education, said Moore. Veteran newspaper reporter Jim Cullen, editor of the Progressive Populist, would be asked to serve as Secretary of Agriculture.

Jerry Levy of Vermont, national co-chair of the Socialist Party-USA, would be named as Secretary of Culture & Arts, a new Cabinet-level post that will be created shortly after Moore’s inauguration. A sociology professor at Marlboro College, Levy is currently running for state auditor on the Liberty Union Party ticket. He’s probably best known as the actor in Howard Zinn’s one-man play, “Marx in Soho.”

Moore, who said that he would abolish the Department of Homeland Security as one of his first acts as America’s 44th chief executive, also named several other individuals that he would like to see in his administration, including Jay Jurie, a University of Central Florida professor of public administration who would be asked to head the Office of Management and Budget. A sixties activist, Jurie is currently a faculty advisor to UCF’s Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter. According to Moore, Bill Callison, a veteran antiwar and environmental activist, would be asked to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an agency that reports directly to the President. A graduate of Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley, Callison is currently running for Congress on the Peace & Freedom ticket in California’s seventh congressional district.

“Obviously, we haven’t asked any of these individuals yet if they would be willing to serve in my administration,” Moore concluded. “If lightning strikes, those calls will be made first thing Wednesday morning.”

24 thoughts on “A Socialist’s potential cabinet includes a few surprising choices

  1. Trent Hill

    Amongst the people he mentioned, I would only like to see Mike Gravel and Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski involved in an administration. Karen in the same post, underneath CIA analyst Michael Scheurer.

    Mike Gravel, in some other position. One that digs out corruption.

  2. Andy Craig

    Setting aside the silliness of some of his choices, I think this a great idea. I see no reason why LP candidates shouldn’t do this. Instead of just the Presidential candidate and the (often deliberately hidden away) VP candidate, we could have a whole slate of Libertarian “candidates” campaigning as a team. Seems like a great idea to me.

    Of course, the same could apply to other third party/indy Presidential tickets.

  3. Trent Hill


    I dont think having them “campaign as a team” would really help, but to release a press release like this is great. For example, Chuck Baldwin could’ve said something to the effect of

    Secretary of State: Pat Buchanan
    Secretary of the Treasury: Ron Paul
    Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Sen. Bob Smith
    UnderSecretary of Veterans Affairs: Adam Kokesh
    Secretary of Defense: CIA Analyst Michael Scheuer
    Undersecretary of Defense: Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski
    Secretary of Education (until it is phased out): Former Senior Policy Advisor to the Dept of Education Charlotte Iserbyte
    Etc etc etc.

  4. Trent Hill

    In this way, you attract the support of all the various people who support you shadow-cabinet members. Ron Paul supporters, Pat Buchanan supporters, people who follow the protests of Adam Kokesh and the writings of Kwiatkowski and Iserbyte.

  5. Andy Craig

    Well, needless to say my ideal shadow cabinet would differ from a CP-er’s, but that’s the general idea. My only nitpick is I was thinking more about broadening the appeal generally than satisfying/courting specific factions.

  6. Trent Hill


    As would mine. I wouldnt appoint Buchanan (at least, not for that), nor would I appoint Sen. Smith (again,not for that). I was shooting for Baldwin.

  7. Steve Rankin

    Trent Hill,

    Who is ex-New Hampshire senator Bob Smith (now a Floridian) supporting for president?

    I was disappointed that Sen. Smith did not seek the Constitution Party nomination.

  8. Catholic Trotskyist

    Yes, I think it’s a great idea for presidential candidates to announce their cabinet choices. I guess it’s too much risk for the major party candidates, but it would be something to think about for them too. Of course I am not a fan of the choice of Pig Nader, but remember how Bush gave the transportation department to a Democrat in 2001 as the only Democrat in the cabinet? Nader can be pushed aside there, finally. I am impressed with the choice of Zinn, Gravel, Brown, etc. Although, are there too many elderly people, there? Not really, in my opinion. I am also impressed with the selection of Jeremiah Wright. This means that Moore is moving towards Christian Trotskyism, which is always a good thing. Overall, I do wish that this would be General Obama’s cabinet.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    Interesting choices. If I were (there’s your archaic grammar sop, GE) running for president, I’d have at least three of these names (Gravel, Kwiatkowski and Whitney) on my own short list of prospective appointees.

    Better than a list of prospective appointees, of course, would be an actual “shadow cabinet” to continuously and in a timely manner offer policy alternatives between elections on behalf of a candidate or party running in the previous and/or coming election.

  10. Trent Hill


    “Who is ex-New Hampshire senator Bob Smith (now a Floridian) supporting for president?”

    Chuck Baldwin. He wrote a short statement unofficially endorsing Baldwin. He cant officially endorse him because he has a job with the state or something. I was also dissapointed Smith didnt run. I am still in contact with him and encouraging him to run for something else.

  11. Trent Hill

    You dont know who Kwiatkowski is?

    She writes for LewRockwell.com. check her out. Google her.

  12. Trent Hill

    That’d explain your ignorance of economics =P

    Just google her. She was a pentagon official who spoke out against the war.

  13. ModernWhig

    If minor parties set up Shadow Cabinets, thats 15 people who can travel the nation speaking out on their position, more votes, more money

  14. HumbleTravis

    I’d love to see the candidates list not only who they’d appoint to cabinet positions but also the supreme court, although that is such a sensitive issue it may do more harm than good.

  15. Ross Levin Post author

    Mike Gravel said he would have appointed Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar. They’ve worked on the national initiative together, I believe.

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