GOP Picks for Obama's 'Team of Rivals'

Who are the best bipartisan choices for Obama?

By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User

Posted Nov 18, 2008 8:26 AM CST

(Newser) – Barack Obama talks a good game about bipartisanship. But now that he’s staffing up, it’s time to see if he walks the walk. The Wall Street Journal runs through some potential GOP appointees:

  • Jim Leach. This former Iowa congressman was chosen to help represent the president-elect at the G-20. He’s a veteran of the foreign service, and sounded early warnings about the unregulated financial system.

  • Chuck Hagel. The outgoing Nebraska senator pointedly didn’t endorse former ally John McCain. A Vietnam vet, he’s moved far from his party on foreign policy and national security.
  • Richard Lugar. The senior Indiana Republican has served with Obama on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and is known to like him and be eager to cooperate.
  • Mike Bloomberg. Well, not a Republican anymore, but as a widely admired and competent manager, Mayor Mike embodies many of the post-partisan values Obama likes to talk about.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, shakes hands with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., after he introduced him in the Great Hall of New York's Cooper Union, Thursday, March 27, 2008.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, shakes hands with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., after he introduced him in the Great Hall of New York's Cooper Union, Thursday, March 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
This file photo from July 22, 2008 shows Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., right, walking with Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as they tour the citadel in Amman, Jordan.
This file photo from July 22, 2008 shows Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., right, walking with Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as they tour the citadel in Amman, Jordan.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Former Republican Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, addresses the crowed at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008.
Former Republican Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, addresses the crowed at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Finding meaningful Republican representation is important, not just for symbolic reasons but because the right kinds of Republicans can serve as a kind of human bridge across the partisan divide. -

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