Here’s a thought on how Biden should go about picking his cabinet. In making my argument, let’s look at some facts. First, let’s look at the Merrick Garland fiasco. Obama decided to put forth a moderate candidate for Supreme Court Justice. The Republicans painted him as too far left to fill a right-wing seat. So the seat went unfilled for 8 months.
Trump has been ceaselessly calling Biden a socialist, which has really worked to rile up his base and create solidarity on the right against Biden. Furthermore, this paints the Republicans as a much more centrist party than they actually are, they are a far right party. In fact, the GOP has more QAnon Congressional members than Black Congressional members.
Biden is center right, or centrist at best with his politics. To highlight this, Biden should work with a few potential cabinet members that are very far to his left. Like maybe even include Bernie Sanders or AOC as potential picks. However, work with them and plan for them to actually withdraw their candidacy for that office before the Republicans ever actually vote them down. Before they have to do anything like, resign from their seat. Put the boogeyman out there as a real candidate.
What this will do is create an anchoring point that the media can latch on to. That Republicans and Democrats can latch on it. A clear comparison between the first candidate(s) and whoever Biden would actually want in the role. This will work even better, if the next person they offer as a candidate CLEARLY has votes that are to the center of the original candidate. This will make it significantly harder (but of course not impossible) for the Republicans to paint them as Socialist. Democrats can point to their records and say, “No, this person is a center candidate and the republicans are simply upset that we aren’t installing republicans in these posts.”
If Biden offers moderate or even center right candidates for the office, the Republicans will try to pull Biden even farther right. The anchor that everyone will latch onto will be in the actual center, not the center between Republicans and Democrats.
There is a strong possibility that McConnell will do everything in his power to reject every candidate offered by Biden. He will do this unless Biden offers up someone far enough to the right to make McConnell happy. So we need to lay down the groundwork to show that Democrats are trying to meet McConnell closer to where he wants. We need to make him look ridiculous. We need to make it obvious to other Senators that these candidates are viable. They are not socialists and they are, in fact, centrists.
Biden is going to face an uphill battle to getting the people we want confirmed for the roles in government. Using anchors and decoys is smart politics.