With his choice of New York Rep. John McHugh for Secretary of the Army, President Obama opens up another Republican seat. Politico notes a trend: Obama's Republican picks are boxing the GOP into their deep South base. And they check in with someone we know well:
Former moderate Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa) dismissed the notion that politics has played a significant role in White House appointments, noting instead that the administration is simply following up on campaign promises to change the climate in Washington.
“It is a considered endeavor that is very much a part of the president’s personal philosophy, and it’s to be commended,” said Leach, who himself has been mentioned for a possible Obama appointment. “I don’t view this in any way as Rovian politics. I view it as a Lincoln-esque political effort to unify.”
As for McHugh, the sotto voce grumbling on the left that Obama has reinforced the "only Republicans can handle national security" stereotype is tempered by the good prospects for picking up McHugh's seat in the special election.