By Evan Henerson
President-elect Trump has not yet reached out for advice (he must have misplaced our number), but with a few weeks before he has to have his cabinet in place, we thought we'd help out and suggest some candidates for the position of Secretary of Labor.
Secretary of Labor is a very glamorous position within any presidential administration. From the DOL website, we learn that the position used to be fused with the Department of Commerce as well before labor was broken off as a separate department. There have been 26 SOLs in our nation’s history, beginning with William B. Wilson, who took office under Woodrow Wilson (no relation) in 1913. Seven women have served in the position, (more than any other cabinet position) and as of this writing, 12 former SOL’s are still alive, including 95 year-old George P. Shultz who served under Richard Nixon.
But back to the task at hand. Obama appointee Thomas E. Perez will leave office in 2017 paving the way for a Trump man (or woman). Politico has floated the names of Victoria A. Lipnic, commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Committee (EEOC), CKE Enterprises executive Andrew Puzder and one other individual who we will get to previously.
If we have learned nothing else from Trump during the 2016 campaign, we know that the man is seriously unpredictable. With that in mind, here are a few “wild card” choices.
The Nepotistic Choice: Omarosa Manigault. She became a B-level star on “The Apprentice” and Trump put her to work as his Director of African-American Outreach during the campaign. As “Apprentice” watchers may recall, Omarosa’s shark-like tactics made her the woman everyone loved to hate. She subsequently parlayed the gig into a reality TV career. “Secretary Omarosa” sounds a bit like a seasonal order at Starbuck’s, but we like the possibilities.
The Needs an Image Rehab Choice: Heather Bresch. Anybody who can oversee the jacking up the price of a lifesaving device like the EpiPen by 500 percent - as the Mylan Pharmaceuticals honcho Bresch did - could benefit from a change of scenery. Bresch’s dad’s a DC insider and she has an MBA ... Oh, hang on, they took that degree away.
The Watchdog Choice: Bernie Sanders. Pretty sure the Bern would decline, but wouldn’t it be priceless to see his reaction at being asked?
The Liven the Cabinet Choice: Rosie O’Donnell. Now, we can’t take credit for this suggestion, since it was the ingenious brainchild of Somethingawful.com blogger Zack Parsons. Trump and O’Donnell have clashed, but Parsons likes the “Team of Rivals” concept and he reasons “Trump is a simple thinker and ... he would want to make someone like O'Donnell work.” Can you imagine the interchange. “Mr. President. I respectfully request that you sit and spin.”
The Death of Labor Choice: Scott Walker. Be very afraid. Union leaders nationwide will shudder at the very knowledge that the famously anti union governor of Wisconsin could make any DOL list. Politico reports that Walker has indeed been approached about the Department of Labor, but “he told the Trump scouts he isn't interested.” May that disinterest continue.
How about it, labor world? Who’s your choice for President Trump’s SOL?