As the various Republican candidates engaged in their alleged debate recently, usually with sound and fury signifying nothing, the issue of whom they would hire for key jobs if elected kept running through some minds. In view of the fact that so little data of a new and penetrating nature resulted, hiring policies might have spiced up things considerably.
The idea is not new. In recent months, an "election year" that runs at least a year too long has led some notable people, many of them former businesspeople and public officials, to bring up the matter of how candidates would pick advisers once they got into office.
For example, which personality would a given candidate propose as a vice presidential running mate, should the nomination be secured? How about a secretary of state or a chief of staff? Then there are other key positions: secretary of defense, Supreme Court justices, an attorney general who would avoid another fiasco.
Look at some of the appointments of President Bush. He went with Dick Cheney as his vice president from the outset. He had the popular and accomplished Colin Powell in a key post until Powell became disenchanted with the directions that were being taken, particularly where the Iraq war was involved.
Granted, candidates who provided wish lists of the people they would like to bring on board after being elected might put some prospects in an uncomfortable position. Others, of course, would love such attention. But the candidate worth his or her salt could figure out ways to minimize difficulties for possible selections.
When the next president takes office in January 2009, the United States may be mired in one of the most difficult situations our nation has ever faced. These are treacherous and demanding times, and we are engaged in a war that will last for years.
Nobody can do a job like that of the presidency alone. Why not have a more open and lively discussion about who might be among the hired help and why the resulting "team" would result in something substantially better than what we now have?