Obama has choices. He can choose to ignore the pressure from the left, from the Old Line of the Democratic party, and choose change or he can be a Democrat first and for bi-partisanship, creativity and the nation second. He would be a fool to choose the latter. From a pure strategic standpoint (forget the merits) doing what the base of the democratic party wants initially (later will be different) is the absolute wrong move. He should resist and be seen to prevail to solidify his power and leadership. The perfect place to do this is Bob Gates. He is widely respected. He is part of the existing administration. He is not a registered Republican. He is a professional. He makes sense and would owe Obama. The democratic left doesn’t like him. That is a plus, not a minus. He represents change, not straightforward change (that is easy). He represents a change from the old way of thinking along partisan lines to a new way of thinking practically and creatively what is best for the country. I also think Richardson and Somers represent no-change run-of-the-mill uncreative ideas for cabinet posts. RFK (environment), Powell (education?) and the New York Fed President (treasury) represent more out of the box, interesting, change picks. Caroline Kennedy is also an interesting idea for the UN.