A Kennedy in the Cabinet?

Politico reports that President-elect Barack Obama is considering Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for the post of Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. A prior report suggested RFK was an early candidate for Secretary of the Interior. Tapping RFK Jr. for either post would be a profound mistake, and would almost certainly provoke a bitter confirmation fight.

RFK Jr. became something of a spokesperson for the environmental movement with his celebrity name and strident attacks on the Bush Administration's environmental policies. While some of the criticism was warranted, RFK's assaults were factually challenged, and only got worse over time. In 2002 he charged factory farms were a greater threat to the nation than Osama bin Laden, and in 2004 said of the media, "They should all drink poison Kool-Aid and restore integrity to their profession." He's also embraced unscientific allegations of a vaccine-autism link and charges the GOP stole the 2004 election.

President-elect Obama is certainly entitled to a cabinet that will support his policy agenda. When it comes to EPA and Interior, Obama can do much better than RFK Jr.

UPDATE: RFK Jr. also makes Tim Noah's preliminary list of "key appointments Obama should resist."

SECOND UPDATE: RFK Jr.'s a Chavista too.

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  1. Is RFK Jr. Just "Too Controversial"?
  2. A Kennedy in the Cabinet?