[...] In the past few days, I've been participating in a conversation with a number of folks who believe there is an another, ideal candidate. Her name is Susan Crawford.
Now, given the administration's record to date – and especially the torrent of abuse and opposition her nomination would create from the oligopolistic telecommunications industry and its true believers – her appointment may seem unlikely. But for all kinds of reasons, I believe she's the right choice. (Disclosure: I've known Crawford for years and consider her a friend; moreover, we have many mutual friends and allies who have contributed many of the points that follow.)
Start with her background. I can't think of another potential candidate with deeper understanding of the relevant topics – based on research and hands-on experience – and with a better sense of what it would take to move America into the connected, collaborative future it risks forfeiting under current policies. Here's a sampler: she's a law professor who focuses on telecommunications. She served on the FCC's review team in the 2008-09 Bush-Obama transition and as an Obama aide for science, technology and innovation policy. Her recent book, Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, is a must-read on how for anyone following the topic, as are her recent columns and op-ed pieces. (I don't agree with all of Crawford's prescriptions for change, but they are always thought-provoking.)
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