Drudge posted Another former rival joins Obama cabinet
As a simple reality check: Richardson never being a serious candidate, can't seriously be labelled a former rival of Obama.
More directly: Gates, Jones, Hillary, S. Rice and co are certainly an experienced, accomplished, independant and capable group. But by any objective measure, the team bush brought in in 2000 -- Rumsfeld, Cheney, C Rice, Powell, et all -- were a far, far more experienced, accomplished, independant and capable group.
In terms of the vigorous internal debate Obama is promising, I find it hard to imagine that the idealogical, or policy-driven, distance between Gates and Hillary and S Rice comes close to approaching what we saw between Rumsfeld and Powell and C Rice.