New York Times columnist Joe Nocera today offers up his dream team for President Obama‘s second term administration. Included in the lineup are former President Bill Clinton and former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus:

Let’s move next to the State Department, where an exhausted Hillary Clinton is ready to step down. She has been, without question, Obama’s finest appointment. She was also his riskiest. The current favorite for the job, Susan Rice, the United Nations ambassador, is a safe choice, but she doesn’t have the breadth that the job requires. Who does? How about Bill Clinton? Seriously. …

Department of Defense? David Petraeus. After disclosing an affair with Paula Broadwell and resigning as C.I.A. chief, Petraeus is currently doing his stint in purgatory. The Defense Department in Obama’s second term is going to need someone who can cut its budget without hurting its mission — and who can reform the most entrenched bureaucracy in Washington. The military brass will run bureaucratic circles around any defense secretary who doesn’t know their tricks. Petraeus can stand up to them.

These two would-be appointees have something in common, I just can’t quite put my finger on it.