Reuters logo
FACTBOX: Obama's Cabinet begins to take shape
November 23, 2008 / 4:37 AM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX: Obama's Cabinet begins to take shape

(Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has named Timothy Geithner as his Treasury secretary and Lawrence Summers to be head of the National Economic Council, filling two of the most closely watched jobs in his administration.

Here are people Obama has reportedly chosen or is considering for key posts. Many remain subject to vetting and Senate confirmation before taking office.

TREASURY SECRETARY

* Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, is Obama’s choice for the Treasury Department, making him Obama’s point person in dealing with the economic crisis.

Geithner has helped to lead efforts to stabilize financial markets and argued that banks crucial to the global financial system should operate under a unified regulatory framework.

His appointment was confirmed by a transition official on Saturday and is expected to be announced on Monday.

SECRETARY OF STATE

* New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama’s former rival for the White House, is said to have accepted the post of secretary of state, the New York Times reported. A senior Clinton adviser said the report was premature, but added that discussions with the Obama White House were “on track.”

Clinton has a global profile both as a political leader in her own right and as the wife of former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Policy analysts say her selection could mean a more hawkish U.S. stance, noting that she was more reluctant than Obama to commit to a firm timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL

* Lawrence Summers, 53, was Treasury secretary for the final 1 1/2 years of the Clinton administration and has been a senior adviser to Obama for several months, helping to guide his response to the financial meltdown.

The intense and blunt-spoken Summers became a full professor at Harvard at 28 and was later president of the university, where his abrasive style made many enemies and he resigned in 2006. He had been seen as Geithner’s main competition for the job of Treasury chief.

COMMERCE SECRETARY

*New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is expected to be tapped as secretary of commerce, NBC News reported.

Richardson, a former United Nations ambassador and energy secretary during President Bill Clinton’s administration, had been an early supporter of Obama after dropping his own presidential ambitions.

If confirmed, Richardson’s appointment would make him the first high-profile Hispanic leader in the Obama Cabinet.

APPOINTMENTS

SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

* Tom Daschle, a key early supporter and savvy former U.S. Senate leader, was selected by Obama as secretary of health and human services, according to Democratic sources. In that role, he will be the top official spearheading Obama’s effort to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system. The high-profile pick signals that the push to extend health coverage to the 46 million uninsured Americans be a high priority for Obama.

LEADING CONTENDERS

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER

* Retired Marine Gen. James Jones, the former top operational commander of NATO, is a leading contender for White House national security adviser.

Jones is widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans but has avoided aligning himself with either party.

He is known to have been a strong critic of the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war and is quoted as describing the war as a “debacle,” in Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward’s 2006 book “State of Denial.”

* James Steinberg, who was deputy national security adviser in Bill Clinton’s administration, was also said to be under consideration.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

* Eric Holder, a former Justice Department official under the Clinton Administration, has accepted a conditional offer to become head of the Justice Department, Democratic officials said.

Holder, who served as deputy attorney general under Clinton, has been a senior legal advisor to Obama’s campaign and helped vet Obama’s vice presidential candidates. Before the offer becomes official, Obama’s team is seeking to determine if Holder can win Senate confirmation with broad bipartisan support.

HOMELAND SECURITY

* Janet Napolitano, the Democratic governor of Arizona, is under consideration to head the U.S. Homeland Security Department, a sprawling agency formed to bolster civil defense following the September 11 attacks.

“She’s in the mix. She may be the front-runner,” a Democratic official told Reuters.

Napolitano, 50, is a former U.S. attorney for Arizona and state attorney general, giving her law enforcement experience and is as governor of a state bordering Mexico, she also is closely involved in immigration issues which also come under the Homeland Security Department’s purview.

OPEN RACES

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

* Current Defense Secretary Robert Gates, named by President George W. Bush in late 2006, is considered a moderate voice on the Republican’s national security team and could embody an important signal of continuity.

* Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican senator from Nebraska, has been a foreign policy adviser to Obama and a strong critic of the Iraq war.

* Richard Danzig, an adviser to Obama on national security and Clinton-era Navy secretary, has been mentioned by many in the media as a possible defense secretary or deputy defense secretary.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY

* Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa, is an attorney who specializes in energy conservation, renewable energy and agribusiness development.

* Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, re-elected to a second term in 2006, is a strong Obama supporter and had been considered a potential running mate for Obama.

* Charles Stenholm, a former Democratic congressman from Texas, might also be considered. He was a cotton producer before running for Congress. He followed agricultural issues closely until he lost his seat in the 2004 election.

Reporting by Caren Bohan, Andrew Quinn, Jeff Mason; editing by Jackie Frank

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below