December 8th, 2008
12:19 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama still to fill key positions, possibly with Republicans

President-elect Barack Obama still has some key staffing decisions to make.
President-elect Barack Obama still has some key staffing decisions to make.

(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama's team has pledged to appoint Republicans to his administration, but so far, just one Republican is set to hold a leading Cabinet post.

Obama last week announced that he wants Defense Secretary Robert Gates to stay on board for at least another year.

Asked if Gates meets the requirement for a Republican on the Cabinet, Obama said he didn't "check his voter registration."

"What I was most concerned with was whether or not they can serve the interests of the American people," Obama said.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. AJ

    I'm all for bipartisanship but really, do we need a Republican in the cabinet? Havent the republicans doen enough damage?

    December 8, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Donna

    He doesn't have to put any third party candidate in his administration just to make sure all his "bases are covered"..they BARELY get recognized as it is...he doesn't need to prove anything...as long as the persons in his cabinet are qualified to do the job, who really cares what party they represent?

    If people would stop counting how many Dems, Repubs, etc get nominated maybe they could do some REAL work instead of making sure they get enough playing time on the field...

    December 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Lee in TN

    This is a good thing. How can you expect the country to come together and make a change, when the leaders will not?

    December 8, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. Emit R Detsaw

    Gates is not a "registared" Republican, just a guy that has almost always voted Republican.

    Obama will put a Republican in the open cabinet post if he can find one that is smart enough.

    December 8, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Bruce

    Last I read on him he is neither registered as democrat or republican, I guess that wouldmake him a independant.

    December 8, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. Michael

    I've been pretty impressed with the variety and the expertise he is surrounding himself with.......a real breath of fresh air relative to the right wingnut stupidity of the last eight years. I think the Governator would be a great Sec of Energy.

    December 8, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. proudliberal

    he has more republicans and republican-lite dems than anything. progressives are getting little representation. hopefully barack will carry our torch,too.

    December 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. RealityKing

    What.., has Obama run out of Clintonians unashamed of serving again??

    December 8, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Noel

    One thing wrong with this article is that there are two republicans named, so far for the Obama cabinet. That is Jim Jones. I'm show Obama will bring more republicans in the white house, so we shouldn't be discrediting him already. So let's just wait and see. 'Cause that's politics.

    December 8, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Raeford NC

    Just keep in mind, what he says he is going to do does not reflect what he will do. He has already broken pledges and promises based on what is most advantageous for him. For instance, the public campaign funds pledge that he broke.

    Whether you support him or not this is important to remember when approving of or questioning his judgement so far.

    December 8, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Silence Dogood

    Former Democrat: You are so right. To pretend to want diversity but only call on Corporate Repubs and Corporate Dems is apparently fooling a lot of people. Where are the Greens and Libertarians? That would be a – well, a change.

    December 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. Vivienne

    So far, so good.

    December 8, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Ken in Dallas

    Is there such a thing as a conservative Republican? Lately I've observed that that say "conservative" when they campaign, but they don't do "conservative" when they govern. Is there anybody out there willing to call GW Bush any kind of conservative?

    Paulson's not a conservative, nor was Greenspan. Snow was essentially a non-entity as Treasury secretary.

    All three of the Bush AG's have proven themselves positively eager to compromise the Constitution; what's conservative about that?

    Here's a clue about Bush: he hero-worshipped Ronald Reagan, who was all about being a ruler, not a leader. Bush never wanted to be president, he always tried to act like the king; what's conservative about that?

    Republican starts to look like code for "Conservative In Name Only."

    December 8, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. carol

    PE Obama wants to come together as one and I think it's good that he will hire Republicans, I don't see anything wrong with it at all.
    Anyone he chooses will be someone he knows has the interests of the country at heart and that will be the main factor I feel....his is a very smart man and knows exactly what he is doing.
    Looking forward to the new administration and I feel one we will all be very proud of in the years to come....whether you voted for him or not you will see what a difference he will make.

    December 8, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Cori from Colorado

    We need people to work together, right or left, in order to rescue America from its state of depression. As long as the people he selects are qualified for the position, then let's just move forward.

    December 8, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. NY Republican

    John in Ohio – you are so very wrong about Republicans respecting the POTUS, we were taught that even if you can't respect the man (or woman) you MUST respect the office. But as long as we keep being called "wingnuts" or "haters" by the supporters of the man, respecting him or the office people like you put him into becomes exceedingly difficult?

    December 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. oldone60

    "...Republicans and their loyal wingnuts on the far right will never accept him as president..."
    John in Ohio December 8th, 2008 2:58 pm ET
    ==============================

    Just like Democrats and their loyal wingnuts on the left were so accepting of Bush.

    December 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. mary, colorado springs, co

    It's immaterial whether the people he chooses to add to his White House people are Democrats or Republicans so long as they are exceptional at their jobs. I have enough faith in President Obama to accept who he wants in his cabinet, and if they are in sync with his way of thinking.

    Only time will tell.

    December 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Mickie

    LOL, I have to laugh at the people who say business as usual. Gates was a Bush appointee in case anyone forgets. And why does he owe anything to any republicans the way they tried to paint him as a terrorist. Do you really think he should have appointed a republican to one of the more powerful positions (give me a break). After Bush/Cheney and Bush's appointments like Brown at FEMA, Obama could appoint a kid and they would do a better job.

    December 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Coultergeist

    He's not selecting "Republicans" or "Democrats", he's selecting people that he feels are best qualified for the positions. Their political affiliation is secondary to their talents, experience and qualifications.

    December 8, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    the trouble with adding Republicans is that you have to really search to find intelligent, qualified people willing to work with and for Democrats for the good of the country!

    Look at who Bush thought were the best and the brightest: Cheney, Wolfie, Alberto ( who didn't even recall where his office was) Rummy, Ashcroft, dear Harriet and "Heckava Job Brownie." McCain picked Palin and pals around with Phil Gramm –

    Good thought but finding capable Republicans may be a real challenge!

    December 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Blue is my favourite colour

    I think he should be bipartisan and pick republicans–but just how many trustworthy republicans are there left? He should continue to do what he's doing and go with his gut about who is best, not their party affiliation. He is not choosing sides for "recess" like in grade school.

    December 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. mississippi teacher

    hey im a die hard republican...I voted for McCain although he wasnt my ideal candidate by a country mile. BUT...the way things are shaping up with this Obama cabinet...Im really cool with it. haha. Looks like the liberals cant win for winning.

    December 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Draconius Horribilis

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    December 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Mari

    I am VERY impressed with President-elect Barack Obama! His ability to reach across the aisle and to name Republicans, conservatives to his Cabinet is proof of WISDOM...... which is SO refreshing after EIGHT long years of the Bush Disaster!

    December 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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