(CNN) – After years of decline in the U.S. image abroad, one of President-elect Barack Obama’s many tasks will be reaching out to the global community. Obama’s choice for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations will play a key role in rehabilitating the country’s image and relationships around the world.
Here’s CNN’s list of possible contenders for the post of U.N. ambassador:
LEE HAMILTON: Hamilton was a member of the House of Representatives for decades, and chaired the House Committee on Foreign Affairs during his tenure in Congress. Hamilton also was vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission and co-chair of the Iraq Study Group.
CAROLINE KENNEDY: The daughter of former President John F. Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama during the Democratic primaries and also served on Obama’s vice presidential search committee.
DR. SUSAN RICE: This veteran of the Clinton administration previously worked for the National Security Council and the State Department. Rice was also a senior adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign.
Click here for additional CNN short lists for Obama’s potential cabinet.
(CNN) – A former military man, retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones, appears to be leading the pack of likely contenders for the position of national security adviser in the incoming Obama administration.
Here’s CNN’s list of other possible contenders to advise President-elect Obama on national security:
JAMES STEINBERG: Steinberg has previously served in government as a deputy national security adviser and in the State Department.
RET. GEN. ANTHONY ZINNI: This Vietnam War veteran formerly headed U.S. Central Command.
DR. SUSAN RICE: A veteran of the Clinton administration, Rice has worked in the State Department and the National Security Council and was a senior adviser to the Obama campaign.
DENNIS ROSS: Like many of the other contenders for national security adviser, Ross served in the Clinton administration and advised the last Democratic president about the Middle East. Ross has also advised Obama about the volatile region.
(CNN) – While a candidate, Barack Obama frequently said on the campaign trail that the federal No Child Left Behind law left the money behind. One of Obama’s first educational decisions as President-elect will be his education secretary.
Here’s CNN’s list of possible contenders to head the new administration’s Department of Education:
LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND: This professor of education at Stanford University was also an education policy adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign.
JOEL KLEIN: Klein, a veteran of former President Clinton’s Justice Department and White House Counsel’s Office, is currently the Chancellor of New York City’s public school system.
TOM KEAN: This Republican former governor of New Jersey was also the president of Drew University for 15 years and a member of the federal commission that investigated the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
ARNE DUNCAN: Duncan has local ties to Obama; he’s the CEO of the public school system in Chicago, where Obama’s political career began.
(CNN) – With the nation’s economy stuck in the grips of a financial crisis it just can’t seem to shake, President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for the next head of the Treasury Department is among a handful of the most important Cabinet choices he will make. Indeed, in a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 41 percent of those surveyed said the choice for Treasury will matter most to the country’s future.
Here’s CNN’s list of possible contenders to be Obama’s treasury secretary:
LARRY SUMMERS: The former chief economist for the World Bank also previously served as Secretary of the Treasury under former President Bill Clinton.
TIMOTHY GEITHNER: As president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Geithner played a role earlier this year in the acquisition of Bear Stearns and the bailouts of AIG and Lehman Brothers.
PAUL VOLCKER: Volcker was chairman of the Federal Reserve under presidents Carter and Reagan.
ROBERT RUBIN: Like Summers, Rubin served as treasury secretary under Bill Clinton. Rubin also spent more than two decades at Goldman Sachs.
JAMIE DIMON: As president and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, Dimon was involved in Chase’s acquisition of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual earlier this year.
(CNN) – Cross one name off the short list of possible contenders to be the next commerce secretary in the incoming administration. Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, who headed the unprecedented fundraising operation of President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign, told CNN Thursday she is not in the running for the key post.
Here’s CNN’s list of possible contenders to head Obama’s Commerce Department:
GOV. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: The Kansas Democrat was a loyal backer and surrogate for Obama during the general election campaign.
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: The University of Chicago economics professor was an economic adviser to the Obama’s presidential campaign.
LEON PANETTA: The Democratic power player was Bill Clinton’s chief of staff from 1993 to 1997.
RICHARD PARSONS: The former CEO of Time Warner, CNN’s parent company, is currently Chairman of Time Warner’s Board of Directors.
DR. LAURA TYSON: The Clinton administration veteran is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Hass School of Business. She is also an economic adviser to President-elect Obama.
(CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton continues to top the short list of possible contenders to be the next Secretary of State under President-elect Barack Obama.
In addition to Clinton, there are several prominent Democrats and even one Republican on CNN’s list:
SEN. JOHN KERRY: The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee has served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for almost 20 years.
DR. SUSAN RICE: A veteran of Bill Clinton’s State Department, Rice was also a senior adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign.
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON: The New Mexico governor was tapped by Bill Clinton to be U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., but Richardson broke with the Clintons when he decided to endorse Obama after ending his own 2008 presidential bid.
SEN. DICK LUGAR: The Republican, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, worked with Obama last year to expand a program that destroys weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union.
SAM NUNN: The former Democratic senator from Georgia currently co-chairs an effort to reduce threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. While in the Senate, Nunn worked with Lugar to destroy weapons of mass destruction amassed by the former Soviet Union.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker said Thursday that she is not a candidate for Secretary of Commerce in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama.
Pritzker said she "never submitted any information for the vetting process to begin" and that "while there were discussions, I was never formally offered the position.
"I have obligations here in Chicago that make it difficult for me to serve at this time."
Pritzker was Obama's national campaign finance chairwoman and had been mentioned as the leading candidate to become Obama's Secretary of Commerce. She is the chairwoman of TransUnion, a national credit-reporting agency.
In a written statement her office issued Thursday, she said, "I think I can best serve our nation in my current capacity: building businesses, creating jobs and working to strengthen our economy."
Pritzker noted that "it has been my great privilege to serve in the Obama campaign. I look forward to helping our new president in every way possible and am excited about the future under his leadership."
(CNN) - Still no word on whether Defense Secretary Robert Gates is being asked to stay on the job by the president-elect or whether he would stay if asked. But he makes CNN’s Short List of possible contenders for the cabinet position. Following Lincoln’s model, Obama is open to a bipartisan cabinet, and Gates isn’t the only Republican that makes our list:
ROBERT GATES: He had his first substantive meeting with members of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team Thursday to discuss key issues the new administration will face as it comes into office.
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL: The Republican did not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in the recent election. Over the course of the Iraq war, Hagel has emerged as a critic of the Bush administration.
SEN. JACK REED: The Rhode Island Democrat serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and was mentioned as a possible running mate for Obama.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President-Elect Barack Obama resigned from the Senate earlier this week setting off a mad scramble to fill the two remaining years of his six-year term representing Illinois.
More than half a dozen people ranging from state lawmakers to current congressmen have been mentioned as potential successors to Obama. But it will not be the future commander-in-chief who will choose the next Illinois senator. Instead, that power rests in the hands of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a fellow Democrat. Blagojevich has maintained his decision will not be made in haste, and he wants “to ensure that Obama’s successor will understand and fight for the needs of average Illinoisans.”
There is no clear successor in the wings and in the old school politics that shape the Illinois and Chicago landscape, Blagojevich will likely weigh several factors as he makes this decision notwithstanding his own possible re-election in 2010.
Candidates likely being considered for the open Senate seat:
U.S. Rep. Danny Davis
Illinois Dept. of Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr.
Illinois Attorney Gen. Lisa Madigan
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It’s the first big battle for the future of the Republican Party.
Early next year, party leaders will gather to elect the next chairman of the Republican National Committee, which the GOP’s principal campaign and fund-raising organization.
Current chairman Mike Duncan, whose term is drawing to a close, has been non-committal regarding a run for re-election. "I don't know. My job is to continue this election,” Duncan told CNN Friday, when asked about the possibility of another term at the helm of the RNC. “We have the runoff in Georgia, we have the recount going in Minnesota, we have two elections that haven't been held yet in Louisiana. My first responsibility is to do my day job. After that I will make a decision.”
Asked about criticism of the GOP after its loss of the White House and seats in both chambers of Congress in last week's election, Duncan said that "the Republican Party has not lost its way," adding that "we have a deep bench in the Republican Party, and we have a lot of people who are interest in being RNC Chairman."
Among those who've formally thrown their hats into the ring are former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis.
(full list of candidates after the jump)