November 7th, 2008
01:35 PM ET
14 years ago

List emerges for Cabinet posts

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Current Defense Secretary Robert Gates is likely to stay at the post, a source tells CNN."](CNN) - Barack Obama is considering a mix of Washington insiders and high-profile business executives to head various cabinet positions, one source involved in the cabinet gathering process told CNN.

For Secretary of State, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is high on the list. Also on the list is Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, a former presidential candidate who endorsed Barack Obama early in the Democratic primary season. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke are also interested in the job.

For Secretary of Defense, there are indications current Defense Secretary Robert Gates will stay at the post "for a certain period." Gates, the former CIA Director under the first President Bush, has been praised by members of both parties for his leadership at the Pentagon over the last two years. Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, a former United States Army Captain and a member of the Armed Services Committee, is acting as the go-between with Gates.

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, who also served as that state's attorney general, is said to be a "very real possibility" for U.S. attorney general. Napolitano, who also endorsed Obama early in the primary process, was named earlier this week to the Obama transition team.  She's also served as a U.S. attorney from Arizona.

For Secretary of Commerce, former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, Time Warner Chairman Dick Parsons, prominent Chicago Businesswoman Penny Pritzker, and University of California economist Laura Tyson are all under consideration.

One problem: the Obama administration wants a diverse cabinet, and that means everything is still up for grabs.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (396 Responses)
  1. Liz

    Can I take back my vote if he chooses John Kerry for Secretary of State????

    Seriously. This doesn't represent change.

    November 7, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Spider

    Impressive list of candidates. We are going to see the construction of a very good Presidential cabinet. This is gonna be exciting folks!!!!

    November 7, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    Holbrooke!!!! GET HIM IN THERE!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. Tim in Seattle

    News Flash – CNN and the media aren't going to pick Obama's cabinet....neither are the congressmen and lobbyists trying to sway his decisions...Obama is going to pick the best and brightest and people he thinks will be able to help bring about the fundamantal changes this country needs....

    November 7, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. don in naples, florida

    As long as corruption ends; the wasteful mismanagement of american taxpayers' dollars halts; and the people in the appointed positions considers all americans in their decision making it really doesn't matter who Obama appoints.

    November 7, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Vegas

    Looks like he might pay back the supporters... kinda old school really...

    I like the Gates deal... he came in a cleaned house... popular

    Janet out of Arizona would suit me as well... that would give the Gov position to a Republican...

    Pitzker... that's an OLD debt there... love that Chicago machine...

    Same old politics so far... but I think Obama may shock some people when the final names are stated... not speculated

    November 7, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Frank G


    November 7, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. TT

    Why isn't Colin Powell on this list for State or Defense?

    November 7, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. MCNB

    Dick Parsons of Time Warner was the head of President Bush's stacked commission on Social Security, which supported diverting money going to Social Security and instead putting it in the stock market. Parsons was very willing to be part of a committee set up to rubber-stamp proposals that would have weakened Social Security solvency, at a time when the Administration was shutting out any serious bipartisan talks. Why reward Parsons?

    November 7, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. Shawn_T


    Kerry for secretary of state? Say it ain't so, Barry!

    Please keep Chuck Hagel, as something else if Bob Gates remains defense sec.

    November 7, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |


    November 7, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. johnrj08

    I don't believe this list. My guess is that Obama's ultimate picks will include none of these names.

    November 7, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Tara

    I'm excited to see how his cabinet turns out. I know a lot of people are already criticizing his choice in Emanuel but I think it represents a good balance. You have Obama is kind of cool, calm, and collected but who I also think will do whats necessary to handle whatever situation, then you have Emanuel who is the opposite without being to over the top. I can't wait to see who else he picks and I'm ready for him to take office and start presiding. I'm actually excited to see what the future holds. And for all the criticizers, here's an idea. Let him get into office first and demonstrate where he plans to go and what he plans to do!

    November 7, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Anne E.

    Gov. Bill Richardson for Sec'y. of State. He's got the chops.

    November 7, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. CNN is in bed with Obama

    Can we please put all these Democrats on a slow boat to China?

    November 7, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Perfect

    Obama can do no wrong. I am sure that whoever he taps for Cabinet positions will be the perfect solution to all of our problems. (Or at least that is how it will be reported and perceived by the blind followers.)

    I am a Republican and support Obama, but people come back to reality and insert "some" rationale thought into your analysis of this man...

    November 7, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Jazz

    What a way to go Obama in choosing your Cabinet. Good luck and hope everyone will be satisfied with the outcome.

    November 7, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Michelle, PA

    From that list for Sec State, Richardson would probably be the best. It's too naroow and focused on patronage though – I still think a republican like Lugar or Nunn if he would accept might be the way to go. NOT Kerry or Dodd!

    Napolitano would be a good choice for AG. Keeping Gates at Defense is a good short-term strategy, but as for Reed, how many senior democratic Senators does Obama want to poach? He's going to need accompished allies in there, leave a few!!!!

    November 7, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Matt

    he should appoint Richard Simmons as Secretary of Health lol

    November 7, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Marky

    "Can we please put all these Democrats on a slow boat to China?"

    No we can't. China already bought a slow boat during the Bush years and bought us up.....

    November 7, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. Shawn T


    Campbell Brown November 7th, 2008 12:03 pm ET

    "PLEASE, PLEASE put a mussle on this woman. I am tired of her defense of Palin. Who died and made her the GREAT defender? Please give her something to do…………PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Am I the only one tired of her rants for Palin. Maybe Brown is looking to 2012 to get a position in the Palin cabinet….NOT GONNA HAPPEN! Palin is toast………………..she would need to have her DNA reconfigured to be of any good."

    Lol. I couldn't agree more. Campbell Brown's feminism is so obvious.
    LMAO @ the DNA reconfiguration reference. Its true!

    November 7, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Tex, Dallas, Tx

    Bill Richardson is far more qualfy than any on the list. I hope he gets the notch.

    November 7, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. dittohead with forty names

    Gates should go.A spy is a spy and a soldier is a soldier.Enough of the sneaky guys,look at the first Bush.Its a Generals job,Lets get a General or Admiral.

    November 7, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |

    Letter to Clinton and McCain supporter:
    After all the name calling and low down politics we have made it to this day. Finally we have our new President and it is Barack Obama. No more rev wright, ayes, our bitter gate. No more fist jabs, birth certificates, or celebraties. No more liberal socialist claims. We are down to the policies and vision for moving this country forward. However, before we go to the mature, thoughtful, meaningful, and rusults driven way of conducting our White house let me leave all of the Clinton and McCain supporters with one final thougth.
    naa nana naa na naa nana naa na naa nana naa na

    November 7, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Kevin

    Whoever get the jobs, these names are making me very happy.

    November 7, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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