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. Rick -Toronto

    Frank G – CNN needs fillers for its 24 hours coverage, although I agree with you......after spending so much for a computer/internet access......the ability to vent ones opinion makes up for the cost of the computer.

    November 7, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Matt

    This cracks me up. All of you saying "this isn't change" don't even know who 9 out of 10 of these people on the lists are. Did you learn nothing? Vomiting virulent vitriol is what put your party in the mess it's in. Geez, you'd think you'd wise up and clam up.

    November 7, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. PB

    In order for this Country to work, we can start as citizens by keeping your nasty and negative comments to yourself. You will never be satisfied! That is why this country is difficult to bond together. Nasty lunatics who continue to whine and complain!!!!!

    November 7, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Independent 08

    This is sickening, where's the change?????

    November 7, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. William of South Florida

    Barack Obama-President
    Joseph Biden-Vice President
    Wesley Clark-Sec of Defense
    Dick Parsons-Sec of State
    Russell Honore-Sec Homeland Sec
    Dennis Kucinich-Attorney General
    Hillary Clinton-Sec Health,HumanSer
    Cornell West-Sec of Education
    Warren Buffett-Sec of Commerce
    Michael Bloomberg-Sec of Finance
    Collin Powell-Special Counsel to the President

    November 7, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Laverne

    People, Obama explained what change meant in Washington. The change he was speaking of is in policies and the way things are done in Washington. Although some of the people faces may be the same, they will be commissioned to carry out Obama's vision and his policy changes. He never said he would replace everybody on capitol hill, please do misunderstand what change is and for pete's sake give him a chance. He has been president elect for 3 days!

    November 7, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Independent 08

    I hope someone at CNN will tell Donna Brazile to shut up!! Why is she saying there are losers...I thought with Obama we are all suppose to be winners!

    November 7, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. Kim from PA

    Relax, this man has not even been swan in yet. Let him pick who he wants he said he would be open to working with all sides not having all sides around him constantly. You need people you can trust around you and if the RNC wants to flat out lie about the man, how can they turn around not 48 hours later and be angry because he does not trust them...? think about it . this man WILL make mistakes but lets WAIT till he does to complain shall we.

    November 7, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. st paul guy

    Kerry would be a big mistake. He's a flannel mouth and veers from pillar to post. Not the kind of person that would do well as Secreatary of State.

    November 7, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. John P.

    Oh God, please please please don't give John Kerry ANY cabinet post, certainly not Sec. State! I'm sure we can come up with many other qualified candidates who would be less polarizing and far less soporific than Mr. Kerry.

    November 7, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. David

    But Samantha...didn't you know? "Republican" means silly ignorant baby.

    November 7, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Sam

    Puh-leease NOT John Kerry !

    I voted for him in 2004, but he is NOT Secretary of State material.


    November 7, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. Concerned in MA

    Hmmmm... for CNN blogs that were 98% pro-Obama before the election, there sure seems to be a lot of pro-Republican comments now.

    Buyer's remorse?

    November 7, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. DJ, VA

    I could be just as ignorant as others on this blog, but why I supported GWB his first term although I really didn't care for his policies. It wasn't until his second term that I refused to support him. I to do not like Kerry for any cabinet position he is truly an elitist and the comment he made about the military has never left my mind. So lets give Obama a chance and see how he does I believe he will put the best people in these positions and if they are not will move alot quicker to replace or reduce their influence than Bush did with many of the adviser who misled him during his Presidency.

    I hope that once Obama has changed the state of America the naysayers will come back on the blog and give him the credit he is due.

    November 7, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. Aida

    Of course John Kerry is on the list. All the other good ol' boys will be as well. Change?!? Oh yeah, an old democrat instead of an old republican – that's change.

    Disgruntled Democrat

    November 7, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. moth

    I would love to see Al Gore as the Secretary of the Interior.

    November 7, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Julia Yvonne Mustion


    There is a reason, he has been out of DC for 8 years! He should be able to figure that one out.

    Even though I did not vote for Obama, I believe he is an intelligent man and surely, he is "smart" enough and has enough plain "common sense" to keep Kerry at a distance!

    November 7, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Robert

    HA HA HA – Obama supporters duped!!!!! There is no change fools – just ask the ever present – Donna Brazile. She knew that was a false claim from the beginning! So he has been President-Elect for 2 whole days and it is already dawning on people? Duh – I can see it now – the guy who got the great deal from Countrywide and fully backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be in charge of???? Dodd will continue to contribute to the demise of our economy.....just as always!!!!!!!!!!! I feel that in 4 years we will all look back on Bush43 and think he wasn't so bad afterall. There is no change fools – !!!!!!!

    November 7, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Glen,

    After Nixon the US chose a peanut farmer, after Bush it seems they have chosen another peanut farmer, this time with the backing of the Chicago Insiders. Well at least they can get rid of him in four years time as they did with Carter.

    November 7, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Liberal and proud of it!

    PE Obama is a pragmatist. He will select his cabinet after much consideration and given the people who ran his campaign, I really don't think there will be a problem. He will certainly (and wisely) not select anybody who will be butting heads with him for the next 4 yrs.
    Our president cannot be distracted by petty in-fighting.
    So sit back and let him do what we elected him to do.
    (I personally will miss Janet Napolitano if she gets picked for Atty General but will sacrifice if it will help our country. )

    November 7, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Laverne

    and one last note, Republicans you did things your way and now it is Obama's turn. Sit down and shut up! YOU ARE NOT IN CHARGE ANYMORE!

    November 7, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. KEN

    hey-how many people here are going to the inauguration?

    November 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Lies lies and more lies

    Every single name being considered is a Do-nothing Washington Elite or Crooked Chicago Politician. All of them are strictly Partisan Line Towers.


    GWBush brought more change to Washington. Now that is scary.

    November 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. James

    there is nothing wrong with bill richardson. those are the politics of fear!

    obama will be the best leader this country has seen in generations

    November 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Glenn

    From what I have heard so far Obama’s list is impressive. Cnn has talked extensively with people which are held in high regard. And most agree that Obama has used thoughtfulness and intellect when preparing his list for cabinet positions.
    The underlying rationale for selecting anyone of these politicians in to work with the best People available.

    November 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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