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. Karen

    Did he seriously talk about what kind of dog they were thinking of getting for the White House? In his first press conference?? I voted for him, please focus on the pressing issues and stop trying to be cute, there are serious issues right now!

    November 7, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Aaron

    Make it happen, Barack. I've got faith in ya.

    November 7, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. Paco - Tucson, AZ

    Hahahahaha @ Matt. Shame you have to draw a map for the blind followers of New York's ex-presidential candidate.

    November 7, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Matt

    Nope. Nor does America want Republicans in office.

    November 7, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. That Other Jerry

    John Kerry, Chris Dodd, Leon Panetta? Where's the change? Oh, yeah, now I remember–this is the guy who picked Joe Biden. Must have been that other Barack Obama who was talking about change...

    November 7, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Ron in VA

    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State
    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State
    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State
    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State
    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State
    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State
    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State
    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State
    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State
    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State

    November 7, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. collette

    Sticking with Sen. John Kerry for Secretary of State as an excellent choice. One of the reasons being that Sen. Kerry has a quality I see in President Elect Obama and that is an ability to see and validate shades of gray on important issues in a balanced fashion. I don't think that people readily jump to an answer which is chosen for them unless they feel their that grievances have been acknowledged ( even if not entirely validated) in the solution. Sen. Kerry has wisdom from a soldier's perspective and peace makers perspective- a rare gift.

    November 7, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Ron

    I see many nay sayers on this thread. Shouts of no change, etc. I would like to hear more from these people in the form of suggestions and constructive comments.

    Suggest the changes you believe would represent REAL change. Who would your cabinet selections be? Why? Why the negative comments?

    Don't stand back and throw bricks....suck it up and join the discussion.

    November 7, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. WOW

    It is amazing how much venom and hatred is still flying around. People please lighten up already! The guy won in a mandate and the country has spoken. At least let him get in office for a year before you flambay him. You people are just unbelievable. If you weren't so near-sighted and hyper-critical you might know that intelligent people, although familiar and experienced in Washington, can enact change if directed from the top to do so. Remember, Obama is the President so he will be issuing the overall directives for his cabinet to follow. There will be change and for the better I might add. It is amazing how much you can get done when you don't have a bunch of morons in high office. Watch and see....


    November 7, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Don't pat yourself on the back too quick

    In the aftermath of its warm, fuzzy glow, tears of joy are shed and proclamations made by people on their knees, hands clasped, looking gratefully skyward in thanks, sobbing women on the View, cry elation for a supposed landmark election for Civil Rights, an historic campaign for the first Black President.

    While Farrankan describes Obama as the “coming new Messiah” David Gerber on CNN likens him the “Jeremiah to Martin Luther King’s Moses” (huh boy…)

    As Oprah Winfrey triumphantly proclaims “America did the right thing”,

    I seem to be the only one to notice that
    • gay people still aren’t allowed their constitutional right to free speech, to call their unions marriage, nor right to Taxation with representation and have legal marriage, that
    • the most qualified candidate, a woman, was dismissed in a media blizzard-smear campaign of misogyny, lies and phony polls, had to
    • beat her opponents in 21 consecutive debates, still loses to the most unqualified candidate in history simply because he is a man. He voted 131 times "present". We needed a Madam President, not a mr. present.

    He got more votes, for and against, than any other candidate in history. Americans remain divided more than ever.

    It’s time now for the corrupt Obama to return the favors to his corporate hedge-fund backers for the 90% of his raised 700 million, (oh, you thought it came from small donations on the internet? Ha, ha). They still own America (and Obama).

    Rahm Emanuel, the most contentious frontman Obama could hide behind,...tsk tsk...

    Now delusional with a new sense of equal rights, America remains a hypocrisy ruled by corrupt corporate bigots.

    November 7, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. VAHappy

    He was asked a question from the press about the choice of a dog and answered that question. It was not part of his prepared speech/talk.

    November 7, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. RJN

    So when do we see the "CHANGE" looks like the same group of losers we had before which were part of the problem.

    November 7, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. CanIcallyouJoe

    I really hope President-elect Obama can select a diverse group that will satisfy both parties. Both parties (at times) show a suitable cross-section of the populace's views.

    BUT, if it's Dem heavy, too darn bad. The Republican party hasn't really been showing anything lately that indicates they are able to do any leading whatsoever. You can't get anything more than zero when you try to pick something out of zero.

    November 7, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Chipster

    It would be foolish to take anyone out of the Senate, unless it's a Republican. We need Democrats in the Senate to be able get anything done!

    November 7, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Chris

    Who mentioned Wesley Clark, would you like to see maybe Rumsfeld
    Richard Holbrook and Madeline Allbright, why not Sadam Husein?
    No old school of foreoghn policy or forget "THE CHANGE".

    November 7, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. Credit Card Republicans

    Rush Limbaugh for sewer management,hes really good at it ,look at his tools on here.

    November 7, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. Les915

    If anyone could do a better job,you should have stepped up to the plate,give the man a chance to get in to office and get off his back!!

    November 7, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. ANGIE


    November 7, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. LB

    Since I only know these people by name and Obama has had close contact with all these people, I will respect his judgement on who will head whatever position. My best guess is that Obama will make sure who ever he chooses is the best and will work the hardest for this country and in its best interest. Just like Obama ran his campaign, he will run the Presidence.

    November 7, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. WOW

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? REALLY???? You REALLY want to compare the results of the Clinton administration to the results of Dumbya's Administration? REALLY??? We see how well that turned out with Clinton people? The Clinton administration turned out pretty darned well for the American people then we went into the dark ages of the early millenium. How can you even compare the collective intelligence and competency level of the Clinton administration to that of the Bush administration? It would be a bloodbath. All I have to say is having many terrible choices in high positions for the last 8 years have given us the current results. Don't EVEN talk about Dems in congress for the last 2 years because before that it was Republicans in control of both House and Senate for the 12 years previous to that. This is ABSOLUTELY the Republicans' fault! No denying that. BUT I still think it would be great if we can stop worrying about the past and work on REAL solutions to the problems we currently face.

    November 7, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. SDunn

    Why is this source leaking this information????? This is ridiculous! He needs new blood on his cabinet and I do not believe for a sec that this is who he'll have helping him run his government.......we need new blood!

    November 7, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Joyce

    Please don't take any more Senators. Don't try to diminish the lead against the GOP. Things need to get done. Dems need the majority in the Senate.

    November 7, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Judy from NC

    These comments are amazing. He hasn't even announced any appointments yet and you are already criticizing. Please be patient!

    November 7, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. Gregory, San Antonio

    Okay attention.

    Reporters ask questions.......President-elect Obama answered them.

    Until Jan. 1, there are going to be all kinds of questions he will be asked and he will answer them.

    As far as his cabinet goes. People you go with people of experience in a time like this and that means you reach out to those in Washington and to the business sector.

    Quit your sniping and learn.

    This is nothing new!!

    Every president has done it!!

    November 7, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Judy from NC

    These comments are amazing. He hasn't even announced any appointments yet and you are already criticizing. Please be patient!

    November 7, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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