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. Democrats are funny

    Here's what Obama knows he has to do. First make all the Democrat appointments he plans to, then after lighting the fire, put it out with Republicans so that they get good press.

    Always give the bad news first.

    November 7, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. karen-phoenix

    I'm a 64 year old white republican women and for the first time in my adult life I'm soooo proud of my country!!! I finnally feel that "safe" feeling in America that I had when I was young! NO MORE bomb, bomb Iran!!! Just maybe we can talk to all these people and maybe we as Americans can be tourists in some of these countries that Bush tried to make us so fearful of!!! Everyone is God's child!!!
    God Bless Obama/Biden and the American People!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Spencer/Virginia

    Please do not pick Kerry. Richard Holbrooke is a way better candidate for the position than him. Although I believe Sen. Chuck Hagel is the best man for the job.

    November 7, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. Kevin Eirich

    Mr. Obama should resist the temptation to put a Republican in his Cabinet as some descriptive manifestation of the "change" mantra on which he won so impressively. His administration's policies will ultimately determine the direction of this country; not the individuals who will be obligated to support them in the Cabinet.

    As Democrats may be skeptical of them, and as Republicans will likely disavow them, Mr. Obama placing a Republican in his Cabinet does Mr. Obama little good in my view. Again, his policies will be the mechanisms of change - not his Cabinet.

    November 7, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. hiya

    Hilary has stated she loves where she is at and Bill loves his organization

    November 7, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. MD for Obama

    Dave, Central Illinois:

    Obama supporters spewing hate? If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black! As for who is paying taxes, Obama got the majority of the high-income white vote so who is paying more? Save your dribble. Sarah Palin was an expert in spewing hate!

    November 7, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. No Hillary = No Obama

    As usual, top heavy with men, low on females. Not equal. Expected for a person who got elected on the subversive sexist full-court press against Hillary Clinton and yet used his own minority status to claim history. Obama will turn out to be just as ordinary (if not worse) typical male power hoarder.

    November 7, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. pam Eugene OR

    I think I will wait for Obama actually makes his choices before I get worked up about CNN's speculation.
    Come has only been 3 days. Give our next President a few minutes to make these important decisions CNN.

    November 7, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Michael in LA

    Looking at Obama's new team looks like same old liberal baggage. Emmanual is suffering from angry man syndrome. Obama better put on his boxing gloves b/c this guy will want to run the country. Kerry for any postition is scary and lacks hindsight/forsight/insight. Didn't the US voice its dejection of Kerry in 04. He lost to what the liberal media says is the worst president ever. America said no to Kerry four years ago. Obama's new Washington. What a joke! Those who voted for Obama have been bamboozled, hoodwinked, and scammed. Nothing new here just another democrat wanting to give away the farm...YOUR FARM!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. turn az blue

    Janet in AZ would appoint her replacement as gov... that does not mean a repub. would get the seat... LOL, geez

    November 7, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. 60 year old, white female for Obama

    Where did the list come from?? The last sentence would indicate that this "list" is pure speculation!!

    November 7, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. Mark S. Geiger

    Patrick Fitzgerald as Attorney General! He's uncorruptable. I'd like to see Chuck Hagel as SecDef but keeping Gates is also a good move. No to Kerry as SecState. Schwartzenegger or Kulongoski for energy

    November 7, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Ellen2

    After suffering under Bush for eight years and not spewing and blogging hate, I just have to say one thing. Bush and his crowd apparently believes it does not matter how you accomplish a goal just that you reach it. I though moral people believed it was as important how you reached your goal as reaching the goal. It has always amazed me how people claim to be Christan and then turn around and act in the most unchristian way possible. They really should try reading the New Testament for a change. I do believe under all that political ambition he is a sincere and nice man, but his methods and not willing to listen to all sides limited him in the most harmful way for our country.

    November 7, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Dan

    This is going to be very interesting. Barack is already impressing me (as I thought he would) with his open vision of his cabinet and his willingness to pick the right person for the job regardless of political affiliation.

    I think Hillary will be offered AG, but you may never hear it if she turns it down, as she said she would and remain in the Senate for now. She might also be offered H&HS and a chance to follow through on the universal healthcare initiative she started during her husband's administration.

    November 7, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Tom

    Dave said:
    Amazing how the Obama zombies are still spewing their hate on these forums. So, 57million of us who voted for McCain don't deserve any say in our government? Well, I gotta feeling that we pay a majority of the taxes so how about we take those back and let you enlightened Obamites figure out who you will mooch off of then.

    How about all of us who DIDN'T vote for Bush who got shafted and wasn't allowed a say in our government? Why is it, all of a sudden, the folks who bowed and scraped at the feet of the Bushies are feeling like they're the ones being put upon? We've had to suffer through 8 years of utter crap and Constitutional deconstruction and our basic rights violated. Here, we have now have a chance to put the country back on course toward the ideals that make America "America."

    And by the way, I"m a hard working individual who earns every penny I make. I don't mooch off anyone and have a pretty low opinion of anyone who does regardless of political affiliation.

    November 7, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    and Palin can be the FOOL...

    November 7, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. What Change?

    I don't think paying off political IOUs with cabinet positions or keeping Bush's Defense Secretary is CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN. Obama is starting to lose credibility.

    November 7, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. Franky

    "Very importantly, it's the youth vote, the 18-to-29-year-old," said the Harvard University professor and former presidential adviser"

    You see guys, I told you we were gonna bust out...old-school! This kind of reminds me of Reagan when he had people inspired and young. I gotta say, not only could this be a coalition but a new beginning...

    By the way, I just have to say that I don't really agree that Moderates should be blamed for the GOP losses. It was literally a combination of things and if your gonna blame moderates, then is safe to blame Independents. I think is a combination of things and by the way, Senator MCCain didn't get those same numbers President Bush might have had with his really seen a discrepancy and with GOv Palin as the V.P, that litreally gives me more evidence to blame the RNC for how they handled her...

    November 7, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. karen-phoenix

    Colin Powell for Secretary of Education.
    Gates stays.
    Janet Naplitano for Attorney General (hate to loose her!)
    Hillary WANTS to stay in the senate and become head of the senate-She really likes being a senator!
    Let Obama do his own picking with the top advisors he has. They will all be good and for the good of the American people!!

    November 7, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Silence Dogood

    "the Obama administration wants a diverse cabinet" The opposite is true. By starting with an old Chicago mob-style buddy as chief, it is politics as usual.

    He is president elect now – he can rule with an iron fist and drop all that change cr@p.

    November 7, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Debby

    No Dodd and Richardson please either. Dodd has done zip for CT and Richardson is a turncoat.

    November 7, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Vegas

    Frank G

    Considering you're here blogging about people blogging... I think your statement falls a bit in the "hypocracy" zone!

    November 7, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Michael watching from Canada

    Barack said in his celebration speech that he was going to use common sense in reviving politics in Washington. I hope that his common sense prevails over his friendships when picking the best qualified for the Cabinet.

    November 7, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. Brenna

    Rabih – Although she could change her mind, Hillary seemed to indicate that she truly would be most valuable in the Senate and keeping the democratic majority solid. I would think , though, that if she expressed an interest in a cabinet post, Obama would honor that, but one never knows. Obama's going to choose the best and the brightest no matter who, what, where, when or why, and the public can continue to criticize and speculate to their heart's content.

    November 7, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Lee

    To: Dave, Central Illinois

    No you don't deserve anything. You are not entitled like you think you are. If we had it your way, you would not have included Obama zombies. The very words you choose in you posts shows you have no regard for Obama or his supporters. So no, we don't want your say, just go away.

    November 7, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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