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

List emerges for Cabinet posts

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/07/art.gates.gi.jpg 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. laura

    Why are people so pissed if he doesn't pick women or minorities? Who cares as long as the job gets done. I'm hispanic and a woman and it doesn't bug me. I just want whoever is best suited for the job to be given that post.

    One thing though, I don't care much for John Kerry. In 2004 voted third party.

    November 7, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. G.R.I.T. - Girl Raised in the South

    I think someone on here earlier said there were no women. Hmmm, so Janet Napolitano, Penny Pritzker, and Laura Tyson aren't women? Bet their parents are surprised.

    November 7, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. collette

    I Weiss, Go back and listen to John Kerry's speech when he announced way back when... Then you'll understand why John Kerry. He can have the conversations.

    November 7, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Truth Hurts

    OBama is quickly proving to be quite the joke.

    If all he wants is democratic party insiders to be his flunkies, errr, cabinet, then this administration doesnt have a chance.

    You will know for sure that OBama has no spine if Howard "The Whack Job Screamer" Dean manages to get a post. Dean will get a post because he will bully Obama into it, not because he deserves it. Probably similar to what Rhambo did

    You will know for sure that he isnt an agent of "Change" he is just an agent of "The Democratic Party Apparatus"

    Truth Hurts

    November 7, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Obama all the way

    No Kerry for S of S. Bill RIchardson is a much better choice!!

    November 7, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Marge

    Gee a Turner guy is going to be in the cabinet....looks like CNN made a choice to get one of their guys into the big time....no wonder they supported obama.

    November 7, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Steve, New York, New York

    I really hope that Obama finds a good cabinet post for Chuck Hagel – Senator Hagel is TOP-QUALITY!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Wendie

    Admittedly, I was depressed that Obama won, but hoped he would do a good job and decided to take a wait and see approach. Now I am more discouraged than ever. He thinks adding John Kerry and Antonio Villaraigosa (real name; Tony Villar) to the soup is change!
    Hardly. Tony Villar is the absolute worst choice to be an economic adviser. All he knows how to do is tax and spend and he has proven that as the mayor. He has made Los Angeles a sanctuary city, imposing all that expense on the taxpayers and we don't want the illegals here, but guess what? He does. He is a morally bankrupt individual who is is own greatest fan. Kerry is a drab elitist and Robert Kennedy, the biggest hypocritcal phony that ever lived is to head the EPA? Insanity – this guy will destroy corporations, who for the uninformed CREATE JOBS while he rides around in private jets, limos, doesn't want windmills anywhere new the Kennedy compound..

    November 7, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. VA Resident

    @ Independent Voter...

    Just because a child is black does not mean that they are not supposed to attend a private school. Not all black people live below the poverly level and have meager education. You should educate yourself! Not all white children attend private school, and just to set the record straight there are quite a number of white children who live below the poverty level.

    You are really displaying your ignorance with your comment.
    Next time think before you speak, you sound stupid!

    November 7, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. Independent in NC

    "prominent Chicago Businesswoman Penny Pritzker"

    Oh goody, the one who gave out subprime loans, then ran away with the money when Superior Bank collapsed. Brilliant option.

    Is there anyone on the list who was not an Obama-backer? True change would include people from both sides of the aisle and at least a few people who disagreed with you. We're not going to get anywhere without dissenting points of view in the executive branch of government.

    November 7, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. mhg

    Well all I can say is we'll see what happens with BO.
    I still believe we are going to wake up one morning stripped of many of our rights and just wait until he ushers in the new world order.

    November 7, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. P in California

    Are you people serious?

    Would you rather Obama pick a bunch of inexperienced people in his first term in the White House?

    Come on. Give the man a chance.

    I believe the change Obama will pursue isn't all about who he picks to be in his cabinet, but it's more about HOW he manages the people in his cabinet. It's about how he expects these people to behave and manage their areas. THAT's where you will see the change happen.

    November 7, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. collette

    Chris Dodd is one of my favorite politicians, yet I believe that Secretary of State is not quite the appointment for him... maybe Homeland Security? Something on our shores...

    November 7, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Wendie

    Spider – You think this is an impressive list of candidates? You must not work or pay taxes.

    November 7, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Frances

    America's huge problem is not racism- it's the hatred her people have for each other. Enjoy the kool-aid everyone.

    November 7, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Greed is not good

    Yes makes sense to keep Gates at least for a year or 2. Richard Holbrooke, Chuck Hagel, Gov. Schwartchnegger, Gov. Bill Richardson,
    Warren Buffet...should all be added to dream team. 2 more Republicans will really add a lot of weight to the bi-partisan spirit.

    Errr...well Hagel technically quit the GOP..

    November 7, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. kimfromatlanta

    Eric Holder- Attorney General; Bill Richardson or Stephanie Rice- Secretary of State; Colin Powell -Secretary Health, Human & Welfare; Gov. Janet Napolitano -Supreme Court Justice; Jack Reed-Secretary of Defense, just to name a few in my opinion

    November 7, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. T. Brown

    Give it to Barney Frank. That'll free up his Chairmanship on the Banking Committee for someone who may be a little better at it.

    November 7, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. ApacheLXX

    This is Typical Reid, Pelosi, Dodd and Franks partisan politics. Obama will not be able to have any non partisan unity with this bunch at the helm of the legislative branch.

    November 7, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. jr

    CHANGE??????? What change, all I see are the same politicians that have been around Washington for years. You didn't want the Clintons but still........the people that worked for them are now working for Obama. Still the same people...........no change

    November 7, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. collette

    Chris Dodd is one of my favorite politicians, yet I believe that Secretary of State is not quite the appointment for him... maybe Homeland Security? Something on our shores... For Bill Richardson something with immigration policy maybe working with John McCain?

    November 7, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. Elizabeth

    Dennis Kucinich for Attorney General!

    November 7, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. T. Brown

    Give it to Barney Frank. That'll free up his Chairmanship on the Banking Committee for someone who may be a little better at it.

    November 7, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. sjp

    3 days from and over 2 months til the obama presidency and the rushbo doom and gloomers are already taking there hacks. get over it neos, its not like your cabinets of repubs has been great shakes the last 8 years. ( see economy)

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Dave

    MHG, thats the kind of thinking you get when you buy into the right wing fear machine.

    Obama is a well deserved and long needed breath of fresh air. And he's getting the best and brightest to fill his cabinet.

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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