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. Truth Hurts

    Obama and his Chicago Style Curb Stomp Politics will quickly show the American People what kind of trouble they are in.

    These cabinet choices are not about Change.

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. Independent In NY

    Bitter, Bitter, Bitter.........................

    The election is over, so grow up ALL of you haters out there, on BOTH sides.......

    One America, Unite, Unite, Unite, Unite, Unite, Unite, Unite, Unite,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Superman

    Note to the republicans:

    Obama is a Democrat, which means most of his cabinet will be Democrats! Get over it! If you wanted mroe republicans, maybe you should of put more effort into helping John McCain win! And by the way, SUPPORT YOUR PRESIDENT-ELECT. If you don't, you are no better than terrorist!!

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Matt

    @ Truth Hurts (again)

    Since you seem to be so full of it, I can't help but respond directly again. Obama is considering Republicans for certain positions (Hagel for Defense being one of them), so you're just plain wrong. All the news stations have reported it, so you either are lying or live in a closet.

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Landusca in MD

    So sad He Did not mention Hillary Clinton.

    November 7, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. Steve in Tulsa

    Are they kidding with this list?
    John Kerry? He proved he was worthless in 2004 and has done NOTHING to redeem himself since then. Why would anyone consider him for anythign more than national dog catcher.

    The others on the list are equally bad. Where is that new blood? Where are those republicans. Obama is proving to be a DNC clone already.

    November 7, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Roger

    Please Mr. President-Elect select Gov. Richardson for Secretary of State. He has the diplomatic credentials, a keen understanding of foreign policy and has been involved for years with the diplomatic process. Please don't discount him just because he backed Hillary Clinton in the beginning and do not reward Sen. Kerry just because he supported you at the onset. I believe Sen. Kerry would be more beneficial to your administration remaining in the Senate. I also think Mr. Gates should remain at DOD and a good choice to ponder for Sec. of Education would be Colin Powell.

    November 7, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Matt

    @ mhg

    Stripped of our rights? What basis on god's green earth do you have for that statement? Oh, that's right, Republicans like to fabricate things to scare people. Excuse me...I had forgotten.

    November 7, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Joy Remson-Johnson

    I am a Democrat and an ardent Obama supporter but I am not thrilled with the idea of having John Kerry as Secretary of State, I believe it would be a mistake, he would after two years be replaced, so I say Bill Richardson would be the better choice.

    November 7, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. Obama Woman from the Start

    I don't care who he selects because I know he will make the right choices. However, we need to kiss the Clintons "goodbye" forever. I'll be at the front of the line.

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. This is not "Change"

    You call this "Change"? For someone who ran his whole campaign on "Hope" and "Change", the only change that it seems BHO will make to Washington is to be there. His whole list is made up of POLITICIANS engrained in Washington. Not a single one is someone who would be willing to "change the politics as usual." And his VP has been in Washington since the Ford administration. That sounds like a whole lot of "change" to me. What's the deffinition to instanty... continually doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Maybe things will improve in a couple years during the Congretional elections, because the only change in the coming adminsitration is going to be who is in the White House. He said it himself, "change comes from the bottom up, not the top down." Way to go, all you Lemmings. Just contiue to jump off the cliff into your big pile of free money.

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Peter (CA)

    Stop foaming at the mouth right wingers.
    First, these are just preliminary lists. Everyone who has any interest in a post is trying to get his or her name floated into the news.

    Obama is facing huge economic and foreign policy crises, thanks to eight years of incompetence. He HAS to choose some Washington people, those who know how to get around the city and know who to talk to in order to get things done. So, wait until the official announcements before getting your undies in a wad.

    That being said, I hope he keeps Kerry in the Senate. We need leadership there in order to get an agenda moving. Hillary has said she wants to stay in the Senate. I think she ought to be named majority leader.

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Nyer

    BARRY will select every FAR LEFT loon out there. Dont be surprised if he apppoints TRANSEXUAL DWARVES to the supreme court!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. collette

    A Republican Woman who is dynamic and level headed who might fit with President Obama's (that feels good to type!) vision is Olympia Snowe from Maine. I'd wondered why McCain didn't give her a nod when seeking a woman with a moving personal story as Olympia is intelligent about the workings, yet still a Washington outsider of sorts.

    November 7, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. Michael "C" Lorton Virginia

    If you are going to clean house Obama--clean it all the way–and open the exit gates for Gates.

    November 7, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. ABG

    I have met Janet Napolitano. She is a great choice for Attorney General. She would restore integrity to that office.

    November 7, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  17. Black Republican of New York for Obama-Biden

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

    Where is the name of a single Latino? I can't remember seeing any highly popular Latino on network or cable TV talking up Obama on a consistent basis, but that doesn't mean a diverse cabinet should not include Latinos and American natives.

    Latinos helped Obama carry New Mexico, Florida, Nevada, and California. They also gave him a good show of support in Texas!

    November 7, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Obama Supporter All the Way

    I feel that Obama will make the right decisions for our country that we all love. That is why we picked him. Let him work it out!

    November 7, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. Canadian for Change

    Political Agenda – Cabinet

    Do all you people actually think that Obama IS NOT looking at the qualifications of the the people he chooses or opts for in his Cabinet. I think most of his choices are in fact based on their qualifications, years of service in the White House for previous President's. Some of you need to think about why these men and women have the current jobs they do have, because they are capable of doing what they are hired for. Obama is a very smart man, not some idiot that these jealous, hateful people are making him out to be.

    November 7, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Me

    David Iglesias (Republican with respect for the law) for Attorney General

    Bill Richardson for Secretary of State

    Gates, then Hagel for Secretary of Defense

    November 7, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  21. Dave in Houston

    Sarah Palin for Interior
    Joe the Plumber for HUD

    no, but seriously, folks. . .

    Hillary Clinton for H&HS - the health care czarina.
    Elevate EPA to a cabinet-level post and make Al Gore the first secretary.

    November 7, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. lu

    One problem: the Obama administration wants a diverse cabinet, and that means everything is still up for grabs.–does this mean he will hire his staff based on race–typical eh

    November 7, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. brad

    "Washington insiders and former Clintonians." Hmmmmmm, where's the change message now???????

    November 7, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. concerned4USA

    Please Kerry not good for Sec of State................PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    I think Senator John McCain would be a great choice for Secretary of Defense. It would allow for him to work in a position that the American people know he would be great at.

    November 7, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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