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. Hilary

    Patience, Obama supporters. We must have faith in our new President's choices and be confident that he will choose the best people for the positions.

    November 7, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. rk

    I have great confidence in Obama, I don't have much worries who he selects or tosses out for his cabinet but only one thing matters the end result!!! Time will prove his & his staff's ability to bring the change in USA.

    November 7, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. therealist

    Change you can believe in..., not.

    November 7, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Independent voter

    to VA resident

    You are the stupid one! You voted for inexperienced, arrogant BO.

    November 7, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. collette

    Chuck Hagel is a keeper... whatever position he is offered, he'd be a welcome addition.

    November 7, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. U.S. Finally gets it right

    Alot ofAmericans are weak and whiny! You guys made a smart choice in electing Obama, and you are already crying. Just sad, you will not be happy, until you destroy each other. Obama supporters be proud of your choice! The rest of the World sure is.

    November 7, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. venue

    for all negative comments. you are truly un-american. the democratic process is in motion let it work.....Let president -elect obama do his job....edify dont destroy. :o)

    November 7, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. concerned4USA

    Kerry should not be given the Sec of State job. He does not deserve it.........PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. JV

    "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."

    When he said diverse I think he meant from different walks of life, not ethnicity. Business leaders, community leaders, statesmen, government people military people, republicans, democrats, independents.

    Not latino, black, white, jewish, etc......

    November 7, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. luz Alma Serna

    Whoever he chooses he will make a right choice, this is
    crucial for his cabinet, so he will choose , trustworthing people # l,
    plus he is no dumb bunny, i am sure he has done his homework.

    November 7, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. RealityKing

    Obviously Chris Dodd has earned his Freddie and Fannie approved appointment. I mean really.., who's next? Barney Franks for HUD secretary??

    November 7, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. Elizabeth

    Where the President Elect's children go to school has absolutely nothing to do with anything. I'm now retired and I never earned more than $35,000 per year. When my two oldest children were 11 and 6 years of age they attended private school for three years. The sacrifice was made because the public schools at that time in the area we lived were miserably funded, woefully inadequate and suffered from severely questionable staffing. That didn't make us "elitist" or in any way "socially or politically incorrect". It meant we wanted a good, safe education for our children.

    Focus on that which is important.

    November 7, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Mike in Fairfax

    @Frank G

    I couldn't agree more! Just the way things should be. People helping people. Not the government helping people. You are truly a bright and conservative man. Thank you for your comments.

    November 7, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Justin, ny

    Lets pretend I'm a republican – heres my argument against any and all choices Obama may make for his cabinet.

    1. No no no, that person is too democratic, no way, too partisan – he claimed there would be bi-partisanship waaaaaah

    2. See??? he picked a republican – thats because he knows republicans are better at getting things done and command more respect.

    3. I can't believe he picked this person for that position, they're such a "washington insider".. this is change??

    4. I can't believe he picked that person for this position!!! has anybody even heard of this person?? they've got no experience or credentials!!! how can they be taken seriously??!?!?!

    In other words – if you're a republican – no matter WHO Obama picks for any cabinet position, you'll be unhappy, unless he picks republicans across the board.


    November 7, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. The winning team

    Wendie, stop being a hater (that's slang) and don't feed into cabinet rumors created by the media. They need something to keep our interests and at this early in the transition process, this list will most likely be far off from who will really be by Obama's side when he is inaugerated.

    OBAMA '12!!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. John

    You picked Obama because you were misinformed. Obama and his media cronies accused the Republicans of trying to smear him...then when the allegations such as ties to Acorn, dirty money in Chicago, etc. started to be proven true they were marginalized by smears from the media and Osama on Palin and McCain. (which were not true, by the way...see troopergate!)

    November 7, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Faith

    Bill Richardson for Sec of State

    Bill is the Right Man for the Right Job; Well Respected and Even Tempered and with a voice to match.

    November 7, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. Elizabeth

    Please, please do not take John Kerry out of the Senate! With Senator Kennedy's health in question, this would cause a weakening in the leadership of the Senate. We need people with experience there. The Republicans are showing few signs of wanting to work together.
    Senator Kerry has both wisdom and experience. We need him there!

    November 7, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. Bi-partisan Confused?

    Dodd? Chris Dodd is on the short list? As one of the orchestrates of this financial mess he is should be fired, not promoted????!!!!!

    Obama, I have such high hopes for you! But I cannot help but question this list?? Where is the reaching across the ailse and a new generation? HUH!?!

    November 7, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Joe

    Colin Powell would make a great National Security Advisor given his experience.

    John Kerry for Sec State....don't do it!

    How about Retired Gen Wes Clark

    November 7, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. And so it begins...


    That's all BO said while he campaigned for president.

    Now, here we are, at his very first decision making process and what do we see? ZERO CHANGE.



    November 7, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. galwaydave

    Hey Truth Hurts
    Rham Emanuelle didn't even want the job as S. of S. He was quite happy as 4th most powerful congressman. This is a bit of a career spoiler for him and he was not that excited about moving to Washington, thats why it took a few days for him to accept. Get your facts straight or Shut up!

    November 7, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Please not Kerry.

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

    ALL THESE PEOPLE WILL BE WORKING UNDER HIM – taking his direction. The leader sets the tone, the priorities, and makes the decisions.

    I have no worries. Rome wasn't built in a day. All of these people are talented, and any of them will be good at what they do.

    As long as Obama runs a disciplined government, like he ran is campaign – we're all good!

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

    I'm very happy for some of the names I'm seeing but my major concern is keeping control of the Senate. I'll advised that he brings some of his cabinet from the private sector and some republicants like: Colin Powell and Chuck Hagel.

    November 7, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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