November 17th, 2008
06:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Poll: Americans say Treasury announcement most important

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Most Americans think Barack Obama will pick the right people to fill out his Cabinet, according to a new poll."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - At the start of a week that could see Barack Obama make his first Cabinet secretary announcements, a new national poll suggests that most Americans are confident that the president-elect will make the right decisions when it comes to picking those officials.

Forty-three percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday morning are very confident that Obama will make the right choices, with 34 percent somewhat confident and only 23 percent not confident.

"Obama is having the kind of honeymoon that no president-elect has had in at least 30 years," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "It's no surprise that Americans have a positive view of anything Obama might do - at least until he does something controversial."

As for what which appointment will matter the most to the country's future: 41 percent say the Secretary of the Treasury; 25 percent say Secretary of State; 24 percent Secretary of Defense; and 8 percent name the Attorney General.

"Although a lot of ink has been spilled recently over Obama's choice for Secretary of State, Americans are paying closer attention to his nomination for Treasury Secretary. With the economy in such bad shape this year, it's no surprise that a plurality of Americans say the Treasury post is the one that will matter most to the country's future," said Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted November 6 to 9, with 1,246 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Ray Fisher

    I think anyone with an open mind would be appreciated at present after the past 8 years. I don't think Hillary has any diplomatic experience except with alienating people, Richardson is a better choice. Gates should be dismissed from defense and replaced with possibly Wesley Clark. For treasury, I would again ask Robert Rubin to serve to balance our finances as he did during the Clinton years. President Obama has an all-star line-up available to him and should use them as necessary replacing or substituting as needed. With our current chaos, there is no shame in being switched in the line-up!!!

    November 17, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  2. Rachel

    I am not a big Obama fan, but we gave Bush 8years lets at least let Obama take the oath of office before people start calling him a failure. I hope Hillary takes the job and that Obama actually offered it to her. He needs to do something about the economy.

    November 17, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  3. John

    hmmmm....I think he owes Warren Buffet and George Soros a favor.....that means they are "qualified"

    November 17, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  4. Patriot


    November 17, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  5. JB

    This guy can't do wrong right now. If he choose the Hamburglar as the Sec of State, people would applaud his commitment to pop culture.

    It won't last, but, I still have my fingers crossed.

    By the way, he sounded great lastnight on 60 min.

    November 17, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  6. TyWebb

    Hey, "1/20/13", get over it. Your candidate lost. Looks like Palin has some 'splainin' to do back in Uhlaaskaa. You betcha!

    November 17, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  7. Chris from Frisco TX

    I love the way that guy says Obama is getting a honeymoon. I don't think so. He's already on the job. You guys let Bush have a honeymoon for years and never held him accountable for anything. Nobody wants to do any research, they just want to cover easy entertainment stories having to do with Palin. You media reporters had it easy for years with Clinton and he still ran this country. Bush lied many times and for that we lost 5,000 precious lives and not to mention 100s of thousands innocent people in Iraq. No one did any reporting. Obama will be on the job every day and I have great confidence that he will select a great cabinet. You guys reported really well on the way Bush chopped wood. Easy stuff.

    November 17, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  8. Striker

    23% are the ones who approves Bush's performance.

    November 17, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. Bruce

    I really do not understand those of you here who say that obama is a failure already..he is not even in office, will not be until the the midddle to end of Jan.
    So what is still going on is the current administrations issues, and somebody needs to keep on eye ont hat because this administration will sell us down the river.

    November 17, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  10. Debbie

    Finding the best person for each position means he/she may likely have worked in a previous administration – period!:) The most qualified people will bring about the greatest change, regardless of where they've come from. Many of the posters here need to step back and think – for just a minute;) And to those of you in Tennessee – thank goodness you're a minority!

    November 17, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  11. Chipster

    President-elect Obama has his work cut out for him. It is evident that practically every federal agency is being run by Bush appointees whose purpose was to prevent the agencies from enforcing any regulations. Appointments were made on the basis of Party loyalty and contributions, not competence. Attorney General Gonzolas, FEMA – Michael Brown, Labor Dept solicitor general – Eugene Scalia

    Just a few of the political appointments that have been disastrous and counterproductive.

    November 17, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  12. Nate

    Even though I voted for another guy, I tend to approve of most of what he does right now.

    Until he votes yes on a automotive bailout.

    Then I will really not like him. Allowing those companies to fail is the only way to clean up the defunct company structure and break up the uncompromising and uncompetitive labor unions. Its sad that our unions have essentially destoyed the companies their members work for.

    But obama is going to push for bailouts, and his honeymoon will end in my eyes.

    November 17, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  13. LyonsPhilly

    I'm sure Obama will make a great choice for Treasury

    November 17, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  14. GA for Obama

    1/20/13- Your brain fixers

    November 17, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. Marie banderas

    Hmmmm, if all you who are opposing Obama in his selections, think he is so wrong and cant do the job, well, there ARE applications open, why dont you who dissagree fill out an application if you thinlk YOU have better answers ????? Change comes through policy changes , not just by one person either, so what if Obama is bringing in many very qualified people from previous years that are already tested and proven, instead of new people who havent even proven their worth yet ? I full well trust Obama WILL bring in the most knowledgible heads he can, no matter what party they are from...
    white independent for Obama

    November 17, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  16. Phil in KC

    Treasury is seen as most important. Yet, how many people have taken time to familiarize themselves with the candidates? Not many, I would guess. Of course, the public does not get to vote, so I suppose that really doesn't matter.

    November 17, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  17. Docb

    Just no clinton as SoS...Or Summers for Treasury...The 'change' admin is beginning to look like a reunion of clintonites!

    November 17, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  18. RealityKing

    Evidently more important than Obama since all that wonderful inspiration now seems to be gone..

    November 17, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. therealist

    3/4 of Obama choices are ex-Clintons. Wheres the freakin change!!??

    November 17, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  20. O & Joe '08!!!

    To those who have already labeled Obama as a failure before he has even been sworn in: You probably made your vote selection in just as hastily a manner. Stop rushing to judgement, and save your hate-filled diatribe until the man actually fails.

    For a man who is not yet in office he has already demonstrated a refreshing approach to staffing and problem solving. I, for one, am looking forward to the next EIGHT years.

    November 17, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  21. Erik from Real PA

    Some loon calling himself "Patriot" states here President-elect Obama still has to "prove citizenship?" (posting in all capital letters, like a technology-challenged, hunt-and-peck Luddite). I wonder how Patriot's tinfoil hat fits these days.

    November 17, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  22. Irma in North Carolina

    All the repbulicans are so bitter they lost the election, they will do everything in their power to work against them. They cannot see that Sarah lost them the election. So run her again 2012 and Obama dont even have to campaign. She will go right on having her hate rallys, she will never change.

    November 17, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  23. Toni Perry

    I have the upmost and complete confidence in our President-Elect Barack Obama. He went into this administration with his eyes and ears open to make a difference. I trust his judgement and the men and women he has chosen and about to choose as his TEAM members. I know that he will pick the BEST of the BEST to do what is urgently needed to make CHANGE in Washington and turn this administration around the next 4-8 years. We are all waiting to see a DENT made in the economy and the world. I believe that with the hands of GOD any and everything is possible. Barack Obama is not trying to be like Bill Clinton or no other president, he has proven that time after time. He is making and setting his own LEGACY and that is why I voted for him. LET'S BE PATIENCE!

    November 17, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  24. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I am confident Obama will pick the right people because we are all in this together and I am confident in myself.

    November 17, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Nate November 17th, 2008 9:12 am ET

    Even though I voted for another guy, I tend to approve of most of what he does right now.

    Until he votes yes on a automotive bailout.
    I don't know if I agree or disagree about bailing out the auto makers, but given that Barack Obama is a pragmatist, and not an ideolog, he most likely will push for the bailout.

    After all, let's be real about this. If even one of the US automakers goes under, that's a million jobs down the toilet. I seriously doubt he's going to let that happen.

    Besides: His presidential ride is a Cadillac DTS. Do you actually think he's going to switch to a Toyota??

    November 17, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
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