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. O & Joe '08!!!

    Ed Stack: If you are concerned over Obama's lack of economic policy experience, then you must not have seen the Obama commercial just prior to the election, with a video of McCain acknowledging that he would need a strong economic background in his veep, followed by Sarah winking into the camera.

    Which is more scary, a man surrounding himself with qualified experts (as even acknowledged by leading republicans), or a woman who equates foreign policy experience with seeing Russia through binoculars?

    November 17, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. carol

    I think we need honesty and I think we will get that with President elect Obama....he has proven himself so far to be a very smart man and I do trust him to run this country very well.
    People are already making comments about how nothing has changed....come on now, he is not in office yet so please hold your horses and give him a chance!!!
    Whatever appointments he makes in the coming days, I'm sure he has had the best advice and as a smart man himself will make the final decision and the correct one for the country.

    November 17, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. Docb

    Debbie –we have had 7 years of the MOST experienced...Look where we are at now!

    New blood is what we were promised...I am an Obama supporter but this gives me pause!!!
    Clinton is a mistake of the highest magnitude...Hopefully Bill's nefafarious business dealings and thier undiclosed contributions to the Foundation and Library will prevent her appointment.

    November 17, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. Tracy

    Obama has surrounded himself with Clinton's people-clearly, no change. Hillary Clinton was clearly the best choice to lead us out of this mess.

    November 17, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. kirk in upstate new york

    I cannot even fathom the responsibility of making these choices. I am encouraged that Obama is looking at all qualified people regardless of political party, gender, race, etc etc. Bush did a great thing by electing the first Latino AG – even though he was bad at his job. Rice has been extremely effective as Sec of State. However, I believe that Bush's appointments were politically motivated. I feel strongly that Obama's appointments will be more practical yet still reflect the diversity that US has to offer but has been misrepresented for so long.

    I concur with the sentiment of the nation. I feel optimistic.

    November 17, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. chris

    I think this is funny. Anybody under an Obama admin will be great. He vets them and then chooses the best person possible.

    Get over it, your guy lost. Deal with it.

    November 17, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Ron Ft. Myers

    Although this has nothing to do with the treasury appointment, Obama needs to use his influence to get Barney Frank removed form any committee of authority. The guy is a loser.

    November 17, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. spokane

    What now, he won't be able to vote present anymore. Hang on folks we making a hard turn to the left. Hope thats what you wanted, here it comes. God Bless America, were going to need it.
    PS. And for all of you saying, lets give him a chance, you mean like you gave Bush a chance. You libs crack me up.

    November 17, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  9. Republican for change

    1/20/13 - No role! can have them to keep Palin safe from Putin's plane in Alaska.

    Gotta watch the skies man....

    November 17, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. Grady Mooney

    Obama needs to take some time off and eat something.

    November 17, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Deez

    So, 57% of those polled are either on the fence, or not confident that Obama will choose properly... and this is being sold as good

    November 17, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. Simmy

    It is very important to get the right person as TS, and I believe Pres-Elect will chose the right person. He/She may not be our choice, but he/she will be right for the country! Have faith in your president, and give him some time. Rome (8 years of devastation) was not built in a day! The rise of our economy will take time, be patient!

    November 17, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. John Tate

    I can't believe people are still going on about Wright, Ayers and citizenship! Who could have been so ignorant as to believe those silly e-mail rumors to begin with? It appears obvious Obama isn't going to surround himself with yes-men like Cheney, I mean Bush, did. On citizenship, heck, he was born in the USA to an American citizen. Either category satisfies the requirement, while McCain only met the second (which is plenty good enough).

    November 17, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. rm

    All of you people hoping and wishing that Obama fails do know that we will all fail if this country is not turned around? Give him a chance. He is the president-elect of the United States. That means he will be your president too. I suspect that most of you are upset because you voted for Bush twice and then for some reason voted for McCain/Palin. That would make me a little sour too, also, there.

    November 17, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  15. carson

    Trust obama , he can deliver it all ...

    November 17, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. beevee

    A lot of Americans think that Obama puts country first rather than party first in making key decisions that will ultimately effect the country and its well being. I hope he remains above politics in making his appointments. Contrary to what many think that his Change slogan should not bring back some old hands into his new administration I think it is wise to do so if it brings a real change in the situation we are in now. I only hope he does the right things in his choices.

    November 17, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. Independent ONE

    "Give Obama a chance!... divided we fall...."

    Yet where was that unification back in 2000. The hypocrisy of all this is astounding.

    I agree give Obama a chance. I hope he is successful. But people need to realize that Dems have controlled Congress since 2006. Right around when the economy started to tank. People forget the 6 yrs b/4 that when things were great!

    I guess if the media tells u things are bad.. . Most of you are probably too stupid to figure it out!!

    November 17, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  18. Truth Hurts

    I look at a Obama/Clinton administration as change and experience. The new schoolers always can get advice and wisdom from the old schoolers. Just like the old schoolers can learn something from the new schoolers. It will take a diverse cabinet and expertise to handle this jacked up economy and energy crisis!! We need a bi-partisan agenda just like Obama is forming!! People can criticize all they want but Obama is being very smart and wise with working with rivals and opponents to get the job done!!

    November 17, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. Dixie AZ

    Paulson is handing out money as he sees fit with no oversight. Can you believe it? The Oversight Board has not been appointed yet. This is so ridiculous. Banks receiving rescue benefits are not loaning the money, but buying other banks. Taxpayers are ripped again.

    November 17, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. Brian

    Where is Colin Powell in this process? One of the most intelligent well respected leaders in the world. He should be a part of this administration to repair the unbelievable amount of damage the bush administration has wrought.

    November 17, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. Reality

    A partial admission from CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. Of course Obama has the sweetest deal in history, CNN and ACORN propped him up and into the white house.

    The only CHANGE we will see is more bailouts.

    November 17, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Dorothy in NC

    Barak Obama has already surrounded himself with some of the best thinking minds in the country and I have all the confidence in the world that he will pick the right people for his key positions.
    We all need to take a deep breathe, sit back and give him a chance.
    He is not even our President yet.
    We should be focussing on Bush to make sure he doesn't do anything else that will take years to fix.

    November 17, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. RealityKing

    Only 43% of Americans are very confident that Obama will pick the right team!? Boy! Talk about dumbing down the expectations...

    November 17, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. JB


    You are criticizing republicans for rooting against Obama. I myself think that is wrong, but don't think dems are above it.

    Your fearless Dem leaders were hoping both behind the scenes and OPENLY in public for the USA to lose the war in Iraq to further their political aspirations.

    So, there are no innocents here. Let's just move forward.

    November 17, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. bill, alabama

    Warren Buffett for secretary of the treasury. He knows how to handle monely without wasting it, how to make people accountable, and how to not throw good money away to bad corporations and banks.

    November 17, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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