December 1st, 2008
10:57 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama announces national security team

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama rolled out his national security team Monday."]CHICAGO (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama selected New York Sen. Hillary Clinton for the position of secretary of state Monday.

Obama also announced his decision to keep Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his current post, and named retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones as national security adviser.

Watch: Obama nominates Clinton to lead national security team

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has been named secretary of homeland security, Eric Holder as attorney general, and Susan Rice as United Nations ambassador.

"In this uncertain world, the time has come for a new beginning - a new dawn of American leadership to overcome the challenges of the 21st century, and to seize the opportunities embedded in those challenges," Obama said.

"To succeed, we must pursue a new strategy that skillfully uses, balances, and integrates all elements of American power: our military and diplomacy; our intelligence and law enforcement; our economy and the power of our moral example. The team that we have assembled here today is uniquely suited to do just that. They share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose about America's role as a leader in the world."

Full story

Filed under: Obama transition
soundoff (508 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Why is everyone so shocked? He'd been praising Senator Clinton for a long time, even during the bitter primaries – it should not come as a surprise to anyone that she would be a chosen as a cabinet member. I was certain that they had cut some deal during their meeting after Hilary's loss. I'll admit, I was thinking more along the lines of HH&S so that she could push her healthcare plan, but I guess that wouldn't have been high-profile enough – and no one puts a Clinton in the corner!

    December 1, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    President Elect Obama has shown nothing but the even handed brilliance that made me a believer of his in 2004, that made me vote for him in the primaries, and again in the general election. I am not a fan of Senator Clinton, but I can understand why he has her as Secretary of State. I think she brings credibility and intelligence to the role. Having a statesman such as Senator Clinton brings heavyweight credibility to any discussions with foreign leader.

    December 1, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Yamini Balachandran

    While there is nothing wrong in the selection, Clinton's nomination is a CLEAR political deal, that was carved out sometime in July 2008

    December 1, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. John

    Just curious.....when all the leftist bloggers were on here earlier in the year crying out for Robert Gates's head for running what they called "an illegal war" .......where are all your calls for his head now? So now he's a good guy? lol

    December 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Chuck

    FINALLY........ Intelligence and sound judgment has come back to the White House. What a refreshing breath of fresh air.

    December 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. The right guy ..Till 2016

    Ken ,
    In your dreams , if you think beeing SoS will allow Hillary to run for president in 2012 ! We already have a president, the right one, till 2016 !
    May god bless this great nation and our PE

    December 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. MEP

    I guess Hillary will get to answer the phone after all.

    December 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Leah from FL

    Even McCain asked his supporters to stop all this vile stuff and support the prez elect. McCain himself said he was giving Obama his FULL support, that Obama was a decent and honorable man who IS READY to lead our country. Now it's time for McCain supporters to follow his lead. IF McCain is the Maverick he says he is, and has thrown all of his support to Obama, why can't the McCain supporters do the same? Sarah Palin – why can't you as well?

    December 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. That was too easy

    To rm: Bush.

    December 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Andy expat in DR

    Pundits are saying this is a Clinton redux. Look...situation is different – much, much worse. We have a smart leader who has the moral fortitude to talk the talk and walk the walk. Clinton's DLC is seasoned, but aged with new wisdom. This will be a better Administration under Obama, who has the poise to make tough decisons and make them palatable to the public. This is about big ideas and the future, not Dick Morris and appeasing the middle with marginal change.

    December 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. jeff

    On this blog the people who are standing by whatever Obama says or does have a problem.
    He ran for President promising change and new politics.
    Yet he is just more of the same.
    I voted for Hillary but if his mindless followers wanted the old Clintons admin I think theywould have voted for Hillary.
    They expected something different and new.
    He will fail

    December 1, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Virginia

    Can anyone say "insecurity" because that is what we will now have. Imagine the handling of the India incidents under Obama and Hillary's watch! Let the confirmation hearings begin-oh yeah, it won't matter because all the cronies of the Clintons are in the Senate anyway....God help us all (that will be my mantra for the next 4 years!)!!

    December 1, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Matt

    Barack Obama's first big mistake. We do not need and do not want Hillary Clinton as the SoS. She lacks any credible experience other than imaginary sniper fire and a failed run at the presidency.

    Barack promised change so far all he has delivered is a bunch of Clinton cronies and one of the Clintons themself. This is what you can expect with Obama no change other than skin color and a lot of political favors.

    I mean it is not like Hillary didn't earn this spot with all those great laws she created as a senator? Ohh right she did nothing as a senator.

    George Marshall must be weeping for his country today.

    December 1, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Paul

    To all you posters who are prescient, how about do me a solid and posting the next Mega-Millions Lottery winning numbers to

    To all the posters avowing to be republican who are liking what they are seeing: Join us!! Seriously. Go to – Obama's new site and look around until you find the link that lets you post to the team. State your issue(s), state your idea(s). The man said he'd listen. Call him on it. See what you get back. What have you got to lose besides keystrokes and a little of you time? What have you got to gain? It could be a bunch. What have we all got to gain? Again, it could be a bunch. And you could be responsible! Go! Do it! Yes! You can!

    December 1, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. TKCROW

    Hey 30-m-PA – I agree with other responses to your post. If you don't like how America voted – I hear IRAN is looking for a few ungrateful citizens who don't support the President elect of the United States of America. I proudly voted for McCain-Palin, but as a proud American I will support Obama as my President of the United States.

    December 1, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Matt B

    To Eugene, another informed left wing crazy...Bill Richardson is a Latino. He was, he is and he always will be a Latino so you can end your concern. It shouldn't matter to you anyway, Obama should be picking people qualified for the job, no matter what the race, sex etc...

    And Eugene, how left can you be if you think Tom Daschle is a moderate?

    December 1, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Rockford

    Bill will be very happy....

    December 1, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. SHELLI

    I think that President-elect Obama wants to see just how ready Hillary is on day one to handle the 3am call and take action. Now is the time she has to prove herself as a value and not a liability or a backstabber. If she is truly for the Democratic Party and for the people then she'll do well so that she can run in 2016.

    December 1, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Rockford

    OH... at least we get a Rep Gov in AZ now that our current tool is moving to homland security..

    Do thank you for that one Obama

    December 1, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Tessmaria

    New beginning? Change? Sorry, but selecting a cabinet that consists of a bunch of "has-beens" who have previous records of making poor decisions is no new beginning. Tell me again why New York's skyline hasn't been rebuilt to the pre-September 11th view (and Hillary is in charge of what state)? Thank heavens someone in the DC area didn't decide to tear down or leave the gaping hole in the Pentagon simply because some idiots flew a plane into it and we're too afraid that it'll happen again.

    December 1, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. George Ennis from Toronto, Canada

    I would encourage a number of writers on here to see how foreigners see the United States and its President elect.

    I think you would be surprised by the favourable ratings he receives for his security and economic team. His actions are bold and represent a sharp break from the outgoing administration. The break is not based on ignoring experience, knowledge and expertise or differences in views but rather embracing them as part of the process of forming policy in these most difficult of times.

    Obama at heart appears to be a pragmatist and not ideologically driven at least compared to the outgoing President. Will he make mistakes? Of course but what he does seem to be is a quick learner and willing to acknowledge those mistakes and change policy accordingly. This stands in sharp contrast to the current President who seems almost impervious to new facts or evidence being presented to him that conflict with his rigid ideology which he confuses with adhering to principles.

    December 1, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. jay

    congrats hillary you deserve it

    December 1, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. R

    I'm happy. More happy Richardson didn't get it

    December 1, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. Paul C.

    Great choice Mr. President and one of the many reasons why I voted for Obama, INCLUSION! Eric and the other righties, you really are pitiful. Day in and day out all you do is whine like little babies in your cribs. You just can't stomach the defeat you so deservedly were delivered last month. You make no concrete or factual proof and anyone complimenting or supporting Sarah Palin really need to get their heads checked. It's gone beyond comic relief and thank God the woman will never be the Commander In Chief. But to try to legitimize Palin and keeping this pitiful idea alive that somehow she's going to be the Republican Nominee in 2012 will ensure a Republican defeat. So again, if I were you idiots I'd be more worried about how I can repair my party from the tattered mess that it is now and not make up things to make myself feel better. Now that it will be at least a decade before you ever hope to achieve any kind of majority in the government, try to open your minds more and don't carry on with this arrogant hubris that you shoved down the rest of the country's throat with W. Try to think of something bigger than yourselves, like your country for instance, and not be hateful towards Obama but help him and us put the country back together again. Otherwise you will be the cast outs of this country. You basically are yelling at the wind when no one hears or cares to hear the diatribe you consistently talk.

    December 1, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. ron

    It makes me laugh to read the blogs from the uneducated. You know the ones that criticize Obama's picks, yes the same ones that never voted for him in the first place.

    All I have to say to you people is "Don't worry there are elections in the US every 4 yrs. Maybe you can convince 60 million + people that bush had the right idea." I look forward to a palin transition team and administration.

    Oh BTW, I have said this before but it need repeating:

    "Change comes from the president not from his administration"

    We are no longer dealing with republicans with there friends first country last ideas.

    December 1, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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