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. Chuck

    Those worryijng about Hillary's experience in foreign affairs need to stop complaining. How many people truly have experience in foreign affairs. Especially people who would not be considered part of the Washington establishment. It takes no great experience to know that one functions as Secretary of State by pursuing the interest of the United States across the globe, making friends where you can and keeping tabs of your enemies. What's the big deal. Speak up front, be honest, fair and firm with foreign leaders and that's all you need to know. Experience – it's overblown.

    December 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. greg greenman

    You know whats funny? This is how you know Republicans are hypocrites to the nth power. They say in one breath he isn't experienced enough, and in the same sentence says he knows how to lean far left and then towards the center because he is a seasoned politician. Hahaha

    December 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. vanessa the stay-at home mom

    It is killing me that there actually people claiming that hillary is not qualified and these are the same people who supported Pailin for vice president !!! please, if you are a bitter Mccain supporter who cannot get over the fact that he and pailin lost, just do us all a favor and SHUT UP !!!!

    December 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. Steve

    So now I see that Operation Chaos is pretending to be Obama voters who feel "betrayed". Let's hear it for the new scam!

    December 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Gambino

    Mr Blitzer,do you have a faint idea of how prepared the Presient-Elect

    December 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Joyce in Indiana

    It is probably not realistic to expect die-hard conservatives to be happy with anything that PE Obama does, but I would ask you to keep an open mind. I was extremely apprehensive when President Bush came to power, but I hoped I might have been wrong. Unfortunately, I was overly optimistic.

    Now I hope that those who are worried about Obama as president will at least keep an open mind, and I believe that their fears will be unfounded. No, you probably won't like everything he will do, but that is why there will be another election in four years.

    The "change" that some seem to be so concerned about is in the open mind of the president-elect. He is not afraid of dissenting opinions, and seems to be nominating people who will not be afraid to give them. I eagerly await the new administration.

    December 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Janice Illinois

    I just want to say to anybody that keeps bringing up Bill in this situation, Bill is NOT running, Bill is not going to do this job, Hillary will , She is her own person and woman, Very capable of helping Obama. Bill doesn't need Obama for any thing, and Hillary don't need Bill to shine on, she'll be just fine , after all she's tough and she is a WOMAN!!

    December 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Sarge in Florida

    Why in the world are most you of you bashing Hillary because she will be SOS? We need a Clinton name to save this country that is so hated world wide because of Bush/Cheney screw you attitudes that they conveyed around the world. I went to Germany a few years ago and most of them hated me because I was from the USA and they hated Bush. I had to tell them as an American I did NOT vote for that LIER. Then I was treated better...So you go Hillary and make the other countries love us again just like they did when we were ATTACKED on 9/11.

    December 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Jackie in Dallas


    We have enough of our own home-grown idiots in Texas...please don't encourage any more to move here...

    Surprise, people, Obama has opinions and beliefs. He told you he might not always do what you wanted, but he would always listen...and he has. I haven't agreed with all of his selections, but remember, HE"s the one that has to work with them, not you or me. I believe he has a plan, and knows what he's doing. It would be nice if you gave him a chance to actually be sworn into office and work for a few months before you start criticizing him. Cabinet members can be replaced if they don't work out; and there's always the election in 2012. Maybe you'll have the chance to see what a real dunce can do if you try to elect Palin.

    December 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Susan

    We are proud of Obama. He is picking an excellent cabinet. We know Hillary will do an excellent job.

    December 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Matt: honestly

    I have some news for all you people saying Hillary 2012. The Democrats already have their candidate. His name is Barack Obama. She can't run as a Democrat in 2012. She will have to wait until 2016 if she is going to run again.

    December 1, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Harold

    Everyone who complains about the pick probably have no idea who would be qualifed for cabinet positions.No one on this site has studied the background of possible candidates so opinions are just like a_ _ _ _ _ _ _,everyone has one.
    Instead folks should be upset about the current President,doing nothing while Rome ( U.S. economy) is burning.
    Sure blame Obama for all the woes the country is suffering that is what whinners do, they look to place blame.
    Doubtful this country can get much worse but if it does, then all of you haters will have something to talk about. Until then, your opinions don't make sense or matter!

    December 1, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. young and informed independant

    PETE- as an Obama Lefty, i feel wonderful!!
    i am glad to see mr president elect moving forward with the best people possible to help his vision on chaging the way the world looks at us!

    December 1, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. ron

    no surprise, remember during the campaign when Obama met with Bill Clinton...I am sure Pres Clinton ensured it would be his wife and HIS friends in the cabinet after the election...or he would have withheld his support or even endorsed McCain. I am laughing about it because it finally shows what a pawn Obama is to for Democratic Party Political Machine.

    December 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Truth Hurts

    What a pathetic excuse for a cabinet. Slap in the face of the year award goes out today to Bill Richardson.

    President Barrack "Smokey" Obama is going to have no control over this cabinet, or his presidency.

    He will be a one term loser. His selling skills from the campaign trail will not turn into leadership in the White House.

    Truth Hurts

    December 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. Alan

    So if Obama picks experience it's "insiders" and we've all been scammed but if he picks unknowns he would be "terribly inexperienced with no one to turn to."

    Isn't it interesting how many Republicans can't stand Obama because of all the incredibly intelligent moves he's making just putting together his team, while the "intellects" of the entire world shake their heads in wonder at the total lack of brains exhibited without fail by Palin?

    December 1, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Ia Guy

    At least Richardson didn't get it. He thought it would be his reward for his betrayal of the Clinton's. I can see Hillary getting the last laugh now.

    It appears Obama respects substance over loyalty afterall!

    December 1, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. liz

    I am so glad PE Obama understands that the sure way to fail is to try to please all of the people all of the time. He is more than aware that some of these appointments may upset some people and does not care in the least because he is putting the needs of our country first! I voted for him and am more than happy to let him do his job. I often tell my child to take a nap or read a book when she begins to whine as so many posters here have. Try it and let me know if it works for some of you as well.

    December 1, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. PUMA for McCain

    We some of the PUMA do not regret voted for McCain. We do not want Hillary to work for Obama for any position. We want her to retied and go fishing with her husband any time she likes.

    December 1, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. Cindy

    Hillary Clinton is excellent choice
    way to go mr. Obama

    December 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Hans Zeunert

    Hope of global healing has entered the world with the election of Barack Obama for President of the United States and his choice of Hillery Clinton as his Secretary of State. It proves the correctness of the "Theory of the Unified Mind", and that a new Age of Mankind has begun. There is a Step in Consciousness. This is easy to see.

    December 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Mike

    Who will hold these people accountable for all their lies?


    The same people that held Bush accountable for all of his lies, mistakes, and blunders.

    No one.

    December 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. KJ, GA

    I think it's wonderful that Obama's team will conisst of lots of women and minorities (more representative of America than ever!)

    December 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Truth Hurts

    Lets face it. Barrack "I Inhaled" Obama is in way over his head.

    He is hiring all of his former rivals for the democratic president slot thinking "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer" but he cant hire all the republican enemies he has or will have.

    America is about to turn on Obama. His honeymoon will last a few days, not months, once he gets into office.

    Watch out below, Obama approval ratings are going to crash like the stock market.

    December 1, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. Mike

    Funny. I would have thought that the conservatives would be okay with Clinton as SOS. She's about the most hawkish member of the democratic party.

    December 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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