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. FreeNLovIt

    to jackNC

    Hillary is not going to step down after two years. She knows when she has to EXERT her influence and she knows when she has to STEP down. She FOUGHT for healthcare in '92, but she also knew how to step down and do what is right for her man and for the country. She is the epitome of what it means to be a woman, biting the most painful defeats and making 'good' out of it.

    December 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Heidi

    I am so proud of the great team President Elect Obama created. I happy to see Senator Clinton elavated to this role. I think she will do a phenomenal job. I love the whole team and I am confident that this team will lead our country!

    God bless America!

    December 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. lucy

    So far so good!

    December 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Jane in GA

    I agree with Joan. Neither Hillary nor Obama are qualified. I can't wait until 2012.

    December 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Jaye

    HIllary will be excellent. I'm happy for her.

    December 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Jim Hillis, Boston

    This country...much like the story of the City of Babel...has been torn down by the greedy and self-indulgent ways of the select few...and you and I...except for the "select few" will now have a chance to relax our muscels and stop grinding our teeth and getting a bit more sleep...and I honestly once again return to what's always supposed to be there. Love, Family, Friendships...doing the best we can...and start to enjoy our blessings. This beautiful planet and all it's people. Blessed are the Peacemakers...for they will return the world to Love. Bless this cabinet, and you and me.

    December 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. FreeNLovIt

    To Janey

    I admired Palin, but she is not Prez materials. Ever since she talked along with the prank callers, it showed to me how NAIVE she is. She needs to do some homework.

    December 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. L Williams

    Myrna, please

    You can't be serious! Take to the streets if you want, but count me out!

    The man has not even been sworn in to office yet. What has the last 8 years given you that already you want to take to the streets against Obama???

    Give me a break!

    December 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. rich

    An excellent team. Good job President Elect Obama!

    December 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. k

    Join forces together and unite? Not on your life! It would have been great to hear that in support of our current president, but that wasn't about to happen! I have heard nothing but 8 years of bashing since he "stole" the election from that blow hard Al Gore. You people were not about to "unite" behind Bush, don't even expect us to do the same for your worthless president-elect (love the podium, Obama, you narcissist)!

    December 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. kim

    Well, it will be the idiots like Maureen Dowd and the rest of the foolish media that will continue to make strife where Senator Clinton soon to be Madam Secretary is concerned, as a Hillary supporter true and true. I have mixed feelings about her nomination, on one hand I am extremely proud of her and I know that she is qualified to do the job, on the other hand I fear for her career being placed in the hands of Obama. I enjoy the fact that this is a kick in the face to the idiots in the media and the left wing nut cases that are blinded by the messiah complex, but I fear that she will be used as a scapegoat. I trust that Hillary knows what she is doing, but I fear that the President elect may not. I am wiling to give him a chance and I will feel more comfortable at night, knowing that she will be the one handling the 3 a.m. crisis if the call were to come. It's mixed feelings all the way around, but it makes me happy to know that today, all of the Right wing kooks, and the left wing moonbats and the nasty media people especially those Female haters that tried to bring Hillary down are just burning up inside. It's a small consolation for what they put her through and I know that she will shine in whatever she does.

    December 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Matt B

    "Of Course he will need to chose people who have already been in Washington, how else would these people get anything done if they didn't know the ropes already. I for one want the people chosen to hit the ground running, not having to learn their jobs for the first 6 to 12 months in office."

    Interesting statements LB considering you voted for a man who has 0 executive experience to be leader of our country. That's right, 0...but hey, atleast he picked the Clinton administration to be his administration.

    December 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. karen-phoenix

    I just finished reading "Audacity of Hope". Every American wheather you voted for the man or not NEEDS to read this book! It will explain in a very bipartisian way the direction this country NEEDS to go! It was excellent and his choices for his cabinet are excellent. We, the American people finnally have a reason to be hopeful and secure!!!!
    And I've been a registered republican for over 40 years!!! Good job so far President Obama!!! God Bless you and your team!!!

    December 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Pete

    I wonder how Clinton got past the "he's not ready to lead" belief that she repeated throughout the campaign. And I wonder who will pick up the 3:00 AM call.

    December 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. Lisa

    Anyone complaining about Hillary Clinton being the Secretary of State voted for Bush twice. Do their opinions really matter at this point?

    December 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. Serge Crespy

    I harbour no prejudices and I honestly believe President-Elect Obama will make a Great President; I simply ask ANYONE for enlightenment: The Federal Trade Commission labels products "MADE IN U.S.A." as, " All or virtually all, the product has been made in the U.S.A.; that is, all significant parts and labor that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. Products should not contain any or only negligible, foreign content ". Having a U.S. born mother and a non-U.S. citizen father renders Barack Obama, as a bi-product of his parents, only a fifty-percent "MADE IN U.S.A." product .... A definite " Head-Scratcher " for the F.T.C.!

    Serge Crespy
    Collingwood, Ontario

    December 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. docb

    Obama picks clinton and the market tanks!!...Think he covered most of what was needed...

    This is a shift in power…not concentrated in one appointment but spread across a broad spectrum of experienced people. The SoS appointment will be limited to sharing power with those who are truely respected and experienced! Biden, Jones, Samantha Power, Susan Rice—stoke of genius! Clinton as the token!!

    Very shrewd of Obama….It took me a week of screaming to get to it!

    Diffuse her and Bill in one stroke with knowledgable people covering your back!

    She appeared reflective and pensive...may have just dawned on her that she is part of a team....lead by Obama! Again WAY TOO WORDY!

    Go Obama!!

    December 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. L Williams


    You can't be serious!!

    Sara Palin for what in 2012?? Her own talk show, sure that would work, but for president, did you fall and bump your head when you woke up this morning!!

    Let me ask you this?? How do you think Ms Sara Palin would have handled the crisis on September 11th???

    December 1, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. Tom in Delaware

    Hey- Where's Sinbad's appointment...he was ducking sniper fire with Hillary too....oh, that's right...he told the truth.

    December 1, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. Lynn

    I think Obama is making some great decisions. Some of you may not like Hillary Clinton, but the rest of the world does, so it was a sound choice.

    December 1, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Benjamin

    President elect Barack Obama has carefully chosen the brightest minds to include in his administration. He said he would reach out to those regardless of party affiliation to make this country better, and we all know this country has a lot of room for improvement. Hilliary and Barack had a good hard fought primary, but that was then and now stones lay dormant. The time is now for the country to stand behind this President, this administration and bring this country together. Racism is not a family value, so let's bury that term. This is a great country, has been a great country and will continue to be a great country. Hilliary Clinton is an excellent choice for Secretary of State. Or would you want a Sara Palin type. (don't laugh, I was being serious.

    December 1, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Justin, ny

    So, if he picks people of respect with experience he's just proving he doesn't know what he's doing.. yet if he picks inexperienced people to lead himself, then he's just being arrogant.

    how about giving him a chance, you're stuck with him whether you like it or not.

    December 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    Joan – and Condoleeza Rice WAS qualified? Not.

    December 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Pete

    Barbara in NC, your love it or leave it comment should have applied over the past 8 years. Many of your hollywood palls indicated they would leave if Bush was elected, but rescinded on their promise. Much like Obama is now doing on many of his "promises".

    It's ironic that you have to put the word "promise" in quotes when talking about Obama's promises.

    Change you can believe in. Change your promises once you are elected.

    December 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. Dan

    DC Observer are you braindead or what? She lost and she won't be president until at least 2016. She has accepted it. Why can't you? Moron. She will not run against Obama in 2012 but if she did decide to she would lose. He is actually setting her up quite well for a possible run in 2016.

    While I'm not anti-Hillary, I'm still failing to see all this foreign policy experience she supposedly has. Someone please enlighten me. Given his own lack of experience, I really expected Obama to pick someone with a much more solid background in the area. I think there were better picks for State and I think there where better spots for Hillary, such as HH&S (to push for healthcare reform, which had been her issue) or AG.

    But I wish her and the entire Obama team well!

    December 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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