Friday, November 21, 2008

The Obama Administration

One thing we pride ourselves on at WAYLA is how we give you the information you need in one place - so you don't always have to scurry around the internet to find what you want to know.

One thing you may have been looking for is updates on the make-up of the up-coming Obama Administration. So who are we looking at?

Secretary of State

There were many in the running, but reports today that Sen. Hillary Clinton is almost certain to get the job. Two Obama aides have confirmed that the President-Elect is "on track" to nominating her, and she is likely to accept. Thomas Friedman wrote an interesting editorial about a Secretary Clinton in the New York Times on Tuesday.

Secretary of Defense

So far there has been little word about a successor to current Secretary Robert Gates. As a result, he is still considered likely to stay on for some time after Obama moves into the White House. The AP also lists former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI).

What we find interesting here is the absence of former Presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark. He was blasted by the press for questioning the impressiveness of John McCain's service - but he was considered a shoe-in for the job a year ago by many Democrats.

Secretary of Treasury

For a position that is being watched more closely than it normally would, the Secretary of Treasury has garnered only a few speculations, including New York Fed Chair Timothy Geithner, and two former Fed chairs. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) - the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee who is undoubtedly aging fast these days - weighs in.

Attorney General

It is almost sure to be Eric Holder, a former Judge nominated by Reagan and former deputy attorney general in the Clinton Administration. His prosecution of individuals within the government gives him unmatched credibility to run a department which is heavily criticized by Congress for being protective of Republicans.

Secretary of DHS

The press is reporting Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) has already been chosen (albeit, not yet formally) for leading the troubled Department of Homeland Security. Her leadership in a conservative border state will give her credibility for cleaning up the organization which handles terrorism prevention, natural disaster relief, and immigration control.

Secretary of HHS

Former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) appears to have been chosen to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. He is a close advisor of Obama's, and was considered to be on the short-list for White House Chief of Staff.

Secretary of Energy

On the short-list is Dan Reichner, the energy and global warming director at Google, President of Resources for the Future and former Rep. Philip Sharp (D-IN), and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS).

Secretary of Commerce

Penny Pritzker, a businesswoman and important Obama fundraiser, has said she would not take the job of Commerce Secretary. She cites business deals in the past that would not go over well in confirmation hearings. The other name on the short-list is Laura D'Andrea Tyson, a top economic advisor to President Clinton.

Secretary of Labor

At the top of the list is Ed McElroy, the former President of the American Federation of Teachers. His name stands out because Obama will want a union-friendly leader when the NLRB implements the Employee Free Choice Act.

Others on the list include former Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO), former AFL-CIO President Linda-Chavez Thompson, and former Rep. David Bonier (D-MI).

Rep. George Miller (D-CA) has indicated he will not get the job - but then again, Joe Biden said the same thing about the Vice-Presidency. Miller is currently the Chair of House Education and Labor Committee.

Secretary of Transportation

Obama has indicated his desire to rebuild American infrastructure in order to support carbon reduction, fix outdated transportation systems, and pump money into the economy.

On the short-list is Jane Garvey (former head of the FAA), House Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN), Mortimer Downey, and Rep. Peter DeFrazio (D-OR)

Secretary of Agriculture

Former Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) is the top name for the job. Tom Buis of the National Farmers Union is another possibility. Believe it or not, many Washington insiders will pay close attention to the running for USDA due to friction over Farm Bill reform.

Secretary of the Interior

Unless Obama says he plans to implement a new CCC for a new New Deal, don't count on the media reporting on this position short of a national park-bench-naming crisis. But the short list includes former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-OR), former Gov. Tony Knowles (D-AK), and Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO).

Secretary of Education

Believe it or not, Colin Powell is considered a contender for this job. More likely candidates include New York schools chief Joel Klein, Arne Duncan (CEO of Chicago Public Schools), and Inez Tenenbaum (former state superintendent of South Carolina).

Secretary of HUD

The only name on the short-list was Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC). However, Clyburn said he has "no interest in leaving Congress" in a telephone interview. The Department of Housing and Urban Development will be a particularly important cabinet post as the government tries to relieve the ailing housing market.


Sources say that former Marine General James L. Jones is likely to be Obama's National Security Advisor.

As the smoke around the Obama Administration clears, we will provide further analysis of the new cabinet and their role in Change.

1 comment:

haas414 said...

Some time ago, I had Bill Richardson pegged as either running for Vice President or Secretary of State. A later conclusion was the having a part-African man atop the ticket with a Hispanic man in the #2 slot would be too much change for a good number of people. My hunch about his desire to by in the State Dept. has been confirmed in recent days, most recently in this story on But as he got beat for that job, he's headed for an easy confirmation as Secretary of Commerce, where he should do fine.