Well... not 24 hours after Senator Barack Obama became President-Elect all eyes have shifted from victory celebrations to the possibilities for the positions of the Obama Administration's Cabinet positions. Word on the street (aka in the Beltway) is that Obama will be making his decisions very quickly and will push to hit the ground running with his political mandate. Unlike President Clinton in 1992 there is an urgency to today's economic problems and if something isn't done quickly Democrats will be heavily punished in 2010 and 2012. But who could possibly serve in an Obama Administration? Who will it be?!
Let's focus on the three "big ones", listing a few names for each and in bold will be the one I believe that would be truly best suited for it and in italics the one that is most likely of those listed to actually get it.
Secretary of State:
Strobe Talbott - Brookings Institution president, former deputy sec. of state; honest, focused and very intelligent man with a real grip of the issues and problems America faces abroad
James Baker - Sec. of State under H.W. Bush, one of the best at the job in the past 20 years and a great deal maker and *bonus* is an actual international realist and a Republican
Richard "Dick" Lugar - Knows his stuff and there's no drama around this expert Senator who is the ranking minority member on the Foreign Relations Senate Committee, *bonus* is a Republican from a state Obama carried
Chuck Hagel - Senator widely admired for his straight-talk and positive vision *bonus* Republican, a realist
John Kerry - Long-time democratic Senator, former Presidential candidate, No. 2 Democrat on the Foreign Relations Cmte.
Secretary of Defense
Robert Gates - Current Secretary. I have written previously about his courage and true patriotism in helping our troops and keeping America safe in every way he can, *bonus* is well respected on both sides of the aisle, won't seem like changing horses midstream
Robert Zoellick - Former president of the World Bank, knows the ins and outs of foreign- policy as well as being a Washington insider
Secretary of the Treasury
David Lipton - Former under secretary of the Treasury
Hillary Clinton - Remember her? Yup, Her name has come up for this position because she's from New York (sorta) and knows how to play hardball with Wall Street, *bonus* A conciliation gift from the victor, get her out of the Senate - an enemy is best kept close
Warren Buffet - Maybe the Sage of Omaha will know how to invest America's money in such a way that businesses don't disappear and the taxpayer is protected from Big Business's foibles, *bonus* Everybody knows and respects this guy.. he is the American dream - Midwestern No one into Richest Man on Earth
Unknown - a Wall Street Veteran with some Government experience, probably from the Big Bank sector