After being in the Senate for 36 years and eight years as the vice-President, Joe Biden has finally been elected the new President of the United States. However, Biden has a lot of promises to keep and he is not sitting idle. With another couple of months left before he is officially sworn in as the 46th President of America, Biden has diverse plans to tap a broad range of government officials and policy experts to lead the federal departments.
Now that the initial huddle to the White House is over for the Democrats, speculation is rife as who will make it to Biden's cabinet, with some big names like Heidi Heitkamp and the scandal-scarred Susan Rice in the reckoning. However, it may not be a dream team, as a few hopes have also been dashed with Republicans keeping control of the Senate.
Familiar Faces Likely to Be in Cabinet
Senator Kamala Harris, the vice president-elect, told supporters during a fundraiser on October 17 that Biden's cabinet would reflect the country, with women and people of color in key positions. That makes it all the more interesting. Politico has drawn up a list of potential names that are most likely to feature in Biden's cabinet.
Susan Rice or Heidi Heitkamp for Secretary of State?
One of the frontrunners for the position of the Secretary of State is Susan Rice, who was formerly President Barrack Obama's national security adviser. Rice could well have been a choice for the Vice President this time around but she is also considered "a villain at the heart of numerous Obama-era outrages," that ranges from "the attack at the US consulate in Benghazi to the beginning of the investigation into the Trump campaign's ties with Russia."
Another name doing the rounds is Heidi Heitkamp. She was the former Democratic North Dakota US Senator and state Attorney General, and is one of the preferred choices as Secretary of Agriculture.
Needless to say, the cabinet is likely to feature a host of names from the Obama era, who had played a key role during his term. Another likely name is Biden confidant Senator Chris Coons of the president-elect's home state of Delaware, and Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
Seasoned Players to Get Top Positions
Much like Obama, Biden too has plans of a well-balanced cabinet comprising both Republicans and Democrats. Speculation is rife that the coveted post of Commerce Secretary might go to former eBay boss Meg Whitman. Although a Republican, Whitman is amiable but is likely to anger progressives who wish to pull Biden leftward.
Doug Jones, who lost from Alabama to Republican Tommy Tuberville may not be a hot favorite but end up being considered for attorney general, as he became a close aide of the new president after his work on Biden's 1988 campaign.
Axios reported on October 11 that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the secretary of housing and urban development for President Bill Clinton, was being considered for a Cabinet post. However, Cuomo rejected the possibility the very next day.
Another name that has been doing the rounds is Michele Flournoy, who might be considered for Secretary of Defense. Also, former South Bend mayor and one-time presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is widely expected to join the Biden cabinet in a major national role.