As January 21 gets closer and closer, President Obama is preparing to be sworn in to his second term in office. He is also getting used to the fact that a lot of the faces that permeated his cabinet through his first term will not be making a return. Hillary Clinton, Timothy Geithner, and a few others will be heading off into their futures absent the Obama Administration. These departures beg the question of who will replace them and how much trouble will they be to confirm?
To replace Clinton, it is a pretty much forgone conclusion that President Obama would like to nominate current UN Ambassador Susan Rice, but Republicans have made it known they are geared up for a fight over her role in the Libya mess. Senator John Kerry is also believed to be a candidate for the job if Rice doesn’t work out.
To replace Geithner at Treasury, White House chief of staff Jack Lew is thought to have the inside track if he wants it, with other possibilities including Neal Wolin, the current deputy secretary of the Treasury, and Lael Brainaed, current under secretary of the Treasury for international affairs.
It’s too flip to refer to it as a consolation prize, but informed sources say that, with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also planning on leaving, Kerry could be offered the position secretary of defense if he wants it, though the Massachusetts senator has suggested he only wants State. Another option, Michelle Flournoy, a former under secretary of defense for Policy, would be the first female to serve in that position. There was some discussion of National Security Adviser Tom Donilon moving across the river, but it seems clear, sources say, that he’s staying where he is.
It is also going to be interesting to see who leaves their positions that we didn’t expect. Will Eric Holder leave or be forced out over Fast and Furious? How would that affect the cabinet?
Who do you favor to fill out President Obama’s cabinet for his second term?