The big news of the day is the speculation that Janet Napolitano has been tapped to be Obama's Homeland Security secretary. The pick of Napolitano indicates that immigration may have been Obama's primary concern in making his decision on this post. Napolitano taking the gig means she'll be out of the 2010 Arizona Senate speculation, and probably clears the way for McCain to have a relatively easy re-election.
In order to make things a tad smoother for Tom Daschle's HHS confirmation, his lobbyist wife is giving up her lobbying career.
"Associates of Senator Hillary Clinton said yesterday she is weighing whether to leave Congress and become secretary of state in the Obama administration, a job they say she believes is hers if she wants it," the AP reports. "Transition officials for President-elect Barack Obama said that other candidates have been vetted for the job as well, but that Clinton has emerged as the leading contender. The vetting of the New York senator's husband, former president Bill Clinton, has been particularly intense, the officials said, adding that he has offered several concessions to help his wife get the post…. Hoping to ease concerns about possible conflicts of interest, Bill Clinton has shifted a longstanding policy and agreed to publicly disclose the names of all donors who have given more than $250 to his presidential library and foundation."
Politico's Allen and Thrush: "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and former president Bill Clinton have cleared away the final hurdles to a formal offer of secretary of State from President-elect Obama, and officials say the two former foes could appear together for a smiling announcement next week. As a key part of satisfying Obama's vetting team, former President Bill Clinton is open to giving up foreign sources of income if his wife becomes secretary of state, according to a close friend."
Indeed, Bloomberg News reports that Bill Clinton has sent the Obama vetters a list of more than 200,000 donors to the Clinton library and foundation. "The 200,000 or so names comprise the universe of donors to Clinton's presidential library and foundation. This is separate from the Clinton Global Initiative, which operates under the aegis of the foundation but does not directly take money from the donors."
But… "President-elect Barack Obama's camp, well practiced in keeping secrets, is increasingly frustrated by a steady stream of leaks that insiders suspect come from confidants of Hillary Clinton, the Daily News has learned. Just as ex-President Bill Clinton pledged Wednesday to prove there are no new skeletons in his closet that could derail his wife's chances of becoming secretary of state, top Obama sources suggested loose-lipped Clintonistas abide by their rules: If caught leaking, you will pay the price. 'They have been strategic about what they leak each day,' said an Obama insider, who acknowledged word around the transition office in Chicago is that Obama himself is miffed at the leaks. 'This [leaking] isn't coming out of our shop,' added another irked Obama official."
Politico's Ben Smith makes the argument against Clinton. "But the sum of those parts seems something less than the whole explanation for Obama's first great presidential gamble: his move toward giving his former adversary, whose judgment on foreign policy he criticized relentlessly, by offering her the most important Cabinet position in his administration. Neither Holbrooke, Kerry nor Richardson would bring Clinton's downsides: Her towering, volcanic husband; her own ambitions; and the endless speculation about the two of them."
The Miami Herald did the "Obama taps Elian Gonzales attorneys" story in response to the speculation that Eric Holder will be Attorney General and that Greg Craig will be Obama's White House counsel. "President-elect Obama has not made the appointments official, but both the Republican National Committee and some Cuban-American leaders in Miami are already signaling their disapproval. 'This is a clear sign that the Obama administration is diametrically opposed to the concerns and views of the Cuban-American community,' said state Rep. David Rivera of Miami, who helped organize the June protest. 'It is a blatant and disrespectful slap in the face.'"
The Chicago Tribune on David Axelrod going to the White House: "After two years as the chief architect of Obama's campaign strategy, Axelrod will work to implement the ideas and policies he helped sell to American voters. 'I just want to help him be successful,' Axelrod said Wednesday, between meetings with Obama in Chicago. 'Part of that is making sure that we're communicating the right way with the American people.'"
OUR OBAMA CABINET SPECULATION LIST:
Chief of staff: Emanuel NAMED
Deputy chiefs of staff: Jim Messina NAMED, Mona Sutphen NAMED
Senior advisers: Valerie Jarrett NAMED, Peter Rouse NAMED, David Axelrod NAMED Assistant to the president for legislative affairs: Phil Schiliro NAMED
White House counsel: Greg Craig NAMED
Press secretary: Robert Gibbs
Biden chief of staff: Ron Klain NAMED
Staff secretary: Lisa Brown NAMED
Cabinet secretary: Chris Lu NAMED
POTENTIAL CABINET MEMBERS:
Agriculture: Tom Vilsack, Tom Buis (Natl Farmers Union), Charlie Stenholm, Jim Leach, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Marshall Matz, John Boyd Jr. (pres, Natl Black Farmers Assn)
Commerce: Penny Pritzker, Kathleen Sebelius, John Thompson (Symantec), Ron Kirk (former Dallas mayor), Scott Harris (Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis fndr)
Defense: Robert Gates, Richard Danzig, Chuck Hagel, Sam Nunn, Jack Reed, Colin Powell, John Hamre, Tim Roemer, Thomas Pickering, Anthony Zinni, Max Cleland, Michele Flounoy, Jim Jones
Education: Joel Klein (NYC), Linda Darling-Hammond, Kathleen Sebelius, Colin Powell, Jim Hunt, Arne Duncan, Inez Tenenbaum, Michael Bennett, George Miller, Gaston Caperton (fmr WV gov), Bambi Cardenas (pres, U TX-Pan Am, Susan Castillo (OR supt), Michael Cohen (pres, Achieve), Christopher Edley (dean, UC-Berkeley), Michael Johnston (dir, Mapleton Expeditionary Schl of the Arts), VA Gov. Tim Kaine, Michelle Rhee (DC), Sharon Robinson (pres, Assn of Colls for Tchr Ed), Andrew Rotherman/Jonahtan Schnur (fmr Clinton advisers), Diane Shust (dir, NEA govt rels), Paul Vallas (supt, New Orleans Recovery Schl Dist), Bob Wise (fmr WV gov)
Energy: Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, Kathleen Sebelius, Philip Sharp, Ed Rendell, Arnold Schwarzenegger (has said no), Al Gore, Jeff Bingaman, Jennifer Granholm, Steve Westly, Frederico Pena, Dan Reicher, Jason Grumet
HHS: Tom Daschle CONFIRMED BY NBC NEWS, Howard Dean (reportedly ruled out), Eric Whitaker, John Kitzhaber, Kathleen Sebelius
Homeland Security (priority): Ray Kelly (NY), William Bratton (L.A.), Tim Roemer, James Lee Witt, Tom Kean Sr, Jane Harman, Janet Napolitano, Artur Davis, Richard Clarke, Manny Diaz, Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Lee Hamilton (though he said he's too old), Jamie Gorelick
HUD: Jim Clyburn, Shirley Franklin (Atlanta mayor), Manny Diaz (Miami mayor), Saul Ramirez
Interior: Bill Richardson, Jay Inslee, John Kitzhaber, Tony Knowles, Ken Salazar, Jamie Rappoport Clark, Brian Schweitzer
Justice (AG): Eric Holder CONFIRMED BY NBC NEWS, Janet Napolitano, Charles Ogletree, Deval Patrick, James Comey, Patrick Fitzgerald, Artur Davis, Tim Kaine, Jamie Gorelick (but was vice chair of Fannie), Ken Feinberg, Cass Sunstein, Kathleen Sullivan (Stanford Law prof, possible Solicitor General. Also possible SGs: Beth Brinkmann – DC Atty; Preeta Bansal – Skadden, Arps; Elena Kagan –Harvard law dean; Pamela Karlan—Stanford; Teresa Wynn Roseborough -- MetLife litigation counsel)
Labor: Andy Stern (SEIU) (said not interested), Richard Gephardt, George Miller, David Bonior (said he's not interested, suggested: American Rights at Work Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell), Xavier Becerra, Linda Chavez-Thompson, Antonio Villaraigosa
State: John Kerry, Bill Richardson, Richard Lugar, Chuck Hagel, Richard Holbrooke, Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Thomas Pickering, Al Gore, Colin Kahl (CNAS fellow), Tom Daschle
Transportation: Ed Rendell, Jane Garvey, Mortimer Downey, Earl Blumenauer, Steve Heminger, James Oberstar, Peter DeFazio, Federico Pena, Jeanette Sadik-Khan, Tim Kaine, John Hickenlooper (Denver mayor), Ron Sims (King County (WA) Executive), Doug Foy (Fmr pres, Convservation Law Fndtn), Parris Glendening (Fmr Gov MD)
Treasury (priority): Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin, Jon Corzine, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, Laura Tyson, Jamie Dimon (JP MorganChase), Jacob "Jack" Lew, Sheila Bair, Indira Nooyi, John Thain (Merrill Lynch)
Veterans Affairs: Max Cleland, Tammy Duckworth, Chet Edwards, Arnold Fisher (fmr Fisher House Fndtn chair), James Peake, William Bratton
CIA: Tony Lake, John Brennan, Chuck Hagel, Michael Hayden, Jami Miscik (fmr CIA dep dir for Intel)
DNI: Tony Lake, John Brennan, Tim Roemer, Rand Beers, Jane Harman, John Abizaid, Evan Bayh
FEMA: James Lee Witt
EPA: Howard Learner (Pres, Exec. Dir, Environmental Law and Policy Center), Ian Bowles (MA), RFK Jr, Kathleen Sebelius, Kathleen McGinty (former secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Env Protection), Mary Nichols (chair of California's Air Resources Board), Robert Sussman, Dan Esty, Lisa Jackson (NJ environ commission)
FBI: Robert Mueller (term expires 2011)
Fed Chair: Ben Bernanke (at least for first year)
FDA: Steven Nissen (Cleveland Clinic), Joshua Sharfstein (Baltimore health commissioner), Janet Woodcock (Big Pharma's choice), Susan Wood (GWU occupational and environmental health professor), Diana Zuckerman (president, National Research Center for Women & Families) Joint Chiefs: Michael Mullen (term ends in late 2009, can expect to be appointed for second term, per tradition)
Natl Economic Council: Dan Tarullo, Jacob "Jack" Lew, Jason Furman, Austan Goolsbee, Laura Tyson
Natl Sec Adviser: Jim Steinberg, Rand Beers, Susan Rice, Greg Craig, Jim Jones
NSC: Dennis Ross, Greg Craig, Susan Rice, Tony Lake
OMB: Peter Orszag CONFIRMED BY NBC NEWS, John Spratt Jr, Gene Sperling, Jason Furman
Peace Corps: Chris Shays
UN Ambassador: Caroline Kennedy, Susan Rice
USTR: Cal Dooley (American Chemistry Council president), Daniel K. Tarullo (Georgetown University law professor), Lael Brainard (Brookings Institution vice president), Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty (fmr Clinton White House chief of staff)
Urban Czar: Manny Diaz
Climate: Terry Tamminen (climate change, adviser to Schwarzenegger), Al Gore, Carol Browner (Audobon Society), Jonathan Lash (World Resources Inst), Kathleen McGinty, Janet Napolitano, Mary Nichols, Kathleen Sebelius
Auto Czar: Jennifer Granholm
Secretary of the Army: Mortimer Downey
Other mentions for various White House staff posts: Patti Solis Doyle, David Wilhelm, John Rogers, Bill Daley, Cass Sunstein, Bob Bauer, Michael Froman, Federico Pena, Lawrence J. Korb, Carol Browner (Clinton's EPA head), Thomas Perrelli, David Ogden