The Washington Post front-pages, "Barack Obama was famously able to impose discipline and control over his presidential campaign, but it didn't take long for him to discover that running a transition is something quite different. Top aides to the president-elect had hoped to take a methodical approach to selecting and unveiling their new team, starting with the announcements of top national security and economic players shortly after Thanksgiving. But leaks and rumors have disrupted that plan, suggesting that the 'no-drama Obama' mantra famously repeated by his staff may not be as operational in Washington as it was at campaign headquarters in Chicago."
More: "Obama has not officially announced any Cabinet appointments, but transition officials have reluctantly confirmed that former senator Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) will be nominated as secretary of health and human services, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano is the top choice for the Department of Homeland Security, and Eric H. Holder Jr. is likely to be the attorney general pick. Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) is on track to be nominated for the job of secretary of state after Thanksgiving, transition aides said. And late last night, Obama aides were confronted with unconfirmed talk that retired Gen. James L. Jones could be tapped for national security adviser."
The AP with the big news: "President-elect Barack Obama is on track to nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state after Thanksgiving, an aide to his transition said Thursday. One week after the former primary rivals met secretly to discuss the idea of Clinton becoming the nation's top diplomat, the two sides were moving quickly toward making it a reality, barring any unforeseen problems.The transition aide told The Associated Press that the two camps have worked out financial disclosure issues involving Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, and the complicated international funding of his foundation that operates in 27 countries. The aide said Obama and Hillary Clinton have had substantive conversations about the secretary of state job. Clinton has been mulling the post for several days, but the transition aide's comments suggested that Obama's team does not feel she is inclined to turn it down."
Should the Clinton-for-State deal fall apart, there is a Senate leadership package awaiting Clinton, including a still unnamed unelected leadership post and a role in the health care debate along side Ted Kennedy. The New York Times: "The discussions about an enhanced position for Mrs. Clinton are factoring into her deliberations over joining the cabinet, the officials said. Mrs. Clinton, the junior senator from New York, is wrestling with whether to abandon her independence to become the nation's top diplomat or remain in a chamber where lack of seniority limits her influence."
Tom Edsall: "It would be interesting to know how the average New York voter would respond when told that during the past three years their Senator and her spouse personally received $2.1 million from such major banks as Goldman Sachs ($800,000), Lehman Bros. ($300, 000), Citigroup ($425,000) and Deutsche Bank ($300,000). The money -- honoraria payments to former President Clinton -- demonstrate that the conflicts between Bill Clinton's multi-million dollar financial entanglements and his wife's possible selection as Secretary of State are just as relevant in the case of the elected office Hillary Clinton currently holds, raising to front and center the same glaring conflicts of interest that have gone largely overlooked during Hillary's eight years in the Senate."
Can a modern-day Team of Rivals work? "...[H]istorians argue that Lincoln's model ... is a high-risk strategy for Obama, one that could alienate his allies and sow dysfunction inside the White House. Few modern presidents have made political adversaries Cabinet appointees, in this view, and even fewer could make the arrangement work."
The potential pick of Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security secretary is getting praise from the left and right. Per the Washington Post, "Immigrant advocates, business groups and civil libertarians said that the choice of a two-term governor from a Republican-friendly border state could lead to a reversal of policies that they contend unduly punish illegal immigrants, commerce and Americans' privacy. Agency observers on the right and the left say that her selection appears to reflect a calculation that she could do so without appearing weak on terrorism."
"In fact, immigration opponents and counterterrorism analysts praised Napolitano. They said, however, that they think the former federal prosecutor would continue much of the Bush administration's enforcement-first policies, including border security enhancements and promoting national standards for identification cards. In both promising to restore 'balance' to what Democrats say has been a one-sided security debate and seeming to straddle wide political divisions, Napolitano is much like Obama, both Republican and Democratic observers said."
The Wall Street Journal has the scoop on a potential leading candidate for head the FAA. "Airline consultant Duane Woerth, who was president of the Air Line Pilots Association from 1999 to 2006, has met with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar and has his tentative support, according to people familiar with their discussions. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who heads an aviation subcommittee, is slated to meet with Mr. Woerth in the next few days."
Could Arnold Schwarzenegger be one of the Republicans Obama decides to appoint to his administration? Looks like Arnold's open to it. "Schwarzenegger spoke to President-elect Barack Obama this week and would be willing to work for the Democratic administration once his term expires if asked, the Republican governor said in an interview broadcast this morning," the Los Angeles Times writes. "'I will help in every possible way the administration to be successful,' he told Fox News. 'So whatever they need, I'm there.'"
Al Kamen gets into the issue of Hispanics and the lack of major candidates being floated for Cabinet posts. "At least four Latino candidates are said to be under consideration to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development: Miami Mayor Manny Diaz; Adolfo Carrion Jr., a longtime New York pol, and Bronx borough president; Saul Ramirez Jr., a former deputy HUD secretary; and Nelson A. Diaz, who has been a judge and a HUD general counsel. As for Bill Richardson, he appears to have lost out to Clinton for State, one suggestion for him: Amb. to China.
The revamped newsletter from Public Strategies, the political consulting firm, breaks some news. First, "Democrats familiar with transition plans confirm that former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack is at the top of Obama's list to head the Agriculture Department." And second, "Democrats close to the transition process tell us that there's another name on the short list for Education Secretary: Former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus."
Two other possible choices for Agriculture secretary are Democratic House members from conservative-leaning districts; if he taps either Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) or Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.), Dems might lose the seat to a GOP member.
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: Janet Napolitano LIKELY, PER NBC NEWS, Ray Kelly (NY), William Bratton (L.A.), Tim Roemer, James Lee Witt, Tom Kean Sr, Jane Harman, 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