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Transition: The gang's all here

The New York Times on Solis (at Labor) and Kirk (as USTR): "The appointments are expected to be announced Friday at Mr. Obama's final news conference before he heads to Hawaii for a Christmas break. Mr. Obama is also expected to formally announce his nomination of Representative Ray LaHood, Republican of Illinois, for transportation secretary… With his choices of a labor secretary and a trade representative, Mr. Obama appears to have sought to appeal to each side in the battle over free trade. Ms. Solis, a longtime labor advocate who is of Central American heritage, has been skeptical about free-trade agreements, while Mr. Kirk, a lawyer with a political bent, comes from the Texas establishment and has spoken out in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement."

Retired Admiral Dennis Blair will indeed become the nation's next intelligence director -- still a fairly new agency head, succeeding Mike McConnell. "Described as independent-minded and cerebral, Blair advised Obama on defense matters in the Senate but otherwise had no formal ties to the Obama campaign. Since retiring from the Navy in 2002, he has held positions at several nonprofit agencies and participated in a major study  on reforming the country's national security infrastructure."

"While Blair is generally well regarded, his career has occasionally been marked by controversy. He was forced to resign as president of the Institute for Defense Analysis because of possible conflicts of interest after it was revealed that he simultaneously served on the boards of defense contractors whose products were being evaluated by the board. He also came under criticism in the 1990s when his command provided support to the Indonesian military at a time when that country was violently suppressing an uprising in Indonesian-administered East Timor. An East Timor advocacy group has collected hundreds of signatures for a letter to Obama urging him to reject Blair." 

"In a sign that President-elect Barack Obama intends to elevate science to greater prominence, John P. Holdren, a Harvard physicist widely recognized for his leadership on energy policy and climate change, will be appointed White House science adviser this weekend, the Globe confirmed yesterday… A representative from one of the institutions with which Holdren is affiliated said Obama will announce Holdren's selection during a Saturday morning radio address."
 
"Also yesterday, The Washington Post reported that Jane Lubchenco, a prominent marine biologist at Oregon State University, had been picked to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

OUR OBAMA CABINET SPECULATION LIST:
NAMED President's office/staff:
-- Chief of Staff: Rahm Emanuel (Deputies: Jim Messina, Mona Sutphen)
-- Senior Advisers: Valerie Jarrett, Peter Rouse, David Axelrod
-- Political Director: Patrick Gaspard
-- Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs: Phil Schiliro
-- White House Counsel: Greg Craig
-- Press Secretary: Robert Gibbs
-- Communications Director: Ellen Moran (Deputy: Dan Pfeiffer)
-- Director of Scheduling and Advance: Alyssa Mastromonaco
-- Staff Secretary: Lisa Brown
-- Cabinet Secretary: Chris Lu
-- Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary: Desirée Rogers
-- Director, White House Military Office: Louis Caldera
 
NAMED Vice President's office/staff:
-- Biden's Chief of staff: Ron Klain
-- Counselor to the Vice President: Mike Donilon
-- Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President: Terrell McSweeny
-- Assistant to the Vice President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison: Evan Ryan
-- Communications Director: Jay Carney
 
NAMED First Lady's office/staff:
-- Michelle Obama's Chief of Staff: Jackie Norris (Deputy: Melissa Winter)
 
NAMED CABINET MEMBERS:
-- Agriculture: Tom Vilsack
-- Commerce: Bill Richardson
-- Defense: Robert Gates
-- Education: Arne Duncan (Chicago public schools superintendent)
-- Energy: Steven Chu
-- HHS: Tom Daschle
-- HUD: Shaun Donovan (NYC housing commissioner)
-- Interior: Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO)
-- Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano
-- Justice (AG): Eric Holder
-- State: Hillary Clinton (Jim Steinberg-deputy CONFIRMED BY NBC NEWS)
-- Treasury: Tim Geithner
-- Veterans Affairs: Eric Shinse
 
POTENTIAL CABINET MEMBERS:
-- Labor: Hilda Solis CONFIRMED BY NBC NEWS
-- Transportation: Fmr Republican Rep. Ray LaHood CONFIRMED BY NBC NEWS
 
CABINET RANK:
-- UN Ambassador: Susan Rice NAMED
-- USTR: Ron Kirk CONFIRMED BY NBC NEWS
-- OMB: Peter Orszag NAMED (Deputy: Rob Nabors NAMED)
-- EPA: Lisa Jackson (NJ environ commission) CONFIRMED BY NBC NEWS
 
OTHER POSITIONS:
-- National Economic Council Director: Larry Summers NAMED
-- Council of Economic Advisers: Christina Romer (chair), NAMED, Dan Tarullo, Jacob "Jack" Lew, Jason Furman, Austan Goolsbee, Laura Tyson
-- Economic Recovery Advisory Board: Paul Volcker NAMED, Austan Goolsbee (staff director, chief economist) NAMED, Eric E. Schmidt (Google chairman, CEO)
-- Natl Sec Adviser: Gen. James L. Jones NAMED, (Deputy: Tom Donilon)
-- DNI: Ret. Adm. Dennis Blair
-- NSC: Dennis Ross, Tony Lake
-- White House Domestic Policy Council Director: Melody Barnes NAMED (Domestic Policy Council Deputy Director: Heather A. Higginbottom NAMED)
-- Energy "Czar" reporting to the president: Carol Browner CONFIRMED BY NBC NEWS
-- SEC: Mary Schapiro CONFIRMED BY NBC NEWS
-- CIA: Tony Lake, John Brennan (wrote a letter to Obama asking that his name be withdrawn), Chuck Hagel, Michael Hayden, Jami Miscik (fmr CIA dep dir for Intel)
-- FEMA: James Lee Witt
-- 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)
-- Peace Corps: Chris Shays
-- Auto Czar: Jennifer Granholm
-- Secretary of the Army: Mortimer Downey
-- Chief Technology Officer: Julius Genachowski, Shane Robison (HP), Edward Felten (Princeton)
-- FCC: Jonathan Adelstein (FCC commissioner), Antoinette Bush (Skadden), Karen Kornbluh (Obama's former Senate policy director), Blair Levin (fmr chief of staff to then-FCC Commissioner Reid Hunt)