Obama's Transition Defying Expectations
By Ben Pershing
When Barack Obama's transition began two short weeks ago, we thought we knew two things with a fair degree of certainty: The incoming president would likely try to fill the "Big 3" Cabinet posts -- state, defense, Treasury -- before turning to lesser offices, and he would strive to emphasize "change" with whatever choices he made.
Neither of those things has quite turned out to be true. As of this morning, we have a reported Cabinet lineup that includes Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Daschle and Attorney General Eric Holder. And we have a nearly complete sense of who will populate Obama's senior White House staff, though it was always expected that the president-elect would fill those posts before most Cabinet jobs.
But we don't have picks yet for state, defense, or Treasury, though each job seems to have been narrowed to three or fewer finalists. We may have had a secretary of state pick sooner were Obama not apparently inclined to choose Hillary Clinton, who brings along so much baggage that cash-strapped airlines probably delight each time she arrives at the ticket counter (thank you, I'll be here all week). Defense appears to have been narrowed largely to Richard Danzig, perhaps after Bob Gates stays on a bit longer, while Treasury speculation remains centered on Tim Geithner or Larry Summers.
Posted at 8:08 AM ET on Nov 20, 2008
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