Thursday, December 18, 2008

With the Naming of Hilda Solis, the Obama Cabinet is Complete -- and in Record Time!

It's not even Christmas, and they're done. Finito. Like clockwork. The Obama presidential transition team has set a record for the speediness in which it named all its designates for cabinet positions, not to mention some agency/commission brass as well. This includes my favorite, Melody Barnes -- the incoming chair of the Domestic Policy Council. She is a Kennedy Senate office alum, and her appointment bodes well for a host of civil rights, women's and labor issues. I'm also kinda jazzed about Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) as Labor Secretary. She has moved up the ranks in the House, and is a former Democratic Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women's Issuues -- again, great for the issues I care most about.

It is important to remind folks that no one will be formally nominated to fill these cabinet slots until President-elect Barack Obama is sworn on January 20th. However, these early nods do serve to give the Senate time to do all the leg work, preparing for confirmation hearings in a timely fashion. This good advance work will likely result in the Obama Cabinet being confirmed at a record pace as well. Given that the new Congress is sworn in Jan. 6th, the Senate will be able to hold confirmation hearings even before Inauguration Day -- and then simply hold the roll call votes until Jan. 20th or later. Expect to have at least one nominee teed up for a vote that first week. It was thought that lucky first might be Attorney General-designate Eric Holder, whose hearings are scheduled to begin Jan. 15th. However, given some bumps in his nomination related to his involvement in Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich, Holder might be, well, held off.

The cabinet includes four former Obama rivals -- Clinton, Richardson, Vilsack, and Biden --- and at least two Republicans. It's more than a little light on women -- only five of the long list below, six if we count Barnes -- I guess women are supposed to be so over the moon about Hillary we weren't supposed to notice the lack. But that's another blog. The list below shows those folks who have accepted the President-elect’s invitation to join his cabinet:

Former Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA), Agriculture
Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), Health & Human Services
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY),S tate
Sec. Robert Gates (R), Defense
Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ), Homeland Security
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM), Commerce
Timothy Geithner (New York Federal Reserve President), Treasury
Eric Holder (former Clinton DOJ official), Attorney General/Justice
Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, Veterans Affairs
Peter Orszag (former Clinton advisor/CBO director), Office on Management and Budget
Arne Duncan (Chicago schools superintendent), Education
Shaun Donovan (New York City housing commissioner), Housing and Urban Development
Dr. Steven Chu (scientist/scholar/Nobel prize winner), Energy
Lisa Jackson (Chief of Staff for NJ Gov. Jon Corzine, former EPA staff), EPA
Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO), Interior
Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL), Transportation
Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), Labor
Gary Gensler (Clinton treasury subcabinet), Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Mary Schapiro (former regulator), Securities and Exchange Commission
Ron Kirk (former Dallas mayor), U.S. Trade Representative
Susan Rice, United Nations Ambassador

Go Team!

Copyright 2008. The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

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