In President-elect Barack Obama’s search for cabinet members in his administration, he is coming across potential candidates who were once his rivals. According to an article on CNN.com, Obama spoke with Sen. Hillary Clinton as well as New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson about the Secretary of State position.
Contrary to Clinton’s previous lack of desire to hold a cabinet position, she is now looking to contribute to the Obama administration. Although it is unknown whether or not Obama had offered Clinton the position last Thursday in Chicago, sources said she left the meeting with the thought that the position was hers if she wanted it.
“I am happy being a senator from New York. I love this state and this city,” Clinton said in an interview last Monday. “I am looking at the long list of things I have to catch up on and do. But I want to be a good partner, and I want to do everything I can to make sure [Obama’s] agenda is going to be successful.”
Additionally, Obama spoke with Richardson on Friday, also in Chicago, about the same cabinet position. Sources say that Obama has always considered Richardson for Secretary of State.
Marist alumnus Mike Napolitano said he would like to see Richardson in the position.
“Because he was a former ambassador for the UN, he has more foreign policy experience and as a result, more credibility in international affairs,” he said. “I don’t have anything against Hillary, but I would rather see her in a position such as Sec. of Health and Human Services.”
The two potential Sec. of State candidates were both rivals with Obama for the Democratic nomination earlier in the year. Richardson withdrew from the race in January, while Clinton battled until June. Both became Obama supporters prior to this.
In terms of the cabinet in its entirety, Obama is looking to make the cabinet more diverse, by selecting women, minorities, and most importantly, members who will work together as a team.
It will be interesting to see how the cabinet under the Obama administration functions seeing as how there will be a mix of Republicans and Democrats.
Napolitano said he thinks the functionality of the cabinet under Obama will be up in the air.
“If the cabinet is composed of people who have had a lot of experience, Obama might have a hard time exposing his leadership skills,” he said. “If the cabinet isn’t on board, he might not be able to live up to the change he’s promising the country.”
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