Trump’s administration is naming Biden as the apparent winner of the election, and more and more of Biden’s cabinet choices are emerging – representing both a break with Trump and more of a similar age in Washington. It‘s Tuesday and here is your political advice sheet. register here to get On Politics delivered to your inbox every day of the week.
Trump supporters protesting the Michigan election results in Lansing yesterday.
Biden began to roll out his choices to become the primary officials in the country’s foreign policy, national security, and economic policy.
If the list is full of historical firsts, it lacks big surprises.
Most of the names held prominent positions during Barack Obama’s presidency. Taken together, they indicate that Biden seeks to reposition the United States’ position on the world stage by rebuilding pre-Trump alliances and restoring old diplomatic approaches.
And they suggest that progressives’ hopes that the Biden administration would align itself with the Obama administration’s left on foreign policy issues are unlikely to materialize.
Biden is expected to officially announce his first cabinet-level pick during a speech today in Wilmington, Del., But his team have already publicly confirmed a number of them.
His transition office said yesterday that Biden plans to appoint Alejandro mayorkas as Secretary for Homeland Security, and April Haines as director of national intelligence. Mayorkas would become the first Hispanic public servant and the first immigrant to head the Department of Homeland Security, and Haines would become the most senior woman in the national security bureaucracy.
The presidential transition
Both come with years of experience in the Obama administration. Mayorkas served as Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security from 2013 to 2016, and Haines served as Deputy National Security Advisor for Obama’s last two years as president. Before that, she had been Deputy Director of the CIA
Biden plans to select Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be its ambassador to the United Nations, and he will re-establish the post at the cabinet level, giving him a seat on its National Security Council. Thomas-Greenfield held various positions in the State Department during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, as well as Ambassador to Liberia from 2008 to 2012. She left the State Department in 2017 after taking office. Trump.
Biden’s choice for Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, served as his national security adviser when Biden was vice president, and then became Obama’s deputy national security adviser during his second term. Blinken is seen as a coalition builder and interventionist, and he is expected to lead an attempt to consolidate U.S. allegiances in its global power struggle with China.
To fill a new, forward-looking position, Biden chose John Kerry, an establishment figure who served as Secretary of State during Obama’s second term. He will become Biden’s special climate envoy, who will become a cabinet-level post in the new administration, but will not be subject to Senate confirmation.
Biden considers choosing Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury, making her the first woman to fill this role. She was previously chairman of the Federal Reserve during Obama’s presidency.
A trained labor economist, Yellen has so far been one of Biden’s more liberal choices. She is expected to carry a penchant for government intervention on behalf of workers, as she helps shape the new administration’s response to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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