What now?


Biden’s Cabinet could have an entirely new look

  • What now?
    What now?
  • President-elect, Joe Biden, will have a long road ahead with a troubled economy and a raging pandemic on his hands. If Donald Trump wins uphill legal battles with several states, he would inherit this difficult situation as well. Courtesy photos
    President-elect, Joe Biden, will have a long road ahead with a troubled economy and a raging pandemic on his hands. If Donald Trump wins uphill legal battles with several states, he would inherit this difficult situation as well. Courtesy photos

Editor’s Note: As of press time, CNN reported that “Georgia is on a good schedule right now to finish an audit of the presidential election.” The site also reported that so far, there are only 300,000 left to count. The favor is still for Biden.

The presidential election was held on November 3, 2020. However, the country is still feeling the effects of it two weeks later. Even though many news outlets have declared Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the highly contested race, some state certifications are still pending.

Georgia is currently recounting ballots due to the narrow margin between candidates and historically, Georgia has always been a red state.

If the recount fails to flip Georgia back to red, and Biden is declared the president-elect, he has a tedious road ahead of him. For the next few months – until Biden takes the oath as president on January 20, 2021 – he will have many decisions to make concerning who he appoints as his trusty sidekicks, better known as his Cabinet.

Not only will Biden have the task of appointing who he believes will be the best fit for the job, he is also coming into a failing economy due to a historic pandemic. According to Politico, Biden will most likely appoint a diverse set of

Cabinet members.

“Biden, who pledged to unite the country during the campaign, will likely try to keep his coalition together by nominating a mix of progressives, moderates and even a few Republicans. He’s also likely to draw in some fresh faces alongside longtime Biden loyalists,” Politico reported.

Former Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) served for six years with Biden in the Senate and said Biden will go for diversity because of the different viewpoints.

“I think one thing Joe Biden has always liked is a variety of viewpoints,” said Pryor.

There are three possible contenders for the Secretary of Defense position, and surprisingly, two are female. Many speculators believe that Michelle Flournoy will be Biden’s top choice. Biden is aware of her work ethics because he has worked alongside her before. She was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy in former President Barack Obama’s first term. She has significant management experience due to the fact that she was a cofounder of the Center for a New American Security.

Flournoy believes the Pentagon needs to accelerate efforts to outpace China with developing new technologies. Matter of fact, she was a coauthor on a blueprint outlining just how to achieve that. She said she believes to achieve this the Pentagon needs to reach “beyond the military preparation.”

“I do think that experience of Covid-19 will broaden the definition of what gets included in the national security basket,” Flournoy said in a recent interview. “I think there’s a growing awareness of the competition with China, which is first and foremost economic and technological. And I think people understand that to have a national security posture, we’ve got to reinvigorate our domestic foundations, our economy, our technological edge and so forth.”

The other two contenders are Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth and Jack Reed. Duckworth is an Iraq War veteran and Biden had his sights on her for possible vice president. She earned a Purple Heart after her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and injured her, ultimately losing both her legs. She was the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs during the Obama administration.

Reed is a West Point Alum and top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. He has been on the Democrat’s shortlist for Secretary of Defense for quite some time.

Secretary of State

The Secretary of State position is a delicate one, the appointed person for that position is the president’s chief foreign affairs adviser. The three possible contenders for this position are Susan Rice, William Burns and Senator Chris Coons. U.S. officials contend that Biden will more than likely choose a candidate with past experience with foreign affairs due to the pandemic and economic fall projected to take up a large portion of his first couple of months in office.

Rice seems to be the optimal choice for the position.

Rice has held jobs stemming from a junior NSC staffer to top Africa diplomat to the U.N. Ambassador to National Security Adviser. It is also rumored that she and Biden have a “warm relationship,” even though they have disagreed in the past over Egypt and Libya and how to deal with them.

However, the aftermath of the 2012 killing of the American Ambassador in Benghazi might hurt Rice’s chances. It was part of the reason she withdrew from consideration for the position in Obama’s second term as president.

Burns is a longtime Foreign Service officer who served as deputy secretary during the Obama administration. He is currently the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Coons could also be in the running for Secretary of State. He currently holds the Senate seat that was once held by Biden, and Coons expressed interest in the position.

Secretary of Treasury

The Secretary of Treasury is going to be another precarious appointment. Biden is expected to name his financial team early to give them ample time to start on another round of a coronavirus and economic stimulus package.

Front runners for this position are Lael Brainard, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Roger Ferguson and Mellody Hobson. Brainard emerged as the possible top choice because she does not rock the boat, per say. She has been at the Federal Reserve during the current crisis and has worked in Obama’s Treasury department. If appointed, she would be the first woman ever to lead the department.

These positions, and many more, are decisions that Biden cannot afford to take lightly. The appointed ones are the ones positioned to fill the spots for at least the next four years.