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Report: 6 Cabinet Posts Could Open for Obama’s 2nd Term

According to a GovExec report, six Cabinet positions could see changes for President Barack Obama’s second term, continuing a historical trend of turnover for two-term presidents.

Sophie Quinton writes that on average, for the five two-term presidencies since World War II, only one of two Cabinet officers have stayed for eight years.

The departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, State, Transportation and Treasury are likely to see changes in leadership, Quinton writes.

Rebecca Blank has served as acting Commerce secretary since June when John Bryson resigned after being involved in a car crash as a result of a seizure.

Quinton writes possibilities for that post include Ron Kirk, U.S. trade representative; Fred Hochberg, president of the Export-Import Bank; and Karen Mills, head of the Small Business Administration.

At the Pentagon, Quinton writes some potential successors to Leon Panetta include Michele Flournoy, former defense policy undersecretary and Ashton Carter, currently the deputy secretary.

Former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig and former Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska are other possibilities for defense secretary, according to Quinton.

If Energy Secretary Steven Chu chooses to leave his post, former Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Dan Reicher, assistant secretary of energy efficiency and renewable energy under the Clinton administration, and John Podesta, chairman of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, are possible successors.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has reportedly indicated his plans to leave but also said he would consider staying on, Quinton reports.

Potential successors to LaHood include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio), the report said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to retire and her potential successors include Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Quinton writes.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner plans to step down at the end of the first term and said last summer he planned to step down after the debate over whether to raise the federal debt ceiling in summer 2001.

His most likely successors include White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew and former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, the report said.

Other potential candidates include Larry Fink, chief executive officer of money-management firm BlackRock, and Roger Altman, a co-founder of Evercore Partners and a former deputy Treasury secretary.

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One comment

  1. If Energy Secretary Steven Chu is resigning, his position could be filled with Representative Paul Tonko from New York. He’s a faithful Democrat, loyal to the Obama agenda, and a member of the Natural Resources Committee, where he serves on the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee. Tonko is an engineer with his degree earned from Union College in Schenectady and served as chairman of the New York State Assembly’s Standing Committee on Energy prior to leaving the Assembly to become the president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). While at NYSERDA, he worked to advance an aggressive green agenda for businesses and residents throughout New York State. He’s may be the best person to head the Energy Department.

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