Now that President Obama is certain of a second term he will begin searching for new presidential cabinet appointees, as there will be several changes to his cabinet. Obama’s first term cabinet experienced low-turnover, but some of the highest cabinet-level officials will be replaced during his second term. The predictions as to who will fill Obama’s second cabinet are decidedly speculative.
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has made it clear that she will leave Obama’s cabinet after his first term, but will stay on board until a successor is confirmed. Speculation as to who will take over as the head of foreign policy has centered on UN ambassador Susan Rice and chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Sen. John Kerry.
Timothy Geithner will be stepping down as the head of the Department of Treasury following Obama’s second inauguration. White House press secretary Jay Carney stated that Geithner will be staying on board through the end of the year and is expected to play a major role in the fiscal cliff negotiations.
NPR reported the Department of Treasury will likely be headed by Erskine Bowles or Jack Lew. Bowles was chairman of the Simpson-Bowles commission, a part of the president’s deficit reduction panel, but the “more likely choice” might be Lew. Lew is currently the White House chief of staff and was formerly the president’s budget director.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to remain in the cabinet until the spring or summer of 2013, and then plans to retire and move back to his home in Monterey, CA. Before his departure, Panetta will likely help the current administration through the sequestration negotiations and transition into the 2014 defense budget.
Should Panetta retire and move west, the Washington Post speculates former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, or Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter are his leading replacements.
The Department of Commerce has been without an official head since Secretary of Commerce John Bryson experienced a seizure and resigned in June. Presently, Rebecca Blank heads the department as acting secretary.
Of the fifteen cabinet officials, the only Republican, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, has announced his pending departure. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Attorney General Eric Holder are also expected to leave the Administration.