Joe Biden administration: president-elect assembles a diverse cabinet

Joe Biden administration: president-elect assembles a diverse cabinetSusan Rice is being considered for secretary of state and Michele Flournoy is reportedly top choice for defence secretaryJoe Biden is piecing together what he has promised to be a diverse cabinet, with Michele Flournoy reportedly top choice for US defence secretary and Susan Rice considered a frontrunner for secretary of state.Flournoy was previously a senior defense adviser in Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s administrations and is considered a political moderate. Since leaving government she has been involved in various consultancy roles around military contracts.The appointment, if confirmed by the US Senate, would end a tumultuous period under Donald Trump, who has had five male defense secretaries during his presidency. The latest, Mark Esper, was unceremoniously fired on Monday for, among other issues, disagreeing with the president over the use of force against civilian protesters.If she did become America’s first female defense secretary, Flournoy would potentially be faced with the task of deploying the military to distribute a Covid-19 vaccine. It’s likely she would seek to rebuild the US’s international reputation, telling a conference in March that “it’s going to take a lot of work over a number of years to recover that trust and that standing”.Biden, who has vowed “to be a president for all Americans”, will face a challenge getting his cabinet picks past a Republican-held Senate if, as expected, the party retains control of the chamber following two special elections in Georgia in January. If he does offer up political moderates and even Republicans for roles, he risks stirring anger among the progressive Democratic wing.Rice, who served as national security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations in the Obama administration, is seen as a safe pick for the state department, although some Republicans may object to her over what they consider misleading statements over the 2012 attack on a US consulate in Libya which killed four Americans.Questioned while on a bicycle ride on Saturday, Biden confirmed that he was getting closer to picking a cabinet that will face steep challenges once the president-elect enters the White House on 20 January.A largely uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 is tearing across the country, with a record number of daily cases recorded on Friday. A Biden administration will have to somehow tame the pandemic while crafting a response to the economic fallout that has cost millions of jobs, probably in the face of Republican opposition in the Senate.Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who became an effective campaigner for Biden after he dropped his own presidential ambitions, could be in line for a job, perhaps as ambassador to the United Nations.Lael Brainard, a governor at the Federal Reserve and another political moderate, is favorite to be named as treasury secretary, while Doug Jones, recently defeated as Senator from Alabama, or Sally Yates, acting attorney general under Trump before being fired, could be put forward as attorney general.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines