- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2008

*House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel is a top candidate for chief of staff. A three-term Democratic congressman from Chicago and the fourth-ranking leader of his party in the House, Mr. Emanuel was a senior adviser to President Clinton from 1993 to 1998.

*Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, has been considered a candidate for chief of staff or for Health and Human Services secretary. Currently a special policy adviser at the Washington law firm Alston & Bird, he also serves as a distinguished senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank.

*Lawrence H. Summers, a former Clinton administration Treasury secretary, is a mentioned as a contender to head the department again. He is a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and served as the university’s president from 2001 to 2006. He was chief economist of the World Bank from 1991 to 1993.

*Robert E. Rubin is another former Clinton administration Treasury secretary who has been mentioned for a return to the post. The key architect of President Clinton’s economic policy, Mr. Rubin was a co-chairman with the Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs & Co.

*Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano is seen as a potential attorney general. Elected in 2002, she served as chairwoman of the National Governors Association in 2006 to 2007. Time magazine in 2005 named her one of the five best governors in the U.S.

*New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, is thought to be on a shortlist for secretary of state. He has served in the House and as ambassador to the United Nations, and was energy secretary during the Clinton administration.

*Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is mentioned as a secretary of education, commerce, energy, or health and human services. In 2005, Time named her as one of the five best governors in America, praising her for eliminating a $1.1 billion debt and for her bipartisan approach to governing.

*Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell is seen as a potential pick for the top energy or transportation post. Mr. Rendell, who has served as governor since January 2003, is a former mayor of Philadelphia, general chairman of the Democratic National Committee and district attorney. He was a staunch supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination but campaigned later for Mr. Obama.

*Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack is mentioned as agriculture secretary. Mr. Vilsack was an early candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination before dropping out of the race in February 2007. He is a lawyer with the Des Moines office of Minneapolis-based law firm Dorsey & Whitney.

*Top Obama campaign aide David Axelrod has been mentioned as a likely pick for senior White House adviser. He is the senior partner of the campaign consulting firm AKP&D; Message and Media, runs ASK Public Strategies and was a political writer for the Chicago Tribune.

*David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, is in line for a top political post within the White House or for press secretary. He is a partner of AKP&D; Message and Media.

*Campaign aide Robert Gibbs also is a leading candidate for press secretary. He was the communications director for the Obama campaign and was press secretary of Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

*The name of Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska has been bandied about for an Obama Cabinet post. Defense secretary is seen as the closest fit for the Republican, a one-time supporter of the war in Iraq who became a vociferous opponent. His inclusion in the administration would show Mr. Obama’s willingness to reach across the partisan aisle.

*John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff under President Clinton, is heading Mr. Obama’s transition team and is expected to have a role in the new administration. He is president of the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning Washington think tank.

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