Who Is In And Who Is Out In Obama's Second Term Cabinet

Tyler Durden's picture

Tim Geithner's time is almost done, but the former NY Fed head is only one of very many whose position is expected to be replaced in Obama's second term (just so there is a non-continuous chain of command if and when the time comes for the people to demand an explanation for the state of the US economy from the talented Mr. Geithner). Who else is out and who is expected to be in? The following list attempts to cover all upcoming rotations at the top of the US cabinet. What is not attempted is a prediction of where in the private sector people such as Geithner will end up: that is considered largely self-explanatory.

From Reuters:

U.S. President Barack Obama is likely to radically reshape his Cabinet and senior advisers at the start of his second term In January, as many trusted officials step down after long tenures through stressful periods at top jobs.

Following is a list of the most-watched Obama Cabinet and senior staff, whether they are likely to remain in office, and possible replacements.

**Department of State -- Secretary Hillary Clinton

Clinton, one of the most popular members of Obama's Cabinet, has held the post since the start of the president's first administration and has said she will step down in January.

Possible replacements:


Kerry, the unsuccessful 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would bring decades of experience. He was a Navy lieutenant during the Vietnam War, where he won awards for bravery, and after returning home became a prominent opponent of the war.

But his selection could leave Democrats to defend a U.S. Senate seat against the just-defeated but still-popular Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, who lost a close race to Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren in November.


Tough-minded and already immersed in the most important international issues of the day, Rice is widely regarded as one of Obama's most capable surrogates with a direct line into the White House.

But she has been fiercely attacked by Republicans over her public statements describing the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, as the result of a spontaneous demonstration rather than a planned terrorist act. Her critics say her comments were politically motivated and misled the public. Obama has repeated his trust in her.


Donilon, Obama's national security adviser, has been both a government official and a Washington lawyer. He is seen as an insider who could align the State Department tightly with White House priorities for a second Obama term.

While Donilon could be an effective manager, some analysts say he may not have the charisma for the kind of high-wattage public diplomacy that has marked Clinton's tenure.

**Department of the Treasury -- Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Geithner has been Obama's Treasury secretary since the beginning and has held steady under intense pressure as he orchestrated and publicly defended the administration's response to the financial crisis.

Geithner has said he wants to step down but is expected to stay until mid-January to help the administration forge a deal with Congress to avoid looming abrupt tax hikes and spending cuts referred to as the "fiscal cliff."

Possible replacements:


Lew is Obama's chief of staff. The former White House budget office director and deputy secretary of state helped negotiate a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling that averted a crisis last year. Lew previously worked as chief operating officer of Citigroup's alternative investments.

He also served as President Bill Clinton's budget chief and as a top domestic policy adviser to former Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Tip O'Neill.


Bowles, who was President Clinton's chief of staff, was tapped by Obama to co-chair a bipartisan deficit-reduction panel with former Senator Alan Simpson, a Republican. Their plan, which called for $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in new revenue, is still cited as a touchstone in efforts to tackle the debt.

Bowles co-founded private investment firm Carousel Capital and was a partner at another private investment firm, Forstmann Little & Co.


Sandberg is chief operating officer at Facebook. She was a Treasury official in the Clinton administration and was previously Google's vice president of online sales and operations.

**Department of Defense -- Secretary Leon Panetta

Panetta is keen to return home to California after serving in the Obama administration for four years, first as Central Intelligence Agency director and then as defense secretary.

But first he wants to deal with the threat of automatic defense cuts that will be phased in starting in January and address the next stage of troop drawdowns in Afghanistan. That could keep him in the job a few months longer.

Possible replacements:


Hagel, a Republican, is now a professor at Georgetown University in Washington and sits on several corporate boards. He is a decorated Vietnam War veteran who was on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees during two terms in the U.S. Senate.


Carter is a former Harvard University professor who has served as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics and as assistant secretary of defense for security policy. As deputy defense secretary, Carter oversees the day-to-day operations of the department.


Flournoy is a co-founder of the Center for a New American Security think tank. She was the co-head of Obama's transition team after his first election and was undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 to 2012.



Reed, a former U.S. Army Ranger, is a third-term Democratic senator from Rhode Island and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

**Department of Justice -- Attorney General Eric Holder

Holder may stay into 2013 but has not stated his intention publicly. He served in the Justice Department's No. 2 position under President Clinton, and Obama appointed him attorney general in 2009.

It is rare for an attorney general to serve more than four years. He has been the target of fierce criticism from Republicans, who tried to oust him after a botched department operation called "Fast and Furious" that targeted gun trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Possible replacements:


Johnson is a key figure on national security and a former prosecutor. He was a partner at the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind and Garrison. He has announced that he will step down from his Defense Department role on Dec. 31.


A former Arizona governor, Napolitano earlier served as the U.S. attorney general in that state. She drew some fire for her comment that "the system worked" after the so-called Underwear Bomber was prevented at the last minute from detonating an explosive on an aircraft in an al Qaeda-linked plot on a plane approaching Detroit in 2009.


Patrick worked in the Clinton Justice Department and as a corporate lawyer. If the president decides to tap John Kerry to head the State Department, Democratic leaders may want Patrick to step in and run for the Senate in Massachusetts.


Bharara has come to prominence for his active pursuit of insider trading and financial fraud. He has worked as chief counsel to New York Senator Chuck Schumer, and previously brought criminal cases against organized crime figures.


A former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, he is now a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Fitzgerald received wide publicity for leading the investigation into the public exposure of intelligence officer Valerie Plame that led to the conviction for perjury of Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.

**Commerce Department -- Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank

Blank has been acting secretary since June, when Secretary John Bryson resigned for health reasons after serving less than a year. Blank, an economist, also did a stint as acting secretary in 2011-2012, when former Secretary Gary Locke became U.S. ambassador to China.

Possible replacements:


Case, co-founder of America Online, heads an investment firm called Revolution and is a member of Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, an advisory group of corporate executives, labor leaders and academics.


Doctoroff is chief executive officer of the financial news service Bloomberg, and a former deputy mayor to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of the company bearing his name.


Kirk, the U.S. trade representative, has made clear he wants to return to his home town of Dallas after four years of traveling the globe. But he might be tempted to stay, if Obama were to offer him the Commerce Department post and four more years in the Cabinet.


The acting director of Obama's budget office, Zients was a management consultant who amassed a fortune running the Advisory Board Company and Corporate Executive Board management consulting firms and could play a role should the president seek to reorganize the Commerce Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative into a consolidated business-oriented government agency.

**Department of Homeland Security -- Secretary Janet Napolitano

Napolitano has given no clear indication that she wants to step down, although she is seen as a potential candidate for attorney general if Holder leaves. (see above) The following positions have Cabinet rank:

**White House Chief of Staff -- Jack Lew

Lew has been mentioned as a leading candidate to take over from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Possible replacements:


Jarrett, a longtime Obama confidante, is a senior adviser to the president. She has known Obama since she hired his then-fiancee, Michelle Robinson, for an opening in the office of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley in 1991.


Klain has been chief of staff to both Vice President Joe Biden and the previous Democratic vice president, Al Gore. He left the administration in 2011 to work for former AOL chairman Steve Case.


Daschle, a former U.S. senator from South Dakota, was Senate Majority Leader from 2001 to 2003. Daschle was an expert on health care policy and a mentor to Obama when the president was a senator from Illinois.

He withdrew as nominee to serve as Obama's Health and Human Services secretary in 2009 as problems over his unpaid taxes received scrutiny.

**Office of Management & Budget -- Jeffrey Zients, Acting Director

Zients became deputy budget director in 2009 and has run the office since January. He is considered a strong candidate to officially take the top job.

Other possible candidates:


Elmendorf is an economist who became head of the non-partisan CBO in 2009. He has worked at the Federal Reserve, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the Treasury Department.


Sperling is Obama's National Economic Council director, a position he also held under President Clinton. Before taking up his latest post, Sperling was a Treasury counselor under Geithner, providing policy advice on fiscal issues, job creation and other domestic policies.


Furman is the deputy director of Obama's National Economic Council. A veteran number-cruncher in many budget battles, he was an economist at the White House CEA and on the NEC in the Clinton administration.

**United States Trade Representative -- Ronald Kirk

Kirk has said he plans to leave. He could be offered another Cabinet-level post such as Commerce secretary, but there is speculation that he will opt for a private-sector job or seek state-wide office in his home state of Texas.

Possible replacements:


Froman, who is now chief White House international economic affairs adviser, attended Harvard Law School with Obama and has long been considered a likely successor to Kirk.


Marantis is deputy U.S. trade representative for Asia and Africa and former chief international trade counsel for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus.


Punke, U.S. ambassador to the World Trade Organization, worked for Baucus from 1991 to 1992 as international trade counsel before joining the Clinton White House as director for international economic affairs.


Brainard is under secretary of Treasury for international affairs. She has been heavily involved in trade and currency talks with China and broader economic discussions with the Group of 20 leading developed and developing countries.

**United States Ambassador to the United Nations -- Ambassador Susan Rice (see above)

Possible replacements:


Vice President Joe Biden's adviser on national security and a former Democratic staff director on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Not Cabinet rank but will be closely watched:

**Central Intelligence Agency Director - Acting Director Mike Morell

Morell, who is running the spy agency since the resignation in November of General David Petraeus over an extra-marital affair, may be asked to stay and become director. Morell is a career CIA officer with a background in analysis rather than agent-handling and is widely respected inside the agency. He has recently run into some trouble for his own flub when describing the Benghazi incident to lawmakers.

Other possible replacements:



Brennan worked for the CIA, as agent, analyst and administrator, for more than two decades. He has played a leading role in elaborating U.S. policy against al Qaeda and other militant groups, which some critics say has depended too heavily on drone strikes.

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CunnyFunt's picture

What? No Corzine?

a growing concern's picture

He'll need a new cabinet position: chief vaporiser of national debt.



....aaaaaaaaaaannnnnnndddd..... it's gone.

debtor of last resort's picture

Don't need no stinking Corzine to vaporize debt.

flacon's picture

Larry Summers for Treasury Secretary! Woo Hoo! Summers!... Summers!... Summers!... Summers!... USA!... USA!... USA!... USA!...

killallthefiat's picture

That list is a full season of America's Most Wanted. 

mjcOH1's picture

"He'll need a new cabinet position: chief vaporiser of national debt."


If I remember correctly he was a vaporizer of capital and creater of debt.

palmereldritch's picture

Corzine is going to replace Holder, until Madoff is pardoned.

F. Bastiat's picture

Corzine's too busy hanging out at the Ritz Carlton on 22nd Street.  When he's in DC for this or that you can usually find him there.

Where does Gyorgy Schwartz stay when he's in town?

Yen Cross's picture

A fine Irish man yer R/  I saved a fun piece for you. I have to dig it up in my docs/files. You will laugh hard :-)

CunnyFunt's picture

Sorry mate, but I'm from north of the Antonine Wall.

Yen Cross's picture

 My appologies/ it will never happen again.  As we speak, I'm studying http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonine_Wall


 Always wondered about our Scottish Ancestry/


Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

That wall was built to keep the Picts out of Roman occupied Britain.

They were some bad assed tribes, they were.

Yen Cross's picture

Thanks Mr. L/H . Long before the fall of the Roman Empire. " Clyde to the Fourth".

 Hadrians Wall, is where the Calcedonians fell back and met the "Picti", (Roman deserters) and gained the knowledge to drive back the attack! based on my intreptation, these (insider trading ) ideas led to the fall of the Calcedonians.

 Later History suggests  "Kenneth Mac Alpin clan" relocated and rebuilt/

CunnyFunt's picture

As it was relayed to me, the Romans desired argentum in the Bathgate Hills which would eventually become King James' mines. The geography and hostility beyond the Antonine rendered imperial exploitation cost-ineffective.

myptofvu's picture

A D-List if I ever saw one.

dick cheneys ghost's picture

Jack Welch should head the Dept of Corporate Welfare and Erik Prince the War Dept.


Ill be very upset if Cozine is overlooked for a cabinet post or Chief of Staff


Angelo Mozillo would fit in nicely at HUD

F. Bastiat's picture

Devout marxist Andrew Stern might make a nice fit for the Labor bureau.  If they can pry him away from fomenting the "Occupy" domestic insurrection, that is.

mjcOH1's picture

Let's not overlook Ron Gettelfinger for secretary of corporate welfare.  

Who else could drive two of the largest manufacturers in America into the ground, then convince the government to screw the existing bond and stock holders, hand the companies to the union, AND get the taxpayers to kick in multi-billion dollar bailouts to keep the dues-payers sending money back to the mothership.

Jack Welch merely fired people on the company's nickle when they struck.   There's got to be somebody out there better able to kick the $1.5 trillion dollar deficit up to $2.0 trillion with a command economy plan.

IridiumRebel's picture

....join Obama and the other cast of characters as they play "KICK THE CAN".

lolmao500's picture

In other news, MONTI, Italy's non-elected PM, Goldman Sachs puppet at his hours, just resigned. Berlusconi intends to run again in the elections coming up in a few months...

Would be EPIC if Berlusconi was elected and told the Eurocrats to shove their Euro and their EU laws up their asses...

mjcOH1's picture

"Would be EPIC if Berlusconi was elected and told the Eurocrats to shove their Euro and their EU laws up their asses..."


The post-victory bunga-bunga parties would probably be epic.
The economic decisions following that.... euro related or not... probably not so much.
Been there.  Done that.  Got the 'Why don't you take a vacation or the good German taxpayers might stop picking up the tab.' T-Shirt.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

And here I thought the cabinet couldn't get much worse....

Tom Daschle, lol

And the Bonesman Kerry looks set to get in no matter what.  Great.

Yen Cross's picture

 Jon/John> Swift Boat Kerry...  He's so swift... he's going backwards<

Yen Cross's picture

Oval Toilet> who knows?

F. Bastiat's picture

Radical marxist progressive Eric "der Fuhrer" Schmidt is also allegedly under consideration for an appointment to command some of the myriad apparatchiks of the central planning bureaus.

Commissar Schmidt is well known for his "activism" on behalf of the earth's climate and his dogmatic dedication to the destruction of the livelihoods of those Americans working in the energy sector.

Commissar Schmidt's blatant hostility toward the ideas and institutions of Western civilization in general, and the constitution of the States United in particular, should give every American pause.

divide_by_zero's picture

How sweet would it be to also have radical Marxist Valerie Jarrett head of DHS, what the heck we already got one as POTUS.

XitSam's picture

Jarrett? It would be the worst of the Geheime Staatspolizei, Ministerium für Staatsicherheit and the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs all rolled into one.

I imagine her as the writer in this story, but more likely Jarrett would be playing the part of Dennis.

Edit: Did you know she has a full Secret Service detail? Paranoid much, Valerie?

knukles's picture

Eric Schmiddttens is one of the Biggest Supporters of the Invasion of Your Personal Privacy Ever Known.
As we all know, Giggle and the NoSuchAgency have been joined at the goiter since infection with the agency being one of the biggest, best-est and most influential behind the scenes investors and protectors of Giggles.

Yes, One of the Original "Do No Harm"* Except to Everybody Else folks with a Great Marketing Homily.*


*Homily, n: an odd and generally revered truth told by mothers that only begins to ring as deeply spiritual and insightful when you reach your mid '50's
Example:  If you do that too much you'll grow hair on your palms.

mjcOH1's picture

"How sweet would it be to also have radical Marxist Valerie Jarrett head of DHS, what the heck we already got one as POTUS."

On a positive note, when MDs quit the profession due to Obamacare we'll have thousands of proctologists and gynecologists pre-trained for the TSA expansion.

palmereldritch's picture

If Schmidt shows up in Odolph's cabinet it will definitely signify Bilderberg Rising in the Globalist's-weapons-platform-formerly-known-as-the-United-States-of-America...then cue the false flag cyber attack and Internet 2.0 in 3-2-1...

How fortuitous!...


NaN's picture

Knuckles:  Are chemtrails making you spew complete nonsense?  Google is one of the few companies that actually resisted Federal requests for information.  The Do No Harm slogan started at Google years before Schmidt joined.  

F. Bastiat:  Is axe grinding getting to you or is alternative energy hype giving you the fear?  Providing venture capital for new energy sources to make a profit is not a trait of marxism.  Oil, coal, and natgas industries have nothing to fear because ramping up other energy sources takes decades, and most people prefer to fix big visible problems over avoiding potential disasters.

Google is probably the most libertarian high tech company in existence. Google pioneered going public with an auction to avoid the usual underwriter pump and dump (and Zuck at Facebook was not smart enough to do the same).


F. Bastiat's picture

Good grief. 

Central government doesn't provide "venture capital", it provides politically motivated coercion and/or force.

Let the markets handle it.  The amount of information processed by free markets is infinitely more than that which could ever be processed by the poitically-motivated apparatchiks of Eric "Der Furher" Schmidt's bureau.

Government is a necesasry evil, at best, and an intolerable one at worst.

Atomizer's picture

Timmah has his eyes on the World Bank position. Corzine will work under Ben S Bernanke as a intern BIS affiliate. http://www.bis.org/about/board.htm

lolmao500's picture

I bet if an asteroid wiped off the map all of these scumbag, the world would be a better place.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

If the Elite did have a real opponent (Russia and China are on board for the New World Order) all they would have to do is bomb the Grove in July and their goes the opposition Scull and Bones.

chubbar's picture

"It is rare for an attorney general to serve more than four years. He has been the target of fierce criticism from Republicans, who tried to oust him after a botched department operation called "Fast and Furious" that targeted gun trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border."

News flash: Fast and Furious didn't target gun trafficking it WAS gun trafficking. Big fucking difference and Holder should be sitting in jail for it.

knukles's picture

"didn't target gun trafficking it WAS gun trafficking"

It was a false flag event targeting the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

tickhound's picture

"There will be no lobbyists in my administration" '07

IridiumRebel's picture


From Full Monti back to chief Hot Tubber Bunga Bunga.
Burlesquoni is bbbbaaaacccckkkkkkk!!!!!

Yen Cross's picture

 Obama has fired 2 (major generals) Rehired and fired 2 CIA and Central command /Ex; Joint Chiefs of Staff (highly regarded) professionals.  His real achievment was firing the man with (nuclear football knowledge) for sleeping with some self absorbed wanabe hack Journalist/

  I'm just getting started. The United States is looking more like Japan every day!

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Japan with a splash of Communist Russia.

CunnyFunt's picture

Toe the party line, or be towed out to sea.

Yen Cross's picture

Speechless/ !$#@(*%$     Back at both of you!   "With Respect".

tickhound's picture

whistleblowing is an "act of courage and patriotism... and should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration" '08

q99x2's picture

He's letting all his top gangsters go. What's this world coming to.

10044's picture

Rats out, Rats in
Move along please...

janchup's picture

You might like Summers at Treasury, such a guy.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

He already held that office.  He is now gunning for Fed Chair.  Krugman wants it too though. 

We should tie donuts to their heads and watch them run for it like dogs on a racetrack.