Obama’s Cabinet Picks

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 17, 2008 6:50pm

Yesterday President-Elect Barack Obama talked about "the blend" in the cabinet — and it’s all but done now.

You see he’s kept his eye on both governing and politics.

In the White House, Obama has his core Chicago loyalists — Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod.

In his national security team, he has a group of coalition-builders — Hillary Clinton, a key Democrat for State Department, but also a veteran military-man Gen. Jim Jones as National Security Advisor, and of course President Bush’s Secretary of  Defense Bob Gates.

He has also kept his promise of reaching out beyond Washington for change: He has appointed reformers Shaun Donovan at HUD, Arne Duncan for Education, and Lisa Jackson at the EPA.

Obama’s managed to get a cabinet of diversity and confidence without engaging in any tokenism.

And yet there is some grumbling.

Some liberals are upset that they’re not well-represented  in the cabinet. Also, some women’s groups are saying that he’s not doing as well with women in his cabinet as former President Bill Clinton did, and only as well as George W. Bush did.

But he has nominated people to his cabinet with an eye toward fast-growing voter groups: Hispanics — both Gov. Bill Richardson for Commerce and Sen. Ken Salazar for Interior.

It’s the fastest growing voter group in the country and they’re being well represented.

Obama has also nominated Asians — Dr. Steven Chu at Energy and retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki at Veterans’ Affairs — they’re another rising voter group.

And for Democrats , the southwest has been a real prime target area. And look what Obama has done — he’s selected Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and Sen. Salazar from Colorado — trying to lock in gains in those key states.

It’s a group even Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC’s Jonathan Karl that he could agree with.

–George Stephanopoulos 

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