Thursday, November 6, 2008

Possibilites for a progressive and green transition

President-elect Barack Obama has named former Clinton chief of staff, John Podesta, to run his transition team. Obama is wasting no time in selecting a cabinet to face the tremendous challenges lined up against his administration.

The selection of Podesta might indicate a desire to seek old Clinton operatives rather than bringing in outsiders. However, it is expected that Obama will appoint some non-Washington faces to stay consistent with his message of change. Obviously as Clinton was the only Democratic president to serve in nearly three decades, most experienced Washington insiders within the party would have served in his administration.

Although the push has been toward the "center right," here are some possible progressive and green choices that Obama could make in choosing his cabinet.

Secretary of Climate Change

Ok, such a position does not exist, but many are suggesting that Obama create an office to tackle the climate change crisis. Here are some possible picks:

Van Jones -- founding president of Green For All and a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress. He is also the author of The Green Collar Economy. Not much Washington experience here -- a true outsider -- and an African American. Many people of color will be looking to see whether the first African American president tows the line on diversity in the appointment process.

Gov. Bill Richardson -- He has done a great job in cleaning up his state of New Mexico. Promised to be the "energy president" before dropping out of the primary. Also, would help in developing a diversity profile as he is a Latino American.

Secretary of State

Al Gore -- probably not likely that he would accept this position but Gore's stock around the world has risen due to his work on global climate change. Of course, this would make him a good candidate for climate change czar as well.

Susan Rice -- one of Obama's foreign policy advisers, she is a former assistant secretary of state and a strong proponent of multilateral engagement. A woman and African American.

Sen. John Kerry -- an early and strong Obama supporter, Kerry is one of the betting favorites for this position. He would be a good choice. He has strong network of international connections.

Secretary of Energy

Jason Grumet -- head of the National Commission on Energy Policy and the Bipartisan Policy Center, and chief Obama adviser on energy and the environment.

Dan Reichert -- formerly assistant energy secretary under President Clinton, a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and a sales executive at a renewable energy firm. Now he is director of climate change and energy initiatives at

Ian Bowles -- secretary of energy and environmental affairs in Massachusetts under Gov. Deval Patrick.

More to come later.'s Claudia Rivero reports Gov. Napolitano's office confirms that she has been asked and has agreed to serve as a member of Obama's transition team advisory board.Play
Napolitano part of Obama's transition team
KTVK 3TV Phoenix via Yahoo! News - Nov 05 4:28 PM

 What can Barack Obama's camp expect from President Bush's team?Play
Transition Time
FOX News via Yahoo! News - Nov 05 9:03 AM

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