ABC News reports that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will remain on the job in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration for at least a year, quoting a source who described the process as “a done deal.”
Gates, while a registered independent, has served numerous Republican administrations. President George W. Bush nominated Gates to replace the Donald Rumsfeld after the 2006 midterm elections, when the war in Iraq was spiraling out of control.
The former Eagle Scout is expected to be rolled out immediately after the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend as part of a larger national security team expected to include Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, as Secretary of State; Marine Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.) as National Security Adviser; Admiral Dennis Blair (Ret.) as Director of National Intelligence; and Dr. Susan Rice as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
If the report is confirmed, Gates would be the first, and very likely the only, holdover from the Bush administration in Obama’s cabinet.
During a recent “60 Minutes” interview, Obama said there would be at least one Republican in his cabinet. But if Gates is technically an independent, it’s unclear if his presence in the previous GOP administration would count, or if Obama has plans to include another Republican.
The remaining cabinet posts that have not been discussed much include:
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of Transportation
Energy, HUD and Labor seem likely go to Democrats, but there could be room for a Republican in one of the other slots.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican, was previously said to be under consideration for a post. Maybe secretary of education is still in the cards for the retired general?
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