Obama's cabinet will change second term


US President Barack Obama speaks alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (R) as he holds a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, July 26, 2012.



President Barack Obama's cabinet is likely to see some big changes in his second term, with prominent departures.

The Associated Press noted that at least three members of Obama's cabinet have announced that they are leaving their posts: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew is a likely candidate for the Treasury and former Sen. Chuck Hagel, a moderate Republican, is under consideration for secretary of defense, administration insiders told Politico.

UN Ambassador Susan Rice, a favorite to succeed Clinton as Secretary of State, would likely face hurdles in the Senate confirmation process, noted the AP, which means she could end up as Obama's national security adviser instead.

The AP said other possible candidates for Clinton's job include Tom Donilon, the current national security advisor, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, former Republican presidential candidate and Obama's ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, and William Burns.

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Foreign Policy magazine said the short list of people who may replace Defense Secretary Panetta include Michele Flournoy, a former under secretary of defense and Pentagon policy chief, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

Bloomberg noted that the possible choice of Erskine Bowles, who served as chief of staff under former President Bill Clinton, to succeed Geithner would send an important message to the public that Obama was serious about cutting the deficit. Bowles co-authored the $3.8 trillion Simpson-Bowles plan for debt reduction.

Other names floated by Bloomberg for the Treasury position included BlackRock's CEO Larry Fink, and again Jack Lew, Obama's chief of staff.

Some of the other officials expected to depart during Obama's second term include Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Politico said.

Attorney General Eric Holder and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood may also leave before a second term.

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