By: Keenan Flack
President Obama’s new term doesn’t really add much in the way of new blood to his cabinet. Most of these faces are rather familiar, if not to us then to our President himself. The most recognizable of these is Senator John Kerry, whose nomination the senate was confirmed on January 29, and who was sworn into office on February 1. The President seems to be moving around his cabinet more than he is bringing on new members. One example of this is with the position of Secretary of the Treasury. Timothy Geithner held the position up until January 25, but now Jack Lew, the White House Chief of Staff, has been nominated for the position. Lew has far less business experience than Geithner, but is known to be a “numbers guy” and his experience in budget matters will surely be helpful. The White House is nervous that he will not be sworn in time to negotiate the budget and deficit with Congress.
A position that is seeing some change is that of the Secretary of Defense. Leon Panetta took his leave after Obama’s reelection, but he is being replaced by former Senator Chuck Hagel, one of the only Republicans being brought into the cabinet. Hagel has been spending his time out of the Senate teaching at Georgetown University and as a chairman on the Atlantic council. The Senate approved the nomination on February 14.
Another position that will be bringing in a new member to the cabinet is Secretary of the Interior. Sally Jewell, the President and CEO at REI, a popular recreational equipment company, received the nomination for this position. She has been very involved in the environment lately by helping the President implement the Great Outdoors program, which was created to try to preserve America’s wildlife. She was awarded the 2009 Rachel Carson Award for Environmental Conservation from the Audubon Society for her work.
Finally, Obama has named Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough as White House Chief of Staff. He will be replacing Jack Lew, the Treasury of Secretary nominee. McDonough has begun work as there is no approval needed from the Senate for White House Chief of Staff. It seems that Obama has just been repositioning his team, which is expected since he wants people close to him whom he trusts. As for the rest of the positions in the cabinet there is no change from Obama’s previous term.