Bamalot: Obama Drafts Star-Studded Short List for Cabinet

Emanuel on board, Kennedy, Powell, Kerry considered for top jobs

President-elect Barack Obama has drafted a star-studded short list of cabinet candidates, with political heavyweights Caroline Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Colin Powell and John Kerry among the most notable names being eyed by his transition team.

Illinois Democrat Rahm Emanuel has already accepted Obama's offer to be the next White House chief of staff, reports NBC.

The President-elect is strongly considering Robert F. Kennedy to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and is weighing Kennedy's cousin, Caroline, for the position of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations -- a move that would please Sens. Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy, Politico reported.

If Obama chooses to oust Robert Gates as Defense Secretary, Gen. Colin Powell has been short-listed as a candidate. Powell's endorsement of Obama fueled speculation that the former Secretary of State would be considered for a Cabinet position. But the New York Daily News and New York Post report that Obama could ask Gates to stay in the job.

Sen. John Kerry is considered the front-runner for the nation's top diplomat. The senator from Massachusetts selected Obama to be the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where Obama delivered the critically acclaimed speech that put him on the map.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was named as a potential candidate for Secretary of Energy in late October. Others considered for top jobs are Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell for Secretary of Energy and Chancellor of New York City's Department of Education Joel Klein.

Obama also is considering tapping high-level Clinton administration officials. His transition team consists of former one-time Clinton chief of staff John Podesta and Obama has staffed an advisory board overseeing the transition with former Clinton administration officials Carol Browner, William Daley and Federico Pena.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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