Pre-Thanksgiving Trump Cabinet Picks

Donald Trump has thousands of Federal government jobs that he has to fill but making news on a daily basis meeting and choosing his cabinet positions. The positions can be found in a U.S. Government publication titled ‘The Policy and Supporting Positions’, known as the Plum book. In it contains every job that the United States Federal government has to fill. It is used by the incoming administration, and is used extensively by prospective upcoming holders of these positions so they can ‘plum’ their way through all Federal Government positions and apply for the one of their choosing. It takes months to get all of these jobs filled and even up to a year or so if the job requires Senate confirmation, so you would think that the Trump transition team would be frantically working on people to fill these positions at a faster pace. This is so because all of the jobs require an FBI background check, and believe it or not, the disclosure of Federal tax returns of everyone being considered for a Federal government position, something that the man himself, Donald J. Trump – President-Elect, has yet to do. Donald Trump claims that his tax returns are presently under audit, and he will disclose them after the audit. If his tax returns become available to the public, they will be published on this blog.

The Donald Trump transition team is approaching this task with less professionalism and speed than any other previous administration. They are far behind schedule. Most likely many of the people that hold those positions now may stay until the job can be transitioned over to the next official that will hold the position.

What are some of these jobs that may have already been ‘chosen’ and others called ‘tapped’ as they are amongst the ones that the  Donald Trump’s top positions obviously are being chosen first. Here are the pics announced so far.

Attorney general

President-elect Trump has tapped Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Trump has chosen Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo for the job.

White House National Security Adviser

Trump has picked Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn for national security adviser.

The following is a list of likely contenders and will be frequently updated as new information becomes available.

Secretary of State

Mitt Romney, obviously now the leading candidate for Secretary of State, is the most suprising of possible choices. Mitt Romney was and openly fierce critic and negative working against Donald Trump during the primaries and main election. Mitt met with Trump in a meeting.

New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s loyal supporters, is another candidate for Secretary of State, along with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker has long been mentioned as a front-runner for the job.

Also still in the mix is Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Treasury secretary

Steven Mnuchin, a 17-year-veteran of Goldman Sachs who now works as the chairman and chief executive of the private investment firm, Dune Capital Management, is a leading contender for the job.

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, who is set to meet with Trump on Thursday, is another possibility for Treasury Secretary, as is JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.

Secretary of Defense

Former George W. Bush National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) are in the mix.

Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) Clinton CIA director Jim Woolsey and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) have also been mentioned as possible candidates.

Ambassador to the United Nations

Donald trump has chosen Governor Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina as ambassador to the United Nations.

Interior secretary

Trump’s presidential transition team is eyeing venture capitalist Robert Grady, a George H. W. Bush White House official with ties to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Forrest Lucas, the 74-year-old co-founder of oil products company Lucas Oil, is also seen as a contender for Interior Secretary.

Meanwhile, a person who spoke to the Trump campaign told POLITICO that aides have also discussed tapping Sarah Palin for Interior Secretary, though she is increasingly seen as a long-shot pick. Trump has said he’d like to put Palin in his Cabinet, and Palin has made no secret of her interest.

Trump aides are also eyeing Mead Treadwell, the former lieutenant governor of Alaska, for the job, a source told POLITICO.

Other possible candidates include: former Republican Rep. Richard Pombo, who chaired the House Natural Resources Committee from 2003 to 2007; former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin; Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis; and Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm.

Agriculture secretary

There are several names being considered by Trump aides for Agriculture secretary, according to multiple sources familiar with the transition. The president elect has a deep bench to pull from with nearly 70 leaders on agricultural advisory committee.

The most controversial name on the transition’s current short list is Sid Miller, the current secretary of agriculture in Texas, who caused a firestorm just days ago after his campaign’s Twitter account referred to Clinton as a ‘c—.‘ Miller said it was a staffer mistake and apologized.

Other names include a sitting governor, Sam Brownback of Kansas, and three former governors: Dave Heineman (Nebraska), Sonny Perdue (Georgia) and Rick Perry (Texas). Also in the conversation are Charles Herbster, a Republican donor and agribusiness leader who chairs Trump’s agricultural advisory committee, and Mike McCloskey, a dairy executive in Indiana.

Bruce Rastetter, a major Republican donor in Iowa, and Kip Tom, a farmer who ran for Congress in Indiana this year but was defeated in the primary, are also among those being considered.

Other top Republican insiders expect that Chuck Connor, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Don Villwock, president of the Indiana Farm Bureau and Ted McKinney, the current director of the Indiana Department of Agriculture in the Pence Administration, are also likely to be in the running for the post.

Commerce secretary

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, a Trump economic adviser, is seen as Trump’s leading contender for the job.

Investor Lew Eisenberg, who co-founded the private equity firm Granite Capital International Group, is another top candidate.

Dan DiMicco, the former CEO of steelmaker Nucor Corp and a Trump trade adviser, is another possibility, though he could also be tapped as U.S. Trade Representative.

Labor secretary

People tracking the transition say Victoria Lipnic — the Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since 2010 who also served as an an assistant secretary of Labor for employment standards from 2002 until 2009 — is the most likely candidate for Labor Secretary. The Romney transition team reportedly also considered her for a top Labor post back in 2012.

A possible private sector pick is Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito and Red Burrito.

Health and Human Services secretary

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee and an early Trump backer, is being considered for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is another possible candidate for the job.

Ben Carson, who had been mentioned as a possible HHS Secretary, has said he will not serve in the Trump administration.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary

Trump has his leading pic for HUD Secretary in his primary election rival named Ben Carson who is a retired neurosurgeon. At this point, it is uncertain that he will accept the position, as he has previously stated that he may not be qualified for any cabinet positions.

Trump supporters Bud Albright and Scott Keller have been reaching out to housing advocates to take their temperature on a HUD nominee.

Names being circulated include Pam Patenaude, the president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and former New York Rep. Rick Lazio (R).

Transportation secretary

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), who just lost reelection bid, is interested in becoming Transportation Secretary. He told POLITICO recently that he’s talked to top Trump aides about the job, adding he’s received “encouraging” signs about his candidacy.”

Other possible candidate: James Simpson, the former commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Transportation and the former head of the Federal Transit Administration during the George W. Bush administration; and Mark Rosenker, the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster told POLITICO recently he’s not interested in the job.

Energy secretary

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm has long been seen as a leading candidate for Energy Secretary. Hamm, an Oklahoma billionaire who has been a friend of Trump’s for years, has been the leading influence on Trump’s energy policy during the campaign. But Hamm has said he plans to stay at Continental.

If Hamm passes, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), a Trump energy adviser, could be offered the job though he’s begun to douse cold water on that idea recently. Other names floating near the top of the mill include venture capitalist Robert Grady, who is also thought to be in line for Interior; James Connaughton, a former utility executive who was President George W. Bush’s head of White House Council on Environmental Quality; and Kristine Svinicki, the sole Republican on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is in the running for a high-level post at the Energy Department like undersecretary — a No. 3 job — but a source close to the Trump transition said she’d be considered for secretary as well.

Education Secretary

Donald Trump has picked Betsy DeVos for Education. She is not getting a very warm reception.

Others that interviewed for the job but unsuccessful are the following:

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer, a longtime school choice proponent, is a top candidate for Education Secretary. Messer told POLITICO in a recent interview that he’s open to serving in the position.

Another possibility is William Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution who has worked on education matters for the Trump transition team. Evers worked at the Education Department during the Bush administration and served as a senior adviser to then-Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.

Also in the mix: Tony Zeiss, a former president of Central Piedmont Community College, one of the largest community colleges in North Carolina. He was president for more than 20 years before retiring in July.

Sources close to Trump’s transition also pointed to a long-shot candidate: Michelle Rhee, an education reform activist who formerly served as the chancellor of Washington D.C.’s public schools.

Other potential candidates include: Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, now the president of the Purdue University System; Gerard Robinson a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute focused on education policy; Tony Bennett, the former Florida Commissioner of Education and the former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Hanna Skandera, the New Mexico Secretary of Education; and education activists Betsy DeVos; and Kevin Chavous.

Veterans Affairs secretary

The name most commonly mentioned for Veterans Affairs Secretary is House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, who’s retiring from the House and was an early Trump backer.

Homeland Security secretary

House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul has said he’s interested in becoming Homeland Security Secretary. “I’ve expressed my interest, and I think the process is taking place,” McCaul told POLITICO recently.

Another potential pick: Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s transportation security panel.

A long-shot candidate: David Clarke, the conservative Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis. Clarke has cultivated a devoted following on the right, and he spoke at the Republican National Convention in Ohio, declaring, “Blue lives matter.” Christie is also seen as a possible DHS secretary.

Environmental Protection Agency administrator

Leslie Rutledge, the attorney general of Arkansas and a lead challenger of EPA regulations in the state, is emerging as a leading contender for the job. Rutledge recently met with members of Trump’s team at Trump Tower.

Other potential candidates: Joe Aiello is the director of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Environmental Safety and Quality Assurance; and Carol Comer, the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, who was appointed by Mike Pence.

Other possibilities: Mike Catanzaro, a George W. Bush-era EPA official and energy adviser to former-House Speaker John Boehner who is a top official on Trump’s transition team; Jeff Holmstead, another former Bush EPA official; and Venture capitalist Robert Grady, who was an environmental adviser for George H.W. Bush.

Myron Ebell, a climate skeptic who is running the EPA working group on Trump’s transition team, is also seen as a possibility to lead the agency. Ebell, an official at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has come under fire from environmental groups for his stances on global warming.

Director of the Office of Management and Budget

Eric Ueland, a veteran Republican Capitol Hill aide and top staffer on the Senate Budget Committee who is working on Trump’s transition team, is seen as a possible candidate to lead the OMB. Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is also seen as a potential OMB chief.


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