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Planning For A Win: Presidential Cabinet Picks

Jacob Lew, 57, is Obama's current chief of staff and his former budget director. He's a potential pick for Treasury secretary. i i

Jacob Lew, 57, is Obama's current chief of staff and his former budget director. He's a potential pick for Treasury secretary. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP
Jacob Lew, 57, is Obama's current chief of staff and his former budget director. He's a potential pick for Treasury secretary.

Jacob Lew, 57, is Obama's current chief of staff and his former budget director. He's a potential pick for Treasury secretary.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

The election of a president brings high hopes for political supporters who could be appointed as potential Cabinet members. Already, there are a number of possibilities floating as picks of either President Obama or his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

The search to fill these high-profile Cabinet positions has already begun. As NPR's Robert Siegel and Melissa Block explained Monday, while it may seem presumptuous, federal law requires the major-party nominees to begin planning before Election Day. Romney already has a transition team in place. President Obama also faces a number of expected Cabinet openings if he's re-elected.

So, who are the people who might face confirmation hearings and a lengthy vetting process?

On Tuesday's All Things Considered, NPR correspondents discuss who might fill these positions. Michele Kelemen looks at the dynamics of who is at the top of both candidates' choices for secretary of state. Tom Bowman discusses who might succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Carrie Johnson offers her insight on some potential replacements for Attorney General Eric Holder. And John Ydstie provides a few possibilities for Treasury secretary.

Potential Obama Cabinet:

  • Jacob Lew, 57, is Obama's current chief of staff and his former budget director. He's a potential pick for Treasury secretary.
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    Jacob Lew, 57, is Obama's current chief of staff and his former budget director. He's a potential pick for Treasury secretary.
    Carolyn Kaster/AP
  • Erskine Bowles, Bill Clinton's former chief of staff and co-chair of Obama's Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission, could be the next Treasury secretary. Bowles (right) is 67.
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    Erskine Bowles, Bill Clinton's former chief of staff and co-chair of Obama's Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission, could be the next Treasury secretary. Bowles (right) is 67.
    Alex Brandon/AP
  • Michele Flournoy, 51, former U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, could be Obama's next defense secretary. She would be the first woman to serve in that post.
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    Michele Flournoy, 51, former U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, could be Obama's next defense secretary. She would be the first woman to serve in that post.
    Andy Wong/Getty Images
  • Sen. John Kerry, 68, is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He could be Obama's choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has signaled her interest in leaving the post at the end of Obama's first term.
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    Sen. John Kerry, 68, is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He could be Obama's choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has signaled her interest in leaving the post at the end of Obama's first term.
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, 62, is thought to be a possibility for defense secretary.
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    Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, 62, is thought to be a possibility for defense secretary.
    Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Susan Rice's position as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations could make her an appealing choice for secretary of state for Obama. But Rice, 47, has become a focus of Republican criticism since the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
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    Susan Rice's position as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations could make her an appealing choice for secretary of state for Obama. But Rice, 47, has become a focus of Republican criticism since the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
    Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • William Burns, 56 (left), the deputy secretary of state, could get a promotion if Obama wins re-election.
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    William Burns, 56 (left), the deputy secretary of state, could get a promotion if Obama wins re-election.
    Armend Nimani/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
  • Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, 54, could become attorney general if Obama wins a second term and the current head of the Justice Department, Eric Holder, decides to step down.
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    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, 54, could become attorney general if Obama wins a second term and the current head of the Justice Department, Eric Holder, decides to step down.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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Potential Romney Cabinet:

  • Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, 56, was considered a contender for the vice presidential slot. Now, his name is coming up as a potential Treasury secretary or secretary of state.
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    Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, 56, was considered a contender for the vice presidential slot. Now, his name is coming up as a potential Treasury secretary or secretary of state.
    Mark Duncan/AP
  • John F. Lehman, 70, served as secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration. Romney may pick him to be the next defense secretary.
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    John F. Lehman, 70, served as secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration. Romney may pick him to be the next defense secretary.
    Lawrence Jackson/AP
  • Dan Senor is Romney's senior foreign policy adviser, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him stay on as a Cabinet member. He turned 41 on Election Day.
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    Dan Senor is Romney's senior foreign policy adviser, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him stay on as a Cabinet member. He turned 41 on Election Day.
    Evan Vucci/AP
  • As the former deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush and a former World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, 59, could be nominated as either Treasury secretary or secretary of state.
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    As the former deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush and a former World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, 59, could be nominated as either Treasury secretary or secretary of state.
    Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • Stanford economics professor John Taylor (right) could be Romney's pick to replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Here, he speaks with former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
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    Stanford economics professor John Taylor (right) could be Romney's pick to replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Here, he speaks with former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
    Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent, 56, who served on the Armed Forces Committee, is a potential Romney pick for defense secretary.
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    Former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent, 56, who served on the Armed Forces Committee, is a potential Romney pick for defense secretary.
    Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • Glenn Hubbard, one of Romney's economic advisers, is thought to be a potential candidate for Treasury secretary or Federal Reserve chairman.
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    Glenn Hubbard, one of Romney's economic advisers, is thought to be a potential candidate for Treasury secretary or Federal Reserve chairman.
    Mike Theiler/Getty Images
  • Richard Williamson served as the special envoy to Sudan under George W. Bush. He is a possible pick for national security adviser in a Romney administration.
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    Richard Williamson served as the special envoy to Sudan under George W. Bush. He is a possible pick for national security adviser in a Romney administration.
    Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images

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