We seem to have a better understanding of the two remaining unfilled Cabinet posts. Tomorrow, President-elect Barack Obama is expected to nominate:
Rep. Ray LaHood for secretary of transportation. The retiring Illinois lawmaker, the only Republican of the group (unless you count carryover Robert Gates at Defense), LaHood is widely liked on both sides of the aisle. A longtime fixture on Capitol Hill -- he was chief of staff to House Minority Leader Bob Michel for a decade before succeeding him in the House 14 years ago -- LaHood is one of just three Republicans of the Class of 1994 who refused to sign onto the Contract With America.
LaHood had made it clear that he was not happy with the rightward trend in his party, and was never a fan of Tom DeLay, the GOP power house from Texas who resigned in 2006 under an ethics cloud. He was close with then-Speaker Dennis Hastert, a fellow Illinoisian, but that never translated into his wielding much power in the party. He considered, but opted out of, challenging Gov. Rod Blagojevich two years ago in order to stay in the House. But he decided this year that he had had enough.
Transportation, though, is an interesting choice. LaHood was not a member of any transportation-related committees in Congress. HIs Peoria-based district is best known for grain, agriculture and ethanol interests.
Rep. Hilda Solis for secretary of labor. Solis was first elected to the House from east Los Angeles in 2000, unseating her fellow Democrat, Matthew Martinez, in the primary. A favorite of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, she has been a tireless advocate for environmental, women's and workers' rights.
In addition, Ron Kirk, the former mayor of Dallas who was the unsuccessful Democratic Senate nominee in 2002 against John Cornyn (R), will be the next U.S. trade representative.
And, in response to an e-mail request from Johnette Barham of Detroit, here are the rest of Obama's Cabinet picks:
Treasury -- Timothy Geithner, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York
State -- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Attorney General -- Eric Holder, deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration
Defense -- Robert Gates (holdover)
Homeland Security -- Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D)
Commerce -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D)
Health and Human Services -- Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD)
Veterans Affairs -- Retired Gen. Eric Shinseki
Housing and Urban Development -- Shaun Donovan, NYC housing commissioner
Energy -- Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics
Education -- Arne Duncan, Chicago superintendent of schools
Interior -- Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO)
Agriculture -- Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D)
Other posts filled:
National Security Adviser -- Retired Marine Gen. James Jones
National Economic Council Director -- Larry Summers, Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration
OMB Director -- Peter Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office
EPA Administrator -- Lisa Jackson, former NJ environment commissioner