Monday 23 November 2020
Notwithstanding the interference from the Trump camp, US President-elect Biden is putting his administration together. He wants to introduce the first cabinet members on Tuesday. For the post of foreign minister, he is apparently planning an experienced diplomat.
According to media reports, the elected US President Joe Biden wants to nominate his advisor Antony Blinken as Secretary of State. The New York Times and Bloomberg news agency, citing insiders, report that Biden will probably introduce the long-time confidante on Tuesday as the future chief diplomat. Blinken is therefore Biden’s “most likely choice” for the office.
Blinken was Deputy Secretary of State from 2009 to 2016 under President Barack Obama. He was also Biden’s National Security Advisor from 2009 to 2013 when he was Obama’s Vice President. Blinken began his career in the State Department during the Bill Clinton administration. The 58-year-old is an advocate of multilateralism. His nomination as Mike Pompeo’s successor would signal a U-turn in US foreign policy. In any case, Biden had promised to realign his country’s foreign policy: He promised to cement relations with allies around the world and to lead the USA back into international agreements. The elected President Donald Trump, whose motto is “America first”, is extremely critical of multilateralism.
Biden’s designated chief of staff Ron Klain announced on Sunday that Biden would introduce his first cabinet members on Tuesday. He did not say which ministerial posts will be announced and who should take over the departments. It can be assumed that he will first announce the appointment of one or more of the more important departments. These include the finance, foreign, defense, justice and homeland security departments. Biden’s first decision on the composition of his government team was the appointment of Klain as chief of staff in the White House, who had already served as chief of staff during his time as vice president.
Diversity as a credo when building a cabinet
During the election campaign, Biden had promised: “My government will look like America.” So diversity should be the motto. Observers believe that Biden knows many potential candidates from his time as deputy to former President Obama and that many women will get a chance.
Biden’s candidates for the ministerial posts all have yet to be approved by the Senate. The Republicans currently have a slim majority there. Majority ratios could change due to two runoff elections in the state of Georgia in early January.
According to the official timetable, Biden will take office on January 20th. Incumbent Trump continues to refuse to admit his electoral defeat nearly three weeks after the November 3 election. He has so far boycotted the transfer of official business.