New US President: What Biden’s Cabinet Could Look Like – And What That Means for Germany – Politics

Donald Trump continues to refuse to acknowledge his defeat. Despite this, there is fierce speculation in the US as to who might belong to the cabinet of future US President Joe Biden. Biden promises “the most diverse cabinet” in US history, so many women and people of color are to be expected – after Trump’s “whitest” and masculine administration in decades. The Democrat has already announced one of the most important decisions: his White House Chief of Staff. Known for pleasing everyone, Biden will also have to disappoint many with high expectations. Especially with the left wing of his party. An overview of the most important personal data.

Ron Klain in 2014 – then head of the Obama administration’s Ebola task force. Photo: Kevin Lamarque / REUTERS

Chief of Staff – Biden appoints Chief of Staff

It was the first person to announce the president-elect that the job of coordinating government affairs as Chief of Staff in the White House should be taken over by Ron Klain. The 59-year-old is considered a close confidant of Biden. The veteran party strategist has been working for Biden when he headed the Judicial Committee in the United States Senate and wanted to become a Democratic presidential candidate in 1988 and 200.

During his time as Vice President, Klain was by his side as Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2011. The most acutely significant experience of the political professional: six years ago Barack Obama appointed him coordinator of action against the Ebola epidemic. The lawyer trained at the elite University of Harvard must now ensure that the Biden government gets the corona crisis under control.

Michele Flournoy in 2017. Photo: Chris Klepons / AFP


Senator Tammy Duckworth is exchanged for the post of Secretary of Defense (no woman has ever headed the Pentagon). The Thai-born American is a veteran who lost both legs in a helicopter fire in Iraq in 2004. Duckworth could also become an experienced commissioner to Biden’s government.

Michèle Flournoy is the favorite for the mail. She already knows the agency and many senior staff very well – she headed the political department herself under Barack Obama.
Flournoy’s plans, which she has formulated in interviews and articles in recent months, are ambitious and have great relevance for Europe.

She has warned several times that the US is ill-equipped to deal politically and technically with the challenges of the “great power conflict” with China. Flournoy envisions a multi-billion dollar modernization of the US military, especially with regard to cyber defense capabilities and the use of artificial intelligence. The “Pivot to Asia”, Obama’s announced prioritization of Asia’s foreign and security policy, is not yet complete, Flournoy recently wrote in Foreign Affairs that it was a mistake. The US should immediately adapt to Asian partners at all levels – politically, on trade issues, but also militarily. This makes Flournoy all the more demanding that Europe, and especially Germany, act independently and take on the task of controlling Russia.

Longtime companion: Anthony Blinken and Joe Biden at the White House in 2013. In the background Susan Rice and John Kerry Photo: Jonathan Ernst / REUTERS

National Security Advisor

Anthony Blinken, who advised campaigner Biden on foreign affairs, is now the most frequently cited name for the position of the president’s national security adviser. In Washington, it is said that Blinken would rather be Secretary of State, but should take over the Security Council. Blinken was Obama’s deputy national security adviser from 2013 to 2015 and deputy secretary of state John Kerry from 2015 to 2017. Blinken represents the opposite of Trump’s foreign policy, which was guided by the “America First” idea. He sees an active role for the US in the world. Unsurprisingly, in Chinese politics, he shares Flournoy’s position: cooperation with China is possible – but from a strong position, and that ultimately means technological and military superiority.

Former Barack Obama security adviser Susan Rice speaks at the regular press conference Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo / dpa


Susan Rice is the favorite for this position. In the first Obama administration, she was ambassador to the United Nations, in the second National Security Advisor. Rice is considered chewy and direct. She was also traded as a vice presidential candidate. At the United Nations she campaigned for climate protection, women’s rights, the fight against poverty and the rights of queer and transgender people. Rice is convinced that the US should use its ‘soft power’ again, that it has a role model function in the world.

Julianne Smith could be the head of the European section at the Foreign Office. She has very close contacts with Germany and recently lived in Berlin as a fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy during Trump’s presidency. During this time she made the much-discussed suggestion that Germany needs a National Security Council, a proposal adopted by Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.


There is a lot of work to be done in terms of trade. The disputes filed by Trump have caused a lot of damage. One of the talks is California MP Jimmy Gomez as a sales representative.

Gomez was born in 1974 of Mexican immigrants. After calling into question the US-Canadian-Mexican Nafta free trade agreement, Trump negotiated the impartial successor USMCA on behalf of the Democratic side in Congress. He has always been harshly critical of Trump’s customs policy toward close partners like Canada. Trade agreements are important and an opportunity for environmental standards, climate protection and occupational safety.


Two well-known rural American Democrats are in talks for this ministry: Heidi Heitkamp, ​​the former North Dakota senator, and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, who also ran for the Democratic presidential candidacy. The post is important in an effort to address the urban-rural polarization that Trump took advantage of.

Left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders wants to become Labor Minister Photo: Matt Rourke / dpa


Losing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has just made his ambitions for this ministry clear in an interview. But the politically left Vermont senator might be disappointed. If Republicans defend their majority in the Senate in Georgia ‘s two midterm elections on January 5, they will have a say on important personnel issues. Sanders is unlikely to get their approval. Former unionists and Congressman Andy Levin and California Secretary of Labor Julie Su are favorites.


Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and former presidential candidate, will likely feel the same way. She would love to become Secretary of the Treasury to help regulate the industry and strengthen consumer rights – but that’s exactly what Republicans and many on Wall Street fear. Instead, three other women are traded:

There is former Fed chief Janet Yellen, former Fed director Sarah Bloom Raskin and current Fed director Lael Brainard, who worked in the Obama and Bill Clinton administrations. Brainard is well connected internationally, which is important to combat the effects of the pandemic. Like Warren, it is interested in more regulation, but it is much less polarizing.

Job searched

One of the most popular questions in the media is what role the former South Bend mayor and ex-presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg could play. The 38-year-old is considered a tremendous talent and has collected many large donations. He himself would play with the position of ambassador to the United Nations. He’s also traded as a veterans minister, serving in Afghanistan himself. The Minister of Housing and Urban Development can also be considered.

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