Barack Obama’s picks for cabinet and other senior posts are many things: centrists, veterans, rivals. Most of all, though, they’re big: Big names, big intellects, and big egos.
The president-elect’s national security and economic policy teams, inside the White House and out, will be led by power politics veterans, all but one of them older than the president-elect, and all accustomed to being the most important voice in the room.
While official announcements and Senate confirmations await, it appears that on national security decisions, Obama will have a team of heavyweights: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice President Joe Biden, retired four-star Marine general Jim Jones as his National Security Adviser, and four-star General David Petraeus as chief of U.S. Central Command.
His economic team is of similar stature: new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will find his rival for the job, Larry Summers, in the White House, while former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker will also be in the mix as head of a new economic recovery advisory board.
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel seems unlikely to be shy about his views in either arena.