Guesses galore about Donald Trump’s Cabinet-in-waiting

Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn are favorites; Gingrich, Ben Carson not inclined


NEW YORK (TIP): As President-Elect Donald Trump vets his prospects, a mix of loyalists and others has emerged.

Names being floated for top Cabinet positions include: Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton for Defense secretary; Texas Rep. Mike McCaul for Homeland Security secretary; and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, and Governor Nikki Haley for secretary of state. Here is a list of likely contenders, as on November 17. The list has been prepared on the basis of information gathered from various sources in media and the Trump transition team. The Indian Panorama does not lay claim to the list being exhaustive or perfect.

Secretary of State: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton; Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker; Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is also being considered for the post.

Treasury secretary: Steven Mnuchin, a 17-year-veteran of Goldman Sachs; House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling; JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.

Secretary of Defense: Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions; Former George W. Bush National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley; Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.);Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.); Clinton CIA director Jim Woolsey and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)

Attorney general: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach; Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.); Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

Interior secretary: Robert Grady, a George H. W. Bush White House official with ties to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Forrest Lucas; Sarah Palin; Mead Treadwell, the former lieutenant governor of Alaska; Former Republican Rep. Richard Pombo; Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin; Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis; and Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm.

Agriculture secretary: Sid Miller, the current secretary of agriculture in Texas; Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas; former governors: Dave Heineman (Nebraska), Sonny Perdue (Georgia) and Rick Perry (Texas); Charles Herbster, a Republican donor; Mike McCloskey, a dairy executive in Indiana; Bruce Rastetter, a major Republican donor in Iowa, and Kip Tom, a farmer.

Commerce secretary: Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, a Trump economic adviser is Trump’s leading contender for the job.Dan DiMicco, the former CEO of steelmaker Nucor Corp and a Trump trade adviser, is another possibility, though he is expected to be tapped as U.S. Trade Representative.

Labor secretary: Victoria Lipnic — the Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since 2010 who also served as an assistant secretary of Labor for employment standards from 2002 until 2009 — is the most likely candidate for Labor Secretary. A possible private sector pick is Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito and Red Burrito.

Health and Human Services secretary: Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee and an early Trump backer, is being considered for Secretary of Health and Human Services.Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is another possible candidate for the job.

Housing and Urban Development secretary: Names being circulated include Pam Patenaude, the president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and former New York Rep. Rick Lazio (R).

Transportation secretary: Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.); James Simpson, the former commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Transportation and the former head of the Federal Transit Administration during the George W. Bush administration; and Mark Rosenker, the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Energy secretary: Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, an Oklahoma billionaire who has been a friend of Trump’s for years; Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), a Trump energy adviser; venture capitalist Robert Grady; James Connaughton, a former utility executive; and Kristine Svinicki, the sole Republican on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Education Secretary: Indiana Rep. Luke Messer; William Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution; Tony Zeiss, a former president of Central Piedmont Community College; Michelle Rhee, an education reform activist who formerly served as the chancellor of Washington D.C.’s public schools; Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, now the president of the Purdue University System; Gerard Robinson a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute focused on education policy; Tony Bennett, the former Florida Commissioner of Education and the former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Hanna Skandera, the New Mexico Secretary of Education; and  education activists Betsy DeVos and  Kevin Chavous.

Veterans Affairs secretary: House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller

Homeland Security secretary: House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul; Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s transportation security panel; David Clarke, the conservative Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis.

Environmental Protection Agency administrator: Mike Catanzaro, a George W. Bush-era EPA official; Jeff Holmstead, another former Bush EPA official; Venture capitalist Robert Grady, who was an environmental adviser for George H.W. Bush; Myron Ebell, a climate skeptic who is running the EPA working group on Trump’s transition team; Joe Aiello, director of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Environmental Safety and Quality Assurance; Carol Comer, the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, who was appointed by Mike Pence; and Leslie Rutledge, the attorney general of Arkansas and a lead challenger of EPA regulations in the state.

Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Eric Ueland, a veteran Republican Capitol Hill aide and top staffer on the Senate Budget Committee who is working on Trump’s transition team, is a possible candidate to lead the OMB. Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is also seen as a potential OMB chief.