Previous reports have indicated that McCain’s transition team, headed by former Navy Secretary John Lehman, has given particular attention to the area of national security, but may not be as far advanced as Barack Obama’s team in actually slating names for specific administration positions.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that “domestic agencies aren’t the top priority and the team is staying away from compiling formal lists of candidates for choice jobs. ... Mr. Lehman’s plan focuses on the mechanics of bringing a new administration up to speed on the most pressing intelligence questions, terrorism-related developments and broad national security issues.”
Still, it is possible to make a few educated guesses about what a McCain administration might look like, based on existing knowledge of the candidate’s political alliances, personal friendships and policy priorities.
McCain also has repeatedly expressed interest in building a bipartisan administration, and pledged in his convention speech pledge that “I will ask Democrats and independents to serve with me.”
So even if McCain hasn’t officially started filling staff posts and vetting possible Cabinet appointees, it is likely that his team has at least brainstormed possible appointments to the very highest executive offices, and there are a few names that seem virtually certain to pop up in any McCain administration.
Some of those appointments could include:
White House chief of staff: Lehman or longtime McCain aide and speechwriter Mark Salter
Senior counselor to the president: Top campaign official and personal friend Rick Davis
Secretary of state: World Bank President and former deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick; Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.); former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage
Treasury secretary: FedEx founder Fred Smith; former eBay CEO Meg Whitman; Bain Capital co-founder and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; John Thain, former Merrill Lynch CEO and now president of Global Banking, Securities and Wealth Management at Bank of America
Secretary of defense: Lehman; Lieberman; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); current Defense Secretary Robert Gates
Attorney general: Graham; former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.); former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Secretary of education: Former Arizona superintendent of education Lisa Graham Keegan
National security adviser: Policy adviser Randy Scheunemann
Office of Management and Budget: Former Congressional Budget Office director and campaign adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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