Donald Trump has won the presidency, and now he has to cobble together a Cabinet. His transition team has been working behind the scenes for months to fill out a short list of options, from top conservative politicos to business outsiders much like the man who will take the oath of office on Inauguration Day.
Comprised within that list, according to Politico, are several of Trump’s leading surrogates who defended him ad nauseam over the course of the presidential election cycle. That list includes Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliania, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, among others.
So where might everyone land? Here are a few possibilities:
Chief of staff
According to CBS News, that spot could go to Priebus. The RNC chairman is responsible for running the get-out-the-vote operation that aided the Trump campaign in securing the White House. Asked about the possibility by NBC, Priebus said, “I hadn’t thought about it.”
Secretary of state
This spot, once held by Trump’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, may go to Gingrich or Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who is currently the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Secretary of defense
Sessions, a close advisor to Trump, is a front-runner for this slot. The Alabama senator was one of the billionaire businessman’s earliest congressional supporters and helped lead the charge for his controversial immigration proposals.
Other considerations, according to Politico, include former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent and retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, though he would need a waiver from Congress to assume the role of secretary of defense, given current law mandates retired military officers take a seven-year hiatus before assuming control of the Pentagon as a civilian.
As previously indicated by Trump himself, he would like to put his finance chairman Steven Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs veteran and “Suicide Squad” executive producer, in that spot.
Trump is also reportedly considering ex-Bear Stearns economist David Malpass, CNBC finance contributor Larry Kudlow and Steve Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
Giuliani, one of Trump’s staunchest defenders, is the front-runner for this position, according to Politico. However, Christie, another one of the president-elect’s top cheerleaders, is on the list for the job, despite the controversy surrounding the “Bridgegate” scandal.
The Trump campaign is seriously considering 74-year-old Forrest Lucas, co-founder of the oil products company Lucas Oil, sources told Politico in September.
Interestingly, the president-elect’s son, Donald Trump Jr., is also said to be interested in the interior secretary position. Others on the list include former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and oilman Harold Hamm and Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis.
Oklahoma billionare Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, is a consideration for this top spot, too. He and Trump have been friends for years and he has been the leading influence on the GOP standard-bearer’s energy policy.
Though a longshot, Trump said during a phone interview in January that 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin “could play a position if she wanted to” in his White House. She later said she would want to lead the Department of Energy but indicated, “If I were head of that, I’d get rid of it.”
Veterans affairs secretary
Florida Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, is often mentioned in Trump circles. Miller, who is retiring from Congress, was an early Trump supporter.
Health and Human Services secretary
Several names have received attention for this position. The short list includes Florida Gov. Rick Scott, an early Trump supporter, Gingrich and one-time presidential contender Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon. Carson, according to several reports, has garnered a lot of attention regarding this job.
Trump recently praised the doctor as “brilliant,” adding, “I hope that he will be very much involved in my administration in the coming years.”
The president-elect has promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.