All of Biden’s veterans in Washington have ties to the administration of former President Barack Obama, as the president-elect has tried to convey a clear message about his desire to restore a more predictable engagement of the United States on the world stage.
“It is a team that reflects the fact that the United States is back, ready to lead the world, not to retreat,” Biden said, at an introductory event in which his teams were on stage, at least six feet away. distance and masked.
The president-elect’s team includes Antony Blinken, a well-regarded veteran foreign policy expert on Capitol Hill whose ties to Biden go back some 20 years, for secretary of state; the lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas will be Secretary of National Security; the veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the United States ambassador to the United Nations; and former Obama White House alumnus Jake Sullivan as national security adviser.
Avril Haines, a former CIA deputy director, was selected to serve as director of national intelligence, the first woman to hold that position, and former Secretary of State John Kerry will make a curtain call as a special envoy on climate change. Kerry and Sullivan’s position will not require Senate confirmation.
With the Senate’s balance of power hinged on two Georgia runoff elections to be decided in January, some Senate Republicans have already voiced their antipathy toward the Biden election, as they are little more than Obama’s global retread.
Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas and a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024, mockingly accused Biden of surrounding himself with “panda huggers” who will be soft on China. Senator Marco Rubio, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that will consider Blinken’s nomination, dismissed the first picks as uninspiring.
“Biden’s cabinet picks went to Ivy League schools, they have strong resumes, attend all the right conferences, and will be educated and orderly caretakers of America’s decline,” Rubio tweeted.
But Biden’s transition team hailed the selection of the president-elect as a group of “crisis-tested leaders” who will be ready to go to work in the new administration.
Meanwhile, there were signs on Tuesday that the stalled formal transition of power is already underway.
The Pentagon said Tuesday that Kash Patel, the acting defense secretary’s chief of staff, is leading the department’s transition work. A transition task force has convened, led by Tom Muir, the head of the Pentagon bureau that provides administrative and managerial services to all Defense Department facilities in the Washington area.
The move came a day after the head of the General Services Administration wrote the necessary “verification” letter recognizing Biden as the apparent winner of the election, triggering the transition process.
Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, abruptly entered the White House meeting room Tuesday for comments scheduled minutes earlier on the stock market that took just over a minute.
The Dow hit 30,000 for the first time early Tuesday as uncertainty over the outcome of the presidential election and new hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine could soon be available.
Trump made brief comments and did not answer questions.
“I just want to congratulate everyone. The stock market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, just hit 30,000, which is the highest in history. We never went above 30,000, and that’s fair, despite all that it has. happened with the pandemic.
“I’m very excited about what happened on the vaccine front, it has been absolutely incredible. None of that has ever happened, medically, and I think people are recognizing it, and it is having a great effect.”