Potential Secretary of State
Joseph I. Lieberman
Senator from Connecticut
Taking the most prestigious post in a Republican Cabinet would complete his tortured political journey. In 2000, he was the Democratic vice presidential nominee, but soon thereafter he broke with the party over the central foreign policy issue of the day, the war in Iraq, and won his fourth term as an independent in 2006 despite losing the Democratic primary. But through all this his bond with McCain has strengthened, and they share a similar view of the world and the United States’ proper role in it. They want to toughen sanctions against Iran to stop its suspected nuclear weapons program, minimize Hamas in renewed efforts at Israeli-Palestinian peace and push more robust peacekeeping in Sudan’s Darfur region. Lieberman would likely win confirmation from Senate Democrats eager to be rid of him, though his seat would be filled by a Republican governor until 2010.
R. James Woolsey Former
He is closely identified with neoconservative leaders who pushed for war with Iraq and broader use of U.S. military power. Unlike many of them, he has not been tarnished by service in the Bush administration. He called for Saddam Hussein’s removal as early as 1998 and shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks suggested Iraqi complicity. Like McCain, he is eager to reduce U.S. dependence on oil, casting energy as a security issue more than an environmental one. In almost 40 years in Washington, he has served as U.S. arms control negotiator, undersecretary of the Navy for Jimmy Carter and CIA director under Bill Clinton, with whom he had a distant relationship. He endorsed McCain in April 2007 and has been advising him on security and energy since. John D. Negroponte Deputy Secretary of State Although he’s a Bush loyalist, he would represent a steady, conservative hand with a long history of experience across diplomatic and intelligence issues. Before taking the No. 2 slot at State last year, he was the first director of National Intelligence under a reorganized intelligence bureaucracy, and before that the first ambassador to Iraq after the country regained its sovereignty in 2004. He spent Bush’s first term as ambassador to the United Nations. He was confirmed overwhelmingly to these posts despite allegations he deliberately overlooked death squads run by the Honduran government against leftist groups while he was ambassador there in the 1980s.
Susan E. Rice
The campaign’s senior foreign policy adviser
She was on the National Security Council from 1993 to 1997 and was the assistant secretary of State for African Affairs during Bill Clinton’s second term. On leave from her current job as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution — where she focused on global poverty, failing states, and international peacekeeping and conflict resolution — she has been Obama’s chief public surrogate on foreign policy issues and has at times been a publicly harsh McCain critic. She also has led Obama’s charge for a renewed focus on Afghanistan as the heart of the war on terrorism. Ricea??s first political foreign policy job was on the 1988 Michael Dukakis presidential campaign, when she was 24.
Richard C. Holbrooke
Vice Chairman of Perseus
His career has been a robust mix of foreign service and investment banking. He has been at the Washington private equity fund management company since his two-year tour as U.N. ambassador ended with the Clinton administration. In that job, he shone new light on the security implications of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. As an assistant secretary of State, he was the architect of the 1995 Dayton peace accords that ended the war in Bosnia. Clinton then nearly picked him to his second-term secretary of State, going with Madeleine K. Albright instead. Once a top adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential bid, he now strongly supports Obama and his approach to foreign policy. Still, his personal conflicts with some Obama advisers are well known, and he received questionable home loans through disgraced lender Countrywide.
Governor of New Mexico
He was the U.N. envoy for two years before Holbrooke, then spent the rest of the Clinton administration as Energy secretary. Despite those ties, after his own bid for the Democratic nomination came to a quick end last winter, he endorsed Obama, hailing him as “a once-in-a-lifetime leader,” over Hillary Rodham Clinton. Since his election as governor in 2002, he has cast himself as an international mediator, traveling to Sudan to negotiate a cease-fire in its Darfur region and broker the release of a Western journalist accused of spying and to North Korea to recover the remains of U.S. soldiers. Richardson also spent seven terms in the House, where he sat on the Intelligence Committee.