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When Previous US Presidents Announced Their Top Cabinet Picks

  • VOA News

President George W. Bush (center) poses with President-elect Barack Obama, and former presidents, from left, George H.W. Bush, left, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Jan. 7, 2009, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

President George W. Bush (center) poses with President-elect Barack Obama, and former presidents, from left, George H.W. Bush, left, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Jan. 7, 2009, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

A major decision for a newly elected president is who will fill key Cabinet positions. With Donald Trump a week into his planning for taking over the White House January 20, here is a look at when his predecessors announced their picks for the most high profile posts.

Barack Obama
Election held November 4, 2008

  • Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton, December 1
  • Treasury Secretary: Timothy Geithner, November 24
  • Defense Secretary: Robert Gates, December 1
  • Attorney General: Eric Holder, December 1

George W. Bush
Election held November 7, 2000 (declared winner after December 12 Supreme Court ruling)

  • Secretary of State: Colin Powell, December 16
  • Treasury Secretary: Paul O’Neill, December 20
  • Defense Secretary: Donald Rumsfeld, December 28
  • Attorney General: John Ashcroft, December 22

Bill Clinton
Election held November 3, 1992

  • Secretary of State: Warren Christopher, December 22
  • Treasury Secretary: Lloyd Bentsen, December 10
  • Defense Secretary: Les Aspin, December 22
  • Attorney General: Zoe Baird*, December 24

George H.W. Bush
Election held November 8, 1988

  • Secretary of State: James Baker, November 9
  • Treasury Secretary: Nicholas Brady, November 15
  • Defense Secretary: John Tower**, December 16
  • Attorney General: Richard Thornburgh, November 21

Ronald Reagan
Election date November 4, 1980

  • Secretary of State: Alexander Haig, December 16
  • Treasury Secretary: Donald Regan, December 11
  • Defense Secretary: Caspar Weinberger, December 11
  • Attorney General: William French Smith, December 11

Jimmy Carter
Election held November 2, 1976

  • Secretary of State: Cyrus Vance, December 3
  • Treasury Secretary: W. Michael Blumenthal, December 14
  • Defense Secretary: Harold Brown, December 21
  • Attorney General: Griffin Bell, December 20

*nomination withdrawn before Senate confirmation
**rejected by Senate

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