Xana O’Neill
November 6, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama has drafted a star-studded short list of cabinet candidates, with political heavyweights Caroline Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Colin Powell and John Kerry among the most notable names being eyed by his transition team.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Obama already has offered Illinois Democrat Rahm Emanuel the position of chief of staff. It is likely that Emanuel will accept — and now Obama is focusing on filling out the rest of his team.

The President-elect is strongly considering Robert F. Kennedy to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and is weighing Kennedy’s cousin, Caroline, for the position of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations — a move that would please Sens. Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy, Politico reported.

If Obama chooses to oust Robert Gates as Defense Secretary, Gen. Colin Powell has been short-listed as a candidate. Powell’s endorsement of Obama fueled speculation that the former Secretary of State would be considered for a Cabinet position. But the New York Daily News and New York Post report that Obama could ask Gates to stay in the job.

Sen. John Kerry is considered the front-runner for the nation’s top diplomat. The senator from Massachusetts selected Obama to be the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where Obama delivered the critically acclaimed speech that put him on the map.

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