President-Elect Joe Biden is reportedly considering his longtime aide Antony Blinken to be the next United States Secretary of State.
Fox News reports Blinken would lead the State Department after previously serving as Biden’s top foreign policy adviser during the 2020 campaign and also previously working in his Senate office.
While Blinken has a career in politics and consulting, his selection follows Biden’s current pattern of choosing more centralist individuals who do not have major name recognition.
Bloomberg reports the announcement came as Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain announced other senior officials:
In addition, Jake Sullivan, formerly one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, is likely to be named Biden’s national security adviser, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be nominated to serve as Biden’s ambassador to the United Nations. An announcement of the president-elect’s top national security advisers is expected for Tuesday, the people said.
Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday the president-elect would be making his initial cabinet announcements on Tuesday, but declined to specify which positions would be filled first. The people familiar with Biden’s selections asked not to be identified because he hasn’t yet made the announcements.
Both Sullivan, who is 43, and Blinken, 58, served stints as Biden’s national security adviser when he was vice president.
Axios reports the Biden transition team later announced a shortlist of other nominations for top national security positions:
- Secretary of State: Tony Blinken
- National Security Adviser: Jake Sullivan
- Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines
- Department of Homeland Security Secretary: Alejandro Mayorkas
- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: Linda Thomas-Greenfield
- Special presidential envoy on climate: John Kerry
Between the lines, via Axios’ Margaret Talev: The list, set to be announced at an event in Delaware on Monday, is a deliberate effort to package nominees in a way that suggests diversity — a “first” for women and Latinos, a Black woman, and a white man.
Blinken’s announcement was met with some criticism as he previously supported the war in Iraq. In 2002, he urged then-Senator Biden to vote for sending American troops into Iraq and for full use of force authorization.
Several former aides to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders applauded the decision. Sanders’ former campaign manager Faiz Shakir described him as a “solid choice.”
“Leaders around the world will assume that when Blinken speaks, he speaks for Biden,” he added.
— Faiz (@fshakir) November 23, 2020
Sanders’ foreign policy adviser Matt Duss similarly said Blinken was “a good choice.”
He continued: “Tony has the strong confidence of the president-elect and the knowledge and experience for the important work of rebuilding US diplomacy. It will also be a new and great thing to have a top diplomat who has regularly engaged with progressive grassroots.”
This is a good choice. Tony has the strong confidence of the president-elect and the knowledge and experience for the important work of rebuilding US diplomacy.
It will also be a new and great thing to have a top diplomat who has regularly engaged with progressive grassroots. https://t.co/NglVbp9YCa
— Matt Duss (@mattduss) November 23, 2020