Power elite' to influence next US presidential Cabinet

Leaked emails from 2008 raise questions about how traditional power brokers sway appointments

Power elite' to influence next US presidential Cabinet

World Bulletin / News Desk

WikiLeaks has released 50,000 emails relating to Hillary Clinton which gives insight into the inner workings of her campaign.

But one in particular appears to show the influence corporations have on Cabinet appointments.

One email from Oct. 6, 2008, shows a Citigroup executive presented the team of then-candidate Barack Obama with a list of potential Cabinet members a full month before Election Day.

Once elected, Obama’s Cabinet selections closely matched suggestions from Michael Froman, who later became a top aide at the White House. He currently serves as Trade Representative for the United States.

“We have longer lists, but these are candidates whose names have been recommended by a number of sources for senior level jobs in a potential Administration,” Froman wrote in the email.

The email suggested Obama select a very diverse administration and turned out to be a very good predictor of who he would eventually appoint.

Froman suggested Eric Holder to head the Justice Department, Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security, Robert Gates at the Pentagon, Rahm Emanuel for chief of staff, Arne Duncan for Education, Eric Shinseki for Veterans Affairs, Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services and Melody Barnes for the Domestic Policy Council.

Political scientist and consultant Michael Montgomery believes the email is more telling about the relationship between Froman and Obama than Citigroup’s institutional sway on the White House.

“I think it might be more accurate to think in terms of Michael Froman's influence on the composition of the Obama Cabinet than that of Citigroup per se,” Montgomery told Anadolu Agency.

There is nothing illegal about the correspondence, according to Alan Nasser, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College, Washington state.

“The Citigroup’s suggestion to Obama [regarding] Cabinet members is not illegal, as these were ‘merely’ suggestions,” Nasser told Anadolu Agency. “Cabinets are normally selected by the president under the guidance of his chief confidantes and advisors.”

Last Mod: 08 Kasım 2016, 14:07
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