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Who Will Be Trump’s Secretary of State?

by Countable | 12.2.16

In the weeks following his victory in the presidential election, Donald Trump has been busy choosing candidates to fill Cabinet posts and occupy other significant roles for his administration. So far he has done so at a relatively quick pace compared to his predecessors, as recent presidents have typically made all of their Cabinet picks by the end of the year they were elected in.

But he has yet to fill one of tne of the most coveted jobs in the Cabinet — Secretary of State — which carries significant responsibility for running the State Dept. and managing America’s diplomatic relations with other nations. It also is technically the most prestigious role in the Cabinet as it falls behind only the Vice President and congressional leaders in the House and Senate in the presidential line of succession.

There are reportedly several candidates in the running, and while the Trump campaign has said an announcement will come next week at the earliest, it’s never too early to see who the contenders are and what experience they’d bring to being America’s top diplomat.

Mitt Romney

Romney, 69, was the Republican Party’s nominee for president in 2012 after serving as the Governor of Massachusetts for four years and a career spent running a successful private equity firm. His selection would signal a warming of relations between Romney and Trump, who he had called "a fraud" that would greatly diminish “the prospects for a safe and prosperous future.” However, the two have met on several occasions since then, which includes a recent dinner between the pair and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus that was spotted by CNN journalist Jim Acosta who happened to be dining at the restaurant.

Gen. David Petraeus

Petraeus, 64, was a highly decorated four-star general who served as the top commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than one year each, before serving as President Obama’s CIA Director for 14 months during his first term. He was forced to resign following the revelation that he had an extramarital affair with his biographer and gave her unauthorized access to classified documents.

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani, 72, served as the Mayor of New York City for eight years after previously serving as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. District Court in southern New York. As a prosecutor, he tried noteworthy cases against the mafia. While mayor, he hired a police commissioner that applied the broken windows theory to reduce violent crime in the city, though some of the tactics used by NYC police such as "stop and frisk" have been criticized. Giuliani also unsuccessfully ran for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2008.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)

Corker, 64, has served in the Senate since 2006 after serving as Chattanooga’s mayor and running construction and real estate companies. He became the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the 114th Congress began in 2015, and has since introduced several significant pieces of legislation, including a bill that enhanced Congressional oversight of the Iran nuclear agreement. You can see his voting record here.

Rex Tillerson

Tillerson 64, has been the CEO of ExxonMobil since 2006 and has spent much of his career working for the multinational oil and gas corporation (which is one of the most valuable companies in the U.S.). His consideration became news following a report from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and according to The Hill, his views on climate change could be an area of policy difference between Tillerson and Trump. Tillerson has stated his belief in man-made climate change, and Exxon has expressed support for the Paris climate agreement and a carbon tax, all of which differ from stances taken by Trump.

John Bolton

Bolton, 68, worked in the State Dept. during the administrations of both Presidents Bush prior to becoming UN Ambassador and serving in that role for 17 months under George W. Bush. Bolton was an early supporter of Trump’s candidacy, but could face a tough confirmation hearing. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has said he’d "do whatever it takes" to stop his confirmation because of what he views as an overly-interventionist foreign policy stance. Paul is a swing vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which will be tasked with considering Trump’s nominee.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore)

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