Clinton and other top officials in Obama’s administration are preparing for departure
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Clinton and other top officials in Obama’s administration are preparing for departure

Washington : DC : USA | Nov 10, 2012 at 3:00 AM PST
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Leon Panetta's (L) trip to New Zealand is the first by a Pentagon chief in 30 years

It’s time to say goodbye to some of the names we have grown familiar with in Obama’s cabinet. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner are some of the few people in Obama’s administration planning to step down this year or the next.

With the general elections just over and a fiscal crisis facing White House , Obama is now considering replacement of some of the most high profile officials in his cabinet and overall administration as he takes office for a second time. Clinton and Geithner both confirmed their willingness to step down, however, their departure can wait till next year or until their successors are confirmed. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Attorney General Eric Holder and press Secretary Jim Carney are also planning an exit.

"The first thing is to try to find a way out of the box we're in with regards to the fiscal cliff," said Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader who is close to Obama according to a report by Associated Press. "When the new Congress convenes they'll begin the nominating process for what I expect will be a good number of vacancies."

The president and his team is currently busy accessing the way Congressional Republicans are positioning themselves following the elections, however, he will look into the replacements as soon as possible.

With Clinton stepping down at a time when several key issues including Iran’s nuclear weapons, war in Syria, continued fallout from the Arab spring and unrest in Afghanistan and Pakistan, remain unresolved, foreign policy experts are viewing her departure as a significant gap that must be immediately filled by someone as capable as her.

Names being considered to fill that gap include Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass who leads Senate Foreign Relations Committee, former Utah Gov, Jon Huntsman and Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns.

If Defense Secretary Leon Panetta decides to depart as well, two front runners considered to take his place might be his deputy, Ashton Carter, and former undersecretary at Pentagon, Michele Flournoy. Speculations also suggest departure of Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. If his exit is confirmed, Flournoy will be a possible replacement.

However, the most crucial replacement, after that of Clinton, will be for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner. Names mentioned as his potential successors include current White House chief of staff, Jack Lew, and Chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Erskine Bowles.

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
Wendy Zachary is based in Texas, Texas, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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