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Obama has jobs to fill in Cabinet

Obama has jobs to fill in Cabinet
President Barack Obama (C) delivers remarks alongside Defense Secretary nominee former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-ND) (L) and CIA Director nominee John Brennan, during a nomination ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC on January 7, 2012. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Now that he has presented nominations for his security and foreign policy teams, President Obama will focus on the rest of his Cabinet, the White House said.

Announcements on Obama's picks for his economic and energy teams, and other Cabinet-level positions, could come as soon as this week, The Hill reported Tuesday.

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White House press secretary Jay Carney indicated the president was discussing openings with a "diverse" group of candidates.

"It's very important for any president to have, you know, time and space to consider his or her nominees for these important positions," Carney said Monday, adding later, "The president does believe that diversity is very important, and he also believes that picking the absolute right person for each job is very important."

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Obama has nominated Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as secretary of State, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., for secretary of Defense and John Brennan as CIA director.

In his search for a successor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Obama is reportedly down to two possible candidates: Jack Lew, Obama's current chief-of-staff, and American Express Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chenault, The Hill said.

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Lew is expected to leave no matter what happens, The Hill said.

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Obama also must find a leader for the Commerce Department, which has been helmed by Rebecca Blank on an acting basis since last summer, when John Bryson resigned after he had a seizure while driving that resulted in two accidents. Another vacancy is at the Environmental Protection Agency, where Administrator Lisa Jackson announced her departure.

The Hill said Obama also may have to name new secretaries for the Transportation and Energy departments.

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