The US Senate held hearings on five of the President-elect’s most important appointments on January 19, just the day before he was to be inaugurated. Starting so late is unusual, and ensures that the new President will start office with only “acting” Secretaries of State, Treasury, etc. But so much has been unusual in this transition period that this has gone largely unremarked.
The senior figure in any President’s cabinet is the Secretary of State, a position held in George Washington’s cabinet by no less of a Founder than Thomas Jefferson.
Biden’s choice for his Secretary of State is Antony Blinken, who served as Deputy Secretary of State during the second term of the Obama-Biden administration. This Blinken is the son of Donald M. Blinken, who was the US Ambassador to Hungary under President Bill Clinton.
Antony is a graduate of Harvard University and of Columbia Law School.
At the hearing Tuesday, Blinken made some news by saying that the Biden team expects to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
The Thing to Know:
Blinken is almost certain to receive confirmation, although given other pressing matters (including a possible second impeachment trial for outgoing President Donald Trump), it is impossible to say how much time that will take.