Biden’s Cabinet looks more like a team of buddies

President-elect Joe Biden has worked with the previous aide he wants to be secretary of state since their time at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee within the 1990s. His nominee for agriculture secretary endorsed his first presidential bid quite 30 years ago. And he knows his choice for Pentagon chief from the retired general’s time in Iraq, where Biden’s son Beau, a military lawyer, also served on the general’s staff.

For all the talk that Biden is abiding by a sophisticated formula of ethnicity, gender, and knowledge as he builds his administration and he is perhaps the foremost important criteria for landing a cupboard post or a top White House job appear to be having a long-standing relationship with the president-elect himself.

His chief of staff, Ron Klain, goes back with him to the times of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas when Biden was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Klain was on his staff. John Kerry, his climate envoy, is an old Senate buddy. Even Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who isn't a longtime confidant and ran an aggressive campaign against Biden, had an in-depth relationship with Beau Biden before he died.

In accepting Biden’s nomination to be the first Black man to run the Defense Department, Gen Lloyd Austin on Wednesday called Beau a “great American” and recalled the time he spent with him in Iraq and their conversations after he returned home, before his death from a brain tumor in 2015.

As you, too, can attest, madam vice president-elect, Beau was a really special person and a real patriot, and an honest friend to all or any who knew him,” Austin said. It is a sharp contrast to President Donald Trump, who assembled a dysfunctional collection of Cabinet members he hardly knew and after an initial honeymoon spent their time constantly at risk of being fired. With nearly half of Biden’s Cabinet and many key White House jobs announced, his administration looks more like a close-knit family.

Dr. Dhillon Randeep

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