US president-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday formally introduced his national security team, building out a team of alumni from the administration of former US president Barack Obama.
However, Biden said that his administration should not be considered a “third Obama term,” because “we face a totally different world than we faced in the Obama-Biden administration.”
Biden said in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that he was less likely to choose a member of the US Congress for his Cabinet, because of the slim margins in the US Senate and US House of Representatives.
Choosing a person in either chamber, “particularly a person of consequence,” would be “a really difficult decision that would have to be made,” he said.
The Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican political committee, has begun airing a campaign advertisement warning that if a Democratic Senate candidate wins a runoff election in Georgia in January, “liberals” would “control everything” in Washington.
The advert criticizes Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is challenging US Senator David Perdue.
It says that Ossoff supports the agenda of “liberal megadonors” of “job-killing tax hikes, economy-killing regulations.”
“The radical left bought Ossoff. Because if he wins, they control everything, and we lose,” it says.
There is also a second runoff in Georgia pitting US Senator Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.
Democrats must win both of the Georgia races to capture the Senate majority. That would create a 50-50 chamber, which Democrats would control because US vice president-elect Kamala Harris would cast the tiebreaking vote.
Biden’s pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, worked for Biden in the Senate for years, and held the posts of deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser.
His choice for national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, was the deputy to that post under Obama.
His nominee for treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, was chair of the US Federal Reserve and chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
His incoming White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, was chief of staff to two vice presidents — Al Gore and Biden himself — and was the Obama administration’s Ebola czar.
John Kerry, Biden’s choice to fill the newly created post of presidential climate envoy, was a longtime US senator and his party’s 2004 presidential nominee before serving as secretary of state.
“The team is bringing competency and experience, which are two separate things, but deeply interwoven,” said retired US Navy admiral James Stavridis, who has worked with much of Biden’s new team. “There are deputies stepping up into full roles, seasoned hands returning to the job. They tend to be calm and centered, and they won’t all fight over the ball.”
Biden has showcased a faith in bureaucracy that was born out of his nearly five decades in Washington.
“Collectively, this team has secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory — made possible through decades of experience working with our partners,” Biden said.
Republicans were unimpressed with Biden’s hires.
“Biden’s cabinet picks went to Ivy League schools, have strong resumes, attend all the right conferences & will be polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline,” US Senator Marco Rubio wrote on Twitter.
US Senator Tom Cotton said that Biden is surrounding himself with people who will go soft on China.
Other picks were: Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security secretary; diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be US ambassador to the UN; Obama White House alumnus Jake Sullivan as national security adviser; and Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, was picked to serve as director of national intelligence.
In the weeks ahead, Biden might also name Michele Flournoy as the first female to lead the US department of defense.
Pete Buttigieg, a former Indiana mayor, has also been mentioned as a contender for a Cabinet agency.
INCURSION: After 13 PLA aircraft flew into Taiwan’s ADIZ, the US Department of State said that China should rather ‘engage in meaningful dialogue’ with Taiwan US President Joe Biden’s administration on Saturday urged China to stop placing military pressure on Taiwan, while calling on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to engage in peaceful dialogue. The statement by the US Department of State was issued after 13 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. The air force scrambled fighter jets to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings and mobilizing air defense assets until the planes left the ADIZ. The US “notes
‘INCREASED VIGILANCE’: A source of infection has not yet been found for the latest two cases in a hospital cluster, which should serve as a warning, Chen Shih-chung said A total of 2,991 people associated with a COVID-19 cluster infection at Taoyuan General Hospital have been put under home isolation, after an emergency expanded isolation order was issued on Sunday evening, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Fifteen people have so far tested positive in the cluster infection. The first case in the cluster (case No. 838) was reported on Jan. 12 — a doctor who treated an infected patient who had returned from the US. Contact tracing for the first 13 cases found connections to case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who
FAMILY UNIT: The CECC warned that the eldest sister of the latest case, who also has COVID-19, visited Taoyuan’s Chungping evening market on Tuesday and Wednesday The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a domestic case of COVID-19, associated with a recent cluster infection at Taoyuan General Hospital, and two imported cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the latest case (No. 885) is a woman in her 50s, who is the third daughter of case No. 881, a man in his 90s. The woman is the main caregiver of her elderly father, who had been hospitalized earlier this month and was treated by a nurse (case No. 852) from Monday to Thursday last week, he said, adding that
DUBIOUS HONOR? A man in his 90s, who tested positive yesterday and is part of the Taoyuan hospital cluster, is the oldest person in Taiwan to have contracted COVID-19 Taiwan yesterday recorded six new imported cases of COVID-19 and two new domestic cases, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, adding that the local infections are linked to the cluster at Taoyuan General Hospital, which now totals 12 cases. One of the domestic cases is a man in his 90s, who was treated earlier this month at Taoyuan General Hospital and tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday last week, four days before he was discharged, the center said in a statement. After one of the nurses on the ward was confirmed on Saturday last week to have contracted COVID-19, the