LESLIE H. GELB
Board senior fellow and president emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations
The Democrats are not brimming with strategic talent at the senior-most levels. They've got a lot of very solid and sound and knowledgeable people with good instincts to keep the United States out of trouble, but I think the talent capable of taking the Democrats to that higher strategic level is in the next generation down -- people who will have to wait a little longer to take their turn at cabinet-level positions. For now, the following will get the top jobs:
SECRETARY OF STATE
Almost inevitably. Obama will worry about the Massachusetts senator being too independent, but everyone knows Kerry knows his stuff and knows the players around the world. He'll be able to hit Foggy Bottom running.
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
The present deputy secretary is a solid manager who is better-versed in Pentagon affairs than anyone else, Democrat or Republican. He is also capable of taking defense decisions to the next level.
SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
He is simply the best choice in terms of experience, management skills, and command of the issues. And he has the president's confidence.
DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Give this man a promotion. Petraeus is one of the few Americans capable of truly uniting a highly disparate intelligence community.
Nye has served as chairman of the National Intelligence Council and is among the very few with all of the analytical skills and background needed to run that very complicated place.
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
He'll keep the job for another two years to tidy up the withdrawal from Afghanistan and to work out next steps on China policy. He still has -- and deserves -- the president's confidence.
Froman *BONUS PICK
U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
Froman is one of the hopes for the Democrats' future. He's been handling high-rise international economic issues in the White House and is ready to help the United States develop a much-needed foreign economic policy.