Obama Stacking His Cabinet With Pit Bulls

Cool-hand Barack wants heavy-hitters, isn't afraid of a fight
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2008 6:22 AM CST
Harvard University Professor Larry Summers speaks during a working session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday Jan. 24, 2008.   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – For a man who earned himself the nickname "No-Drama Obama" during the campaign, the president-elect seems to be assembling a surprisingly high-maintenance cabinet, writes Helene Cooper in the New York Times. From Larry Summers to Rahm Emanuel to Hillary Clinton, the partners that Obama has chosen or considered have big personalities and enjoy a catfight—which could quickly turn his cabinet of rivals into a lion's den.

Some choices, especially Summers as possible treasury secretary, have drawn particular ire from the Democratic grass roots. But insiders say that Obama is girding for tough battles and wants heavy hitters in his administration. And aides to the president-elect say that it's nothing new: his press secretary Robert Gibbs is "no shrinking violet," and his choice of Joe Biden for VP demonstrated "a self-confidence and a willingness to tolerate internal dissent."