The First Draft: Hillary on the hot seat
Obama’s dream team faces its first test on Tuesday as the Senate holds confirmation hearings for Hillary Clinton and several other Cabinet picks.
The hearings will provide a sneak peak at relations between the Obama administration and Congress. Obama’s fellow Democrats control both chambers, but that’s no guarantee of smooth sailing.
Clinton, nominated for Secretary of State, will have to answer some pointed questions about hubby Bill’s globe-trotting activities, but observers expect her to win confirmation easily. The fun begins at 9:30 EST.
Also on the hot seat today: Energy Secretary nominee Steven Chu; Education Secretary nominee Arne Duncan; Housing and Urban Development Secretary nominee Shaun Donovan; and Peter Orszag, nominated to head the Office of Management and Budget.
Meanwhile, George W. Bush is still president. He holds his last Cabinet meeting today and will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
Howard has taken some flak back home because he is staying at the Blair House, across the street from the White House. Obama had hoped to stay at the swanky mansion before taking office next week, but Bush said the space was already booked. Obama and his family are camping out at a nearby hotel, the Hay-Adams.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (Clinton at New Year festivities in Times Square, Dec. 31)
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