Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has been officially declared the 46th president of the United States by the Electoral College. After a hectic campaign and after-election events — everything from recounting votes in key states, to overturning lawsuits pushed by the Trump campaign — there should be no doubt that on Jan. 20, 2021, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as President and Vice-President, respectively, of the United States. The question now lies in what will happen moving forward, mainly regarding Biden’s cabinet picks, and what one-term presidency of Donald Trump means for the future of the Republican party.
Donald Trump and the Future of the Republican Party – Trump has filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Texas. In addition, he has refused to accept the outcome of the election and has asked his fellow Republican representatives to do the same. He has also hinted at a presidential candidacy bid for the 2024 election, which crushes the battlefield for most Republican 2024 hopefuls. Unfortunately, over the last four years, the Republican party has grown considerably more conservative. This makes it harder for moderate conservatives to feel in place in the Republican party that evolved under Trump, particularly as Trump has no intention of ceding his power and position in the Republican party to anyone else. He is currently doing everything he can to maintain his power — everything from falsely claiming that it was he who really won the election to saying that he would run again in 2024 against Biden, which is expressing a contradictory tone to his previous claim of victory. Why would he say he would be running against Biden in 2024 if he hasn’t yet accepted the 2020 election results stating that Biden had won the presidency?
Joe Biden and the Future of the U.S.After the election results were announced, Biden has received pressure to form a diverse and qualified cabinet for representation and effective policy making especially during these unprecedented times. Historically, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury have played the most crucial roles in a president’s administration. Biden has, therefore, chosen Antony Blinken as his Secretary of State and Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary, though they still have yet to be confirmed.
Antony Blinken has worked with Biden for over 20 years and their personal relationship is invulnerable. He worked under Biden while he was a senator as one of his top staffers and the Democratic staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His experience furthered in foreign relations when he became Deputy National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2015 and Deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017. He is known to be a Europeanist, multilateralist, and internationalist.
We see historically that the U.S. is isolationist but has started to grow out of it in the past decades, although it is re-emerging because of the Trump administration. Even then, the U.S. mostly intervenes in other states affairs only if they have something to lose or gain in their situation, and when they intervene in things like humanitarian affairs, they do so with much more caution and hesitation. For example, Bill Clinton was heavily cautious into sending U.S. troops into Rwandan territory during the Rwanda genocide, but expressed that his biggest regret of his presidency was not doing so sooner. However, the result of putting U.S. troops on the land of sovereign states also may not always be advantageous to anyone, and we can use the deployment of U.S. troops into Afghanistan as an example. Taking over the Trump administration and their isolationist foreign policies, Antony is much more likely to re-strengthen ties with The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other countries that Trump has significantly discarded. Not only that, we can hope and maybe even expect Antony to take on more humanitarian issues across the globe, such as the ongoing Uyghur genocide in China, regardless of whether it benefits the U.S., as he is a strong globalist. Americans can surely expect a lot of productivity in the State Department during Biden’s presidency.
Janet Louise Yellen was appointed by Biden to be the Treasury Secretary, and if confirmed, she would become the first woman to hold that post. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University. She furthered her experience in economics as well as public policy: from 1977 to 1978 she worked as an economist for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and from 1994 to 1997 served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. In 2004, she was appointed president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and served as president until three years later when President Barack Obama nominated her as the next head of the Federal Reserve System. In addition to quite the impressive resume, she is also a battle-tested leader who helped the nation recover from the Great Recession, which is more crucial than ever amid the economic crisis surrounding the public health one. Her constant questioning of whether economic models and forecasts are correct helped her become one of the first policymakers to foresee the 2008 financial crisis and become a key architect of the economic recovery. She has consistently shown that she is capable of working independently from political pressure to advise policies that are best to shape the economy for the better. For example, when building the backbone of the economic recovery from the recession in 2008, many conservatives pushed her to raise interest rates. However, Yellen went slowly, believing unemployment could go lower without triggering inflation. She turned out to be right, and she ushered in a sea-change in thinking at the Fed about how low unemployment could drop. Her impactful, multifaceted, and well-grounded ways of thinking allow her to be the most qualified person in the room for Biden as his pick for Secretary of the Treasury.
Below are the appointments Biden has made so far*. These appointments do not need confirmations unless stated otherwise — if a confirmation is needed, there are three asterisks (***) next to the name of the person filling the established position.
Key West Wing Staff:
Chief of Staff: Ron KlainDeputy Chief of Staff: Jen O’Malley DillonNational Security Advisor: Jake SullivanDirector of the Office of Management and Budget: Neera Tanden ***Director of the National Economic Council: Brian DeeseDirector of the National Policy Council: Susan RiceSpecial Presidential Envoy for Climate: John KerrySenior Adviser to the President: Mike DonilonDirector of the Office of Legislative Affairs: Louisa TerrellDirector of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel: Cathy RussellCommunications Director: Kate BedingfieldPress Secretary: Jen PsakiPrincipal Deputy Press Secretary: Karine Jean-PierreKey Vice Presidential Staff:
Chief of Staff: Tina FlournoyCommunications Director for the Vice President: Ashley EtienneChief Spokesperson for the Vice President: Symone SandersStaffers under the First Lady:
Chief of Staff: Julissa Reynoso PantaleonEconomic Policy:Deputy Secretary of the Treasury: Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo _Chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers: Cecilia Rouse _U.S. Trade Representative: Katherine Tai ***National Security:
Secretary of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas _Secretary of Defense: Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin **Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines **Ambassador to the United Nations: Linda Thomas-Greenfield _Other Important Cabinet Members:
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Xavier Becerra _Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Marcia Fudge **Secretary of Agriculture: Tom Vilsack **Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Denis McDonough **Secretary of Transportation: Pete Buttigieg **Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Dr. Rochelle WalenskySurgeon General: Dr. Vivek Murthy _*This list only includes appointees publicly announced by Dec. 15, 2020.