He and his advisers have repeatedly promised to build the most diverse Cabinet ever, and they’ve been preparing for intense pressure — especially from progressives — to steer clear of corporate and moderate appointments wherever possible after Trump leaned heavily on such picks (for example, Biden would face huge disappointment from his left if he tapped Quibi CEO Meg Whitman, a Republican, for Commerce secretary, as some close to him have suggested). They’re thinking twice before floating bankers for economic roles, too. It also means they’re wary of even seriously considering Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, a close Biden ally, for attorney general given her prosecutorial record — to which many Black activists have objected.
Some prominent campaign supporters appear to still be in line for jobs. Delaware senator Chris Coons, an extremely close Biden ally, is likely to get a look as a potential secretary of State if he doesn’t prefer serving as Biden’s eyes and ears in the Senate (and if he does become the country’s top diplomat, that might leave his Senate seat open for Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Biden campaign chair). Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, another campaign chair, is likely to be seriously considered for secretary of Transportation and perhaps Labor if he’s not derailed by a report that he was aware of the sexual misconduct of one of his top advisers, according to Democrats familiar with some of the preliminary planning. Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, another highly valued campaign surrogate, has been talked about as a possible Housing secretary, and Pete Buttigieg — whom the Biden orbit credits with helping the ex-VP close out the Democratic primary, and who is now advising the transition team after playing Mike Pence in Kamala Harris’s debate-prep sessions — has been discussed as a potential ambassador to the U.N., which would entail a convenient relocation for the former mayor to a blue state full of donors, in case he wants to run for something statewide in more hospitable territory for Democrats at some point. He’s also been mentioned as a contender for secretary of Veterans Affairs. Elizabeth Warren, who has kept in close touch with Biden on COVID-19 recovery policy, is seen as less likely to get a formal cabinet job, in part because many Biden advisers worry there’s no obvious fit that wouldn’t concern a big swath of the candidate’s moderate backers, and at least partially because Massachusetts’s Republican governor would get to pick her replacement in the Senate.