The latest buzz is Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security and Penny Pritzger for Secretary of Commerce. Pritzker fits firmly into the model of giving the job to a friend of the president’s so he can have a buddy in the cabinet. Not really sure how that tradition came into place, but that’s the way it goes. The big change, of course, is that the president’s buddy is usually a dude.
Napolitano is a bit more of a surprise because there are considerations related to the fact that her successor in Arizona will be a Republican and that a lot of folks are also looking at her as a 2010 Senate candidate. But she has extensive experience with the department’s immigration portfolio and with aspects of its law enforcement portfolio. The department has been a mess administratively ever since being created, so her main challenge will be as an administrator to get the thing into shape and she seems to have the record for it.