President-elect Joe Biden indicated Tuesday he wants to keep some of his former progressive rivals in the Senate, further reducing the chances of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders joining his cabinet.
Speaking in his first interview with NBC News Lester Holt since the Nov. 3 election, Biden said the two progressive senators, who had run their own failed presidential campaigns, were key to meeting their “very ambitious, very progressive agenda.”
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“We already have a significant representation of progressives in our administration,” Biden said. “There’s really nothing on the table. But there’s something critical: Taking someone out of the Senate, getting them out of the house, especially the consequential man, is a really difficult decision to make.”
He continued: “I have a very ambitious, very progressive agenda. And to achieve that will require very strong leaders in the House and Senate.”
Biden has presented a number of cabinet elections in recent days, Washington veterans linked to the administration of former President Barack Obama. If they reaffirm their new position, many of Biden’s candidates would break gender and racial barriers.
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The team of the President-elect includes Antony Blinken, a veteran adviser to the Secretary of State, Secretary of State; Chief of Staff Ron Klain; Janet Yellen, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, secretary to the finance minister – this position should be communicated to the Massachusetts senator, according to Warren’s allies. (Warren called Yellent an “outstanding choice.”)
Still, Biden has repelled criticism that his administration will be a “third Obama term.”
“This is not Obama’s third term,” he said. “Because we face a completely different world than the one we faced before Obama-Biden’s rule. President Trump changed the landscape. He became America first, America alone.”
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He also acknowledged that he was open to the appointment of Republicans, some of whom voted for President Trump, as a way to unify the country.
“We still have a lot more dates to discuss,” he said. “I want this country to unite … We can’t have this virulent political dialogue.”