Joe Biden has been congratulated on victory in the US election by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the leaders of Russia, China and Mexico have said they will wait for the “official results”.
The 77-year-old former vice president is already believed to be drawing up names for his first Cabinet, according to media speculations, assuming President Trump's legal challenges fail and he's inaugurated as the 46th president.
So who could be in his first Cabinet?
Secretary Of State - Samantha Power
Susan Rice, a former national secretary adviser to Barack Obama, is probably the obvious person for the job but watch out for Samantha Power, who could be the surprise choice.
Power, 50, was the US Ambassador to the United Nations between 2013 and the end of the Obama administration.
— Livenaijablog (@livenaijablog) November 6, 2020
The London-born former war correspondent, who covered the wars in Yugoslavia for the Boston Globe and The Economist, is known as a “liberal hawk”.
In 2003 she won the Pulitzer Prize for her book, A Problem From Hell: America in the Age of Genocide, which excoriated US State Department policy over Rwanda and Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
The History News Network says of her: “For Power, the US is an innocent country which can only do good.”
In March 2008 she resigned from Obama’s election campaign team after telling a Scottish reporter Hillary Clinton was a “monster”.
She managed to come back from that slip-up, was appointed to the National Security Council under Obama and was made US ambassador to the UN after he was re-elected in 2012.
On Friday, 6 November, she tweeted that Trump was "going full Robert Mugabe", a reference to the late Zimbabwean President who refused to step down.
Secretary For Defense - Michèle Flournoy
Michèle Flournoy has worked at the Pentagon since Bill Clinton’s days as President and she is now in prime position to get the top job.
Obama went through four Secretary of States for Defense during his time in the White House but Joe Biden will be hoping to hang on to Flournoy, 59, for the duration of his term.
I am so happy to see the gender progress being made in the U.S. with the reports that along with right-wing Kamala Harris as VP, reports are circulating that pro-war, pro-imperialist women like Susan Rice & Michele Flournoy will likely serve in the Biden Administration.— Ajamu Baraka (@ajamubaraka) November 2, 2020
She was Undersecretary of Defense for Policy during the Obama administration and played a key part in persuading the then President to intervene in Libya and oust President Muammar Gaddafi.
Flournoy has long had links with the Israeli military and in June this year she said she was concerned that if Benjamin Netanyahu went ahead with the annexation of the West Bank it could lead to Congress blocking US $4 billion in annual aid to Israel.
Earlier this summer Flournoy co-authored a report which urged the Pentagon to spend more on new technologies to combat China.
She said recently: "There's a growing awareness of the competition with China, which is first and foremost economic and technological and I think people understand that to have a national security posture, we’ve got to reinvigorate our domestic foundations, our economy, our technological edge."
Treasury Secretary - Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren endorsed Joe Biden in April, a few weeks after she dropped out of the race to win the Democratic Party’s nomination.
Warren, 71, is now being widely tipped to be given the Treasury Secretary job in Biden’s Cabinet.
The Chicago Tribune reported: "Many liberals are pushing Biden both in private and public to name Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to the position — a post that Warren herself wants, according to a person familiar with her thinking (a spokesperson for Warren declined to comment)."
Warren, who was famously dubbed Pocahontas by President Trump because of her Native American origins, has championed consumer rights and been heavily critical of banks and other US financial institutions.
If she is considered too radical and overlooked, expect Biden to pick a more moderate woman for the job - either Janet Yellen, former chair of the Federal Reserve, or Sarah Bloom Raskin, who was deputy secretary of the Treasury under Obama.
Secretary For Labor - Bernie Sanders
Last month it was reported Bernie Sanders was making a play for the Secretary of State for Labor job.
Sanders, 79, lost out on the Democratic Party’s nomination in both 2016 and 2020 and has been critical of Biden in the past as being too moderate and in league with the big corporations.
Sanders himself, speaking before the election, told The Politico: "Right now I am focused on seeing that Biden is elected president. That’s what my main focus is," but a source told the website he was interested in the Labor Secretary job.
Biden has made a big play of trying to reach out to moderate Republicans among the 70 million voters who plumped for Trump and he could decide that picking Sanders would just inflame the situation.
Instead he might offer him a special role, possibly looking at wealth distribution, one of Sanders’ favourite hobby horses.
Attorney General - Doug Jones
The Attorney General is one of the most important jobs in the US, as it involves not only overseeing the judiciary but also controlling the US Department of Justice, which includes the FBI, ATF, DEA and several other federal agencies.
The current Attorney General, William Barr, was appointed by Trump after his predecessor Jeff Sessions developed dangerously independent tendencies.
I’ve often heard Joe recite this poem and I am always struck by it’s power. I’ve since used the quote about “the longed for tidal wave of justice” many times when speaking about the 16th Street church bombing cases. It should be reserved for rare occasions. Now is such a moment. https://t.co/H7hDbLBIah— Doug Jones (@DougJones) November 8, 2020
One of the front-runners for the vacancy now is Doug Jones, a former Senator from Alabama, who lost his seat to former American football coach Tommy Tuberville last week.
Although the defeat was a blow to the Democrats, it means that Jones, 66, is now free to take up the job.
Jones is a former US Attorney who successfully prosecuted two Ku Klux Klan members in 1998 for the infamous bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 which killed four young girls.
Secretary of the Interior - Julian Castro
Julian Castro was Secretary of State for Housing in the Obama administration but expect him to get promoted to the Secretary of the Interior job.
Castro, 46, is a former Mayor of San Antonio in Texas and one of the highest profile Latino politicians in the US.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) November 8, 2020
His promotion would be part of an acknowledgement that the Democrats need to do more to appeal to Latino voters. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the young Congresswoman from New York, was heavily critical of the party last week after it became clear Latino voters had helped Trump win Florida.
Secretary of Commerce - John Kasich
Joe Biden will be keen to reach out to moderate Republicans as part of his effort to heal the divisions in the US which have developed in recent years.
One of those who he might bring into his Cabinet is John Kasich, 68, a former Republican Governor of Ohio.
Kasich, who lost the Republican nomination to Trump in 2016 and has been heavily critical of him in the White House, is a strong supporter of free trade and the Secretary of State for Commerce job may appeal.
Kasich could be given the task of negotiating a free trade deal with Britain, although Biden, who is proud of his Irish roots, will be adamant Brexit must not endanger the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.
Secretary of Veteran Affairs - Tulsi Gabbard
Tammy Duckworth would have been the obvious choice for the Veteran Affairs job.
Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran who lost her legs and won a Purple Heart when her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, was assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs during the Obama administration.
But she was elected as a Senator in Illinois in 2016, flipping a Republican seat, and it would be too much of a risk to the Democrats to vacate that seat and give the Republicans a chance to win it back.
So Biden may instead turn to Tulsi Gabbard, who served in Iraq with the Hawaii National Guard, was a platoon leader in Kuwait and rose to the rank of Major.
She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 but if she were to have to give up her seat in Hawaii the Democrats would be confident of retaining it as the archipelago is a solid blue state.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development - Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg, who was hoping to become the first openly gay man to be nominated as a presidential candidate, ended up bowing out to Joe Biden, who he endorsed.
It would be a nod to the LGBT community - who voted overwhelmingly for Biden -if the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was given a Cabinet job.
Housing and Urban Development is the most obvious slot for Buttigieg, who helped to transform the former Studebaker car factory in South Bend into a high tech business park.
Chief of Staff - Jen O’Malley Dillon
Joe Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, 44, is highly likely to be rewarded by becoming his Chief of Staff, replacing Mark Meadows, who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Dillon worked her up from field organiser and after playing a part in Obama’s election campaign in 2008 she becoming executive director of the Democratic National Committee before rejoining Obama for the 2012 campaign.
— Jen O'Malley Dillon (@jomalleydillon) November 7, 2020
After a spell working for Beto O’Rourke in Texas, she came to work for Biden and played a key part in the decision to “stay off Twitter” and focus on the incumbent’s lackadaisical response to the pandemic.
She is set to become the first ever female Chief of Staff in a White House, which would be quite appropriate in an administration which has the first woman Vice President.