Wikileaks has released the first emails between Barack Obama and John Podesta. So far nothing earth shattering has been found.
The emails show a transition plan being worked on before the 2008 election had taken place. According to an attached memo in one of the emails, Obama was already discussing his transition to office with members of the Bush Administration, including then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, prior to the election.
As you have observed in your interactions with Secretary Paulson, he is apparently eager to involve you and your transition team extensively in his policy choices following the election.
Another attached memo acknowledges that it was unusual to start the transition process so soon.
We are now at the point of deciding how to staff economic policy during the transition, who should be the point of contact with Treasury and how to blend the transition and campaign economic policy talent.
Normally these decisions could be made after the election, and ideally after the selection of a National Economic Advisor, but, of course, these are not normal times.
One of the emails, from Citigroup executive and later Assistant to the President Michael Froman, shows a proposed “diversity list” for the cabinet. In Froman’s own words, the lists consist of :
A list of African American, Latino and Asian American candidates, divided between Cabinet/Deputy and Under/Assistant/Deputy Assistant Sectetary levels, as well as lists of senior Native Americans, Arab/Muslim Americans and Disabled Americans. We have longer lists, but these are candidates whose names have been recommended by a number of sources for senior level jobs in a potential Administration.
A list of women, similarly divided between candidates for Cabinet/Deputy and other senior level positions.
The lists can be viewed in full at the “attachements” tab here.