Quick Points: The Revolving Door of the Obama Administration
A look at key individuals in the Obama administration who have departed (or announced their intention to depart) during the president's second term:
• Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: After fulfilling the role of U.S. Secretary of State during President Obama's first term, Clinton said she would not stay on for another term. Obama has nominated Senator John Kerry to replace Clinton.
• Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: Like Clinton, Panetta had said he would leave his post after Obama's first term. A contentious pick, Obama has nominated former Senator Chuck Hagel to replace Panetta.
• Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis: Solis announced her departure on January 9th. Though no official nomination has been made by Obama to replace Solis, Reuters exclusively reported on Thursday that Colorado Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia is a top contender for the spot.
• Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood: LaHood announced his departure on January 29th, pledging to stay on the job until the Senate confirms whoever Obama nominates to replace him.
• Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geitner: Geitner is expected to step down on February 1. Obama has nominated current Chief of Staff Jack Lew to replace him. Lew's signature, which would appear on American paper currency, caused a stir among pundits and journalists on social media.
• Secretary of Energy Steven Chu: Chu announced suddenly on Friday that he would be resigning from his position.
[Sources: Reuters, CNN]
KABUL The Afghan government is looking warily at the conservative religious scholar who has assumed leadership of the Taliban, seeing in him a rigid proponent of hardline orthodoxy who is unlikely to favor peace talks, officials said.