The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Meet the next 4 years of American leadership


Following his victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, Donald Trump and his cabinet are ready to take on the next 4 years of managing America. Here are his 10 most important cabinet picks:


Vice President: Mike Pence

Mike Pence, former Indiana Governor, ran with President Trump in July 2016. Pence serves as the biggest connection between Trump himself and the Republican establishment, which are sometimes at odds with Trump. A fierce conservative, Pence is a supporter of fiscal conservatism and a staunch opponent of LGBTQ rights and abortions. His appointment to Vice President was praised by many, such as Speaker Paul Ryan, within the party due to several decades of political experience.

Secretary of Defense: James Mattis

James Mattis, former Marine Corps 4-star General, is known by many as “Mad Dog Mattis”. Mattis enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969 and participated in the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War before becoming Commander of U.S. Central Command. He retired from the Marine Corps in 2013. Mattis is an outspoken critic of Russia: he has condemned Russian activity in Ukraine and the Baltic states, and criticized Putin for wanting to “break NATO apart.” Members from both the Democratic and Republican parties, such as Leon Panetta and John McCain respectively, have praised Mattis’ appointment as the Secretary of Defense.  

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson joined the oil corporation, ExxonMobil, back in 1975 and became the CEO of the company in 2006 before stepping down in 2016 to join the Trump administration. Tillerson has a strong relationship with Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin. Tillerson has also openly supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade agreement that President Trump wanted to withdraw from, and has acknowledged to some extent that humans have contributed to climate change.

Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnuchin

Steven Mnuchin was a partner of Goldman Sachs for 17 years before joining the Trump administration. After leaving Goldman Sachs, Mnuchin purchased a national bank, renamed it OneWest Bank, and became the company’s CEO. During Trump’s presidential campaign, Mnuchin served as the campaign’s national finance chairman. Although Mnuchin has no prior experience in politics, his appointment has been lauded by former Secretary of Treasury Henry “Hank” Paulson as a solid choice.

Attorney General: Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions, one of the most conservative members of the Senate, was an Alabama senator prior to the election. He opposes illegal immigration and same-sex marriage, is a skeptic of climate change, and is pro-life. Sessions’ track record with social issues has become a major cause of concern as it is riddled with accusations of racism and opposition to LGBTQ rights and civil rights movements. Sessions has also supported previous attempts to construct a wall at the Mexican-American border.

Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos

Elisabeth (Betsy) DeVos, is a billionaire chairwoman of the energy company, Windquest Group. She has made a name for herself as a proponent of school vouchers and school choice but has also advocated for the privatization of schools. She is also known as a philanthropist and an education activist. Her selection as the Secretary of Education was met with mixed reactions: some, such as Jeb Bush, have praised the pick while teachers unions have criticized the selection as they believe DeVos does not have sufficient experience to lead the department.

Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry

Rick Perry served as the Governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, and was a presidential candidate during the 2012 election cycle. Perry has described himself as a fiscal conservative and has opposed creating a state income tax. Perry is also an opponent of the LGBTQ community, a global warming skeptic, and a supporter of the death penalty. He is still famous for his 2012 presidential campaign gaffe where he vowed to abolish three government departments but forgot one of the departments’ name: ironically, the Department of Energy.

White House Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus

Reince Priebus is the chairman of the Republican National Convention (RNC) and was formerly the general counsel for the RNC. Priebus helped reorganize the Republican party through the “Growth and Opportunity Project”, a project report that aimed at acquiring a better direction for the future of the Republican party, and advocated opening up the party to women and the LGBTQ community while abandoning anti-immigration stances. Priebus, however, implied that a marriage should only be between a man and a woman, and is also pro-life. Priebus has also previously worked under the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Secretary of Health: Tom Price

Before joining Trump’s cabinet, Tom Price served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and as the chairman of the House Budget Committee. Price, a major opponent of Obamacare, has criticized Obamacare for giving the government too much control over the health care system. Price is also aligned with pro-life and an opponent of same-sex marriage. Many Republicans, including Newt Gingrich and Speaker Paul Ryan, have praised Trump’s selection of Price, calling Price a leader in health care solutions.

Director of Environmental Protection Agency: Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruitt was the Attorney General of Oklahoma. Prior to his selection, Pruitt served in the Oklahoma State legislature and as the head of the Republican Attorneys General Association. Pruitt is an open and staunch opponent of the Environmental Protection Agency, condemning the agency for overextending their powers and regulations. Pruitt is also a climate change skeptic and has filed several lawsuits against climate regulations set by the Obama administration.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All THE BLUE & GOLD Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *