Obama Dazzles Dems and GOP with Cabinet Picks

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After naming his economic team and his national security team at record speed, President-elect Barack Obama will now focus on filling the last half of his Cabinet.

Rounding out his Cabinet will be the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Veterans Affairs, Transportation and Education.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is expected to be named commerce secretary on Wednesday, and Tom Daschle has been widely touted as secretary of health and human services. And speculation is growing that Tammy Duckworth, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, will get the nod to lead the national department.

What has been most striking about Obama's nominations so far is the speed at which he has named them and the lack of controversy. The president-elect has moved swiftly to try to bring reassurances and continuity in the federal government as the world grapples with war, recession and terrorist threats, which erupted last week in Mumbai, India.

On Monday, Obama introduced his national security team, picking Democratic primary rival Hillary Clinton to be secretary of state and President Bush's defense secretary, Robert Gates, to continue at his post. The announcements marked a shift in emphasis after his of appointments last week of his economic team, led by Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary.

"I think the times demand this," Democratic consultant Martin Frost told FOXNews.com. "I don't think you can go at a leisurely pace."

Frost said the sequence in which Obama has announced his Cabinet members isn't unusual, noting that economic and national security issues are the top priorities for any president.

"I think he's done this in a very careful way," Frost said, adding that Obama's picks have drawn favorable reviews from both sides of the aisle.

GOP consultant Doug Heye praised Obama for how he he has rolled out his Cabinet members so far.

"The Obama transition team has made a strategic decision on how this will be done," Heye said, noting Obama's move to present his economic team last week followed by his national security advisers this week.

"We don't know yet what next week will be," he joked.

But Heye added that Obama, by not naming an energy secretary yet, runs the risk of signaling that energy independence is not as important to his administration.

"Energy policy is something he said would be a top priority," he said. "We haven't even got any real rumors of who's being vetted."

Even so, Obama's picks have allowed Republicans to breathe a sigh of relief.

"I think there's a number of things for people who didn't vote for him to be relieved about," GOP consultant Cheri Jacobus told FOXNews.com, citing Obama's decision to keep Gates on as defense secretary.

Jacobus said Obama so far has resembled Sen. John McCain or President Bush. She said Obama has been able to move as fast as he has because he doesn't feel obligated to repay any of the special interest groups that helped him get eleted.

"This is someone who was a blank slate before he was elected," she said.