Barack Obama may not appoint a secretary of state until next month.
Asked about a timetable for the announcement of senior cabinet positions at a press conference Tuesday, Obama-Biden transition team co-chairman John Podesta noted that "no president other than George Herbert Walker Bush has named a Cabinet appointment before December." While he said "we will try to accelerate" that process, appointments will be made "when we’re ready to make them."
Among the names that have mentioned as possible choices for the position are John Kerry, Bill Richardson, Richard Holbrooke, Chuck Hagel, Richard Lugar and Hillary Clinton.
Podesta added that while the president-elect will be looking for gender, racial and political party diversity, "excellence" will be the first criteria.
Ethics rules for the transition also were announced by Podesta. Anyone who has been registered as a federal lobbyist in the past 12 months cannot work in a field in which they lobbied, and anyone who becomes a lobbyist after their work on the transition team is forbidden from lobbying the White House in the policy field inwhich they worked for a full year.