Obama Picks Pro-Ethanol, Agribusiness Ex-Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to Head Agricultural Dept.
President-elect Barack Obama has officially nominated former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack to head the Agriculture Department. The pro-ethanol Vilsack will manage a staff of more than 105,000 and a budget of more than $95 billion. We discuss Vilsack’s nomination with Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association and Brian Moore of the National Audubon Society. [includes rush transcript]
Shunning Environmental Groups, Obama Taps Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar for Interior Dept.
We continue our look at Obama’s latest cabinet nominations. Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar has been tapped to head the Department of Interior. Obama chose Salazar despite a campaign by many environmental groups who were pushing the President-elect to choose Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva.
Obama's Choice for Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, Seen as Compromise Between Divided Strands
As chief executive officer of the Chicago public school system, the third largest in the country, Education Secretary-designate Arne Duncan expanded charter schools and launched a performance pay plan for teachers. Duncan was seen as a compromise pick between progressive and conservative education advocates. We speak to Michael Klonsky, professor of education and longtime school reform activist in Chicago, and Deborah Meier, a well-known teacher, writer and public advocate.