Speed Reads

election 2020

Biden's potential Cabinet picks may be limited 'to those who Mitch McConnell can live with'

Should Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden win the 2020 election while Republicans retain control of the Senate, some potential Cabinet nominees may reportedly be out of contention.

No winner has been projected in the 2020 race as votes continue to be counted in key battleground states, but Biden holds an Electoral College lead over President Trump, while it appears Democrats may fail to gain a majority in the Senate. As a result, Biden's transition team is being forced to "consider limiting" his options for Cabinet picks "to those who Mitch McConnell can live with," Axios reported on Thursday.

"A Republican Senate would work with Biden on centrist nominees but no 'radical progressives' or ones who are controversial with conservatives," the report says, citing a source close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The report outlines how two people who "could be early casualties" of this are former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Susan Rice, former national security adviser under President Obama. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) may also be rejected for potential spots, if Biden was actually considering them. On the other hand, examples of more centrist nominees could reportedly be Lael Brainard for the position of Treasury secretary.

In general, the idea of Republicans retaining control of the Senate would be a major setback to a Biden presidency, with one source telling Axios, "It's going to be armed camps." Still, not everyone was convinced Biden potentially having to eye what Axios described as a "more centrist Cabinet" was necessarily such a devastating blow to his team, with reporter Matthew Zeitlin joking, "Oh no Joe Biden will have appoint Obama appointees and veteran Democrats he has a longtime relationship with, he must be devastated."