Almost a week after being sworn in as President of the United States, Joe Biden’s cabinet is beginning to come together. The Senate confirmed Antony Blinken as Secretary of State on Tuesday making him the President’s fourth nominee to be approved. Treasury secretary Janet Yellen, defence secretary Lloyd Austin and director of national intelligence Avril have also been approved by the Senate.
While Biden has focused on diversity and government experience in choosing his cabinet members, his predecessor Donald Trump was more anti-establishment. The difference between the approaches of both is stark.
Here’s a comparative look at the top picks of Biden and Trump:
1. Treasury secretary
For treasury secretary, Trump’s choice was Steven Mnuchin, a financier with ties to Wall Street who bankrolled movies including “X-Men” and “Avatar.” Mnuchin had no government experience whatsoever and had spent nearly 20 years at Goldman Sachs later becoming part of a group of investors that purchased a bank which was seized during the financial crisis of 2008.
Biden’s pick is Janet L Yellen, who has a long career in economics and almost two decades at the federal reserve. She was also a chairwoman of the council of economic advisers during the Clinton administration.
2. Secretary of State
Trump’s pick for Secretary of State was Rex W Tillerson, who was then the chief executive of Exxon Mobil and had a very close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden has chosen Antony J Blinken, his longtime aide who also worked at the state department during the Clinton administration. Blinken was Biden’s national security adviser and was a key player in the Obama administration’s policy in Iraq and Syria.
3. Secretary of Commerce
Trump’s pick for the position was Wilbur Ross, an investor and Trump campaign donor, who made a fortune through private equity investments. He took on the role without any government experience.
Biden’s pick is Gina M Raimondo, the governor of Rhode Island since 2015 who has experience in both government and finance. She was also the state treasurer and founded a joint venture firm that helped finance a number of start-ups.
4. Secretary of department of housing and urban development
Trump chose Ben Carson, a retired renowned neurosurgeon with no government experience for this post. The pick was widely criticised by the media and by the Democrats as well.
Biden’s choice is Marcia L Fudge who has represented the state of Ohio in the House since 2008 and is also a former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. She was also the mayor of Warrensville Heights, a suburb of Cleveland.
5. Secretary of department of education
Trump chose Betsy DeVos, a wealthy philanthropist and a Republican fund-raiser for this position. She was highly criticised as she was a major supporter of private schools. Biden’s pick on the other hand is Miguel Cardona, the commissioner of Connecticut’s education department, who attended public schools as a child and taught in them as well during his teaching careers.