President-elect Barack Obama had just one disclaimer today, Lisa Tolin of the Associated Press reports, when he announced former pro-basketball player Arne Duncan as his education secretary: “I did not select Arne because he’s one of the best basketball players I know.”
Still, he said, “I will say that I think we are putting together the best basketball-playing Cabinet in American history.”
Tolin points out that while Obama is an accomplished player, “Duncan, a regular at Obama’s pickup games, can do him one-better. He co-captained the Harvard basketball team and played professionally in Australia before becoming the head of the Chicago school system.”
Obama’s building a bench, as well: Tolin adds that “Obama’s choice for national security adviser, James L. Jones, was a forward at Georgetown. Incoming Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner hates to miss a pickup game. Eric Holder and Susan Rice, incoming attorney general and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, both played ball in high school. Janet Napolitano, Obama’s choice for homeland security secretary, has regularly guest-coached women’s basketball for Arizona’s three state universities.”
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