1. Attorney general—Eric Holder, deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, is a possibility. So is Rep. Artur Davis, a Democrat from Alabama and, like Obama, a graduate of Harvard Law School. Janet Napolitano, Arizona's governor, also has been mentioned.
2. Secretary of state—Some Democrats say that if Obama asks Robert Gates to stay on as secretary of defense, Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, is the top choice for secretary of state. If Gates does not stay, advisers said Obama could choose a Republican like Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana or Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.
4. Defense secretary—Obama may ask Gates to stay as a demonstration of bipartisanship. Otherwise, former Deputy Defense Secretary John J. Hamre, former Secretary of the Navy Richard J. Danzig, and Jim Jones, a retired Marine general and former NATO commander, are possible candidates.
3. National security adviser—Possible picks are James B. Steinberg, a former deputy national security adviser, and Gregory B. Craig, a former State Department official. Other names being tossed around: Danzig, Dennis Ross, a Middle East envoy, and Susan E. Rice, former Bill Clinton aide and early Obama adviser.
5. Treasury secretary—The most likely choices are Lawrence H. Summers, who was treasury secretary for Clinton, and Timothy F. Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker; Robert Rubin, another former Clinton treasury secretary; and Laura D'Andrea Tyson, who chaired Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, also are options.