Shalala speaks on Obama’s cabinet selections

THE MIAMI HURRICANE: With the new cabinet taking shape and Obama’s previous opponent now the secretary of State, do you think it’s just a coincidence that the secretary position has all been women for the past two presidents and now with President-elect Barack Obama?

TMH: How do you think Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic experience as a former first lady will help her as secretary of State?
DS: What will help her is her high intelligence, government policy making experience and diplomatic skills.

TMH: What do you think about Obama keeping Robert Gates, the current secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush, as secretary of Defense?
DS: He is first rate (and a former college president).

TMH: What do you think Obama’s presidency will do for higher education or what would you like him to do?
DS: I’d like him to provide more financial aid for our students and double the NIH and NSF budgets.

TMH: Going into his presidency in 2009, what do you think Obama’s number one concern/priority will or should be?
DS: The economy.

TMH: Do you have any type of relationship with President-elect Obama?
DS: Yes.