President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a cabinet announcement ceremony November 24th in Wilmington, Delaware. Chandan Khanna / AFP / Getty Images
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris have just unveiled their first cabinet-level decisions and appointments to key national security and foreign policy posts.
Here are some key lines from the Delaware nominees’ remarks:
Antony Blinken, candidate for Foreign Minister
Blinken said the US must act “with the same degree of humility and trust” in working with other countries because “we cannot solve all the world’s problems on our own”.
“We have to work with other countries, we need their cooperation. We need their partnership,” he said.
Blinken said the US had “a greater ability than any other country on earth to bring others together to meet the challenges of our time.”
Alejandro Mayorkas, candidate for Minister of Homeland Security
Mayorkas, who would be the first Latino to head the department if confirmed, said the homeland security department “has a noble mission to protect us and advance our proud history as the land of welcome”.
Avril Haines, director of the National Intelligence Service
Haines, who would become the first woman to head the US intelligence community, said Biden knew she “has never shied away from telling the truth to power,” adding, “that will be my job as director of national intelligence.”
“I’ve worked for you a long time and I accept this nomination knowing that you would never want me to do anything else and that you appreciate the perspective of the intelligence community and that you will, even if I do have to say, might be impractical or difficult, and I assure you there will be those times. “
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, candidate for UN ambassador
Thomas-Greenfield, who has served overseas on four continents for 35 years, said she likes to give diplomacy a “Cajun spin”.
“I called it gumbo diplomacy. Wherever I was stationed around the world, I invited people of different backgrounds and beliefs to help me make a roux, chop onions for the Holy Trinity, and make homemade gumbo. ”
She added, “It was my way of breaking down barriers, connecting with people and seeing myself on a human level.”
Jake Sullivan, candidate for National Security Advisor
Sullivan noted that as Vice President he was Biden’s national security advisor.
“I learned a lot about a lot, about diplomacy, about strategy, about politics. Above all about human nature. I saw how he combined strength and determination with humanity and empathy.”
He added to Biden, “This is the person America voted for. This is America at its best, too.”
John Kerry, candidate for climate officer
Kerry said that “failure is not an option” in the fight against climate change.
“Successful together means using the best of American ingenuity, creativity and diplomacy, from brain power to alternative energy, using every tool we need to get where we need to go,” he said.
Kerry added, “Nobody should doubt the resolve of this President and Vice-President, they should not doubt the resolve of the land that went to the moon, allegedly cured incurable diseases, and fought back global tyranny to win World War II.”