Janet Napolitano’s departure from the Department of Homeland Security means the team that came with President Obama into the White House is dwindling. Here’s who’s survived, what they’re doing, and how long they’ll be doing it.
* Eric Holder - Napolitano was seen as next in line for attorney general, so her departure for California is a sign that Holder isn’t going anywhere soon. Holder is still considered the most likely Cabinet member to bow out. But critics have predicted his resignation multiple times, and so far he’s held on.
* Kathleen Sebelius - The Health and Human Services secretary appears likely to stay put. Implementing the Affordable Care Act is enough of a headache for the administration without a staff shake-up. And given Republican desire to see the law stalled, the confirmation fight for a replacement would likely be brutal.
* Arne Duncan - The education secretary made clear that he wants to be in the Cabinet as long as possible. He’s popular with Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, even though Common Core standards have started inspiring bipartisan concern. Right now, student loan debt is a priority. But when it comes to reauthorizing No Child Left Behind, he says it’s up to Congress to make it happen.
* Tom Vilsack - President Obama asked the agriculture secretary to stay on in January, in part to deal with the farm bill that is still struggling to get through Congress. Dealing with widespread drought is another concern.
* Eric Shinseki - The Veterans Affairs’ secretary — who is so media-averse you may have forgotten he was still around — is not going anywhere. But a huge backlog of disability claims has some wishing he would.
* Shaun Donovan - Like Duncan, Donovan is very happy where he is. And his role shepherding the Hurricane Sandy recovery makes it even less likely that he’s going anywhere.