Janet Napolitano and Tom Vilsack say they’re staying in Obama’s Cabinet


Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speaks during a ceremony honoring Sen. Joseph Leiberman (I-CT) at the at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services December 19, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Two more members of President Obama’s Cabinet have announced their intention to remain in the administration for Obama’s second term.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will retain their posts.

Napolitano, who has been dealing with the recent death of her father, had planned to stay, and the administration confirmed her decision Monday.

Napolitano’s decision means that most of Obama’s Cabinet will begin the second term unchanged.

Vilsack issued a statement about his decision Monday afternoon.


Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speaks to reporters before a House Democratic caucus meeting on January 19, 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

“President Obama and I share a deep appreciation for rural America and its unlimited potential in the years ahead to feed a growing world population,” he said.

Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, has been the Obama administration’s chief emissary to rural Americans on many issues, and he could play an important role in framing the administration’s positions as it begins a campaign to modify the nation’s gun laws.

“I am pleased to continue working alongside President Obama to grow more opportunity in rural America,” Vilsack said.

Napolitano, a former governor of Arizona, could play a similarly important role in Obama’s push for immigration legislation, an early priority for the administration.

Scott Wilson is the chief White House correspondent for the Washington Post. Previously, he was the paper’s deputy Assistant Managing Editor/Foreign News after serving as a correspondent in Latin America and in the Middle East.
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