On Thursday, November 10, we published a preliminary list (leaked and unofficial) of the President-elect Trump’s cabinet choices. The source said that it wasn’t final and there could still be additions and deletions, so we must consider the list on that basis. Since some of the names on that list aren’t “household” names, it seems that it’s a worthwhile endeavor to flesh out the qualifications of those who’ve been mentioned for the various cabinet positions. And that’s the purpose of this post.
The first up is Attorney General. The candidates on the list were: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. These are all familiar names and we’re all aware of them, but just how much do we know about their qualifications to be the top law enforcement person in the country? Read on and make your decision – and later compare it with President-elect Trumps. Here they are:
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (54)
Gov. Christie is the incumbent governor of New Jersey. Christie graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1984 and Seton Hall University School of Law with a J.D. in 1987. He practiced law for 15 years until named the U.S. Attorney for the New Jersey district by President George W. Bush in 2002. He held that job until 2008. He was elected governor in 2009. See more about his positions on various issues at On the Issues and on Project Vote Smart.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (50)
Pam Bondi is currently the Attorney General for the State of Florida (since 2011). She is a former prosecutor and spokeswoman in Hillsborough County, Florida where she worked as an Assistant State Attorney. Bondi graduated from the University of Florida in 1987 with a degree in Criminal Justice. She then graduated from Stetson Law School with a JD in 1990. See more at Project Vote Smart. I didn’t find a listing in On the Issues for Bondi.
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (69)
Senator Sessions is currently a U.S. Senator from the State of Alabama. Sessions studied at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969. Sessions attended the University of Alabama School of Law and graduated with his J.D. in 1973. He also served in the Army Reserve from 1973 to 1986, achieving the rank of captain. Sessions was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama beginning in 1975. In 1981, President Reagan nominated Sessions to be the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. The Senate confirmed him and he held that position for 12 years. He was elected to be Attorney General of Alabama in 1994. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and is the incumbent today, having served 20 years as Senator. See more about his positions on various issues at On the Issues and on Project Vote Smart.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (72)
Now a private citizen, Giuliani has been an American lawyer, businessman, former politician, and public speaker from New York. Giuliani attended Manhattan College in Riverdale, Bronx, where he majored in political science with a minor in philosophy. He attended New York University School of Law in Manhattan, where he made law review and graduated cum laude with a JD degree in 1968. Upon graduation, Giuliani clerked for Judge Lloyd Francis MacMahon, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. In 1970, Giuliani joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. In 1973, he was named Chief of the Narcotics Unit and became executive U.S. attorney. In 1975, he was named Associate Deputy Attorney General and chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Harold Tyler. From 1977 to 1981, during the Carter Administration, Giuliani practiced law at the Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler law firm, as chief of staff to his previous DC boss, Harold Tyler. In 1981, Giuliani was named Associate Attorney General in the Reagan administration, the third-highest position in the Department of Justice. In 1983, Giuliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which was technically a demotion but was sought by Giuliani because of his desire to personally litigate cases.
Giuliani was U.S. Attorney until January 1989, resigning as the Reagan Administration ended. He joined the law firm White & Case in New York City as a partner. He remained with White & Case until May 1990, when he joined the law firm Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky, also in New York City.
Giuliani served as mayor of New York City from 1994 through 2001. After leaving the mayor’s office, Giuliani founded a security consulting business, Giuliani Partners LLC. He stepped down from CEO and Chairman, but he maintained his equity interest in the firm. In 2005, Giuliani joined the law firm of Bracewell & Patterson LLP (renamed Bracewell & Giuliani LLP) as a name partner and basis for the expanding firm’s new New York office. On January 19, 2016, it was reported that Giuliani is moving to the law firm Greenberg Traurig, where he will be the global chairman for Greenberg’s cybersecurity and crisis management group, as well as a senior advisor to the firm’s executive chairman Richard Rosenbaum. See more about his positions on various issues at On the Issues , Project Vote Smart didn’t have a listing for former Mayor Giuliani.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: The amount of information provided for the candidates above was based solely on the amount of detail that was available. In other words, the fact that there is so much more detail in Mayor Giuliani’s section is simply due to his age and number of positions held as well as the amount of information publicly available and is not intended to influence your opinion on the suitability of any one individual for President-elect Trump’s cabinet post. Make up your own mind and then do what you must to lobby the president-elect.