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Joe Biden. Photo: JIM WATSON / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is considering some well-known Republicans — think Meg Whitman types — for Commerce secretary as a way to signal to red-state Americans he understands their concerns and plans to address them.

The big picture: Biden's team is debating the political upside of an across-the-aisle pick, and it's still very possible the president-elect will settle on an all-Democratic Cabinet, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • For Commerce, he also could select a mostly apolitical CEO, like former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, as a neutral way to reach out to the business community. The Commerce secretary is considered an administration's ambassador to the business world.

Why it matters: While Biden again promised Monday night to be a “president for all Americans,” his team hasn’t decided on a strategy to convince some of the 74 million Trump voters he will address their issues.

  • Democratic and progressive criticism of picking a Republican centers on the changing nature of the GOP, which has fully embraced President Trump — even during his election challenges.
  • Some possible Republican picks like Whitman, the former Hewlett Packard CEO, are considered RINOs, or traitors, by the new Republican base. She endorsed Biden.
  • Aside from short-term favorable media coverage, some Biden confidants are unconvinced there is a long-term benefit from selecting a Republican.

Flashback: President Obama nominated Republicans for the top jobs at the departments of Defense and Transportation, and initially named GOP Senator Judd Gregg to run Commerce. Gregg ultimately withdrew his name, citing differences over the stimulus package at that time.

  • President George W. Bush chose a former Democratic lawmaker, Norman Mineta, to be his Transportation secretary.
  • Trump didn't pick any Democratic politicians, though his daughter Ivanka and his first director of the National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, were registered Democrats.

Be Smart: While Biden and his team are working hard to satisfy all interest groups, the intensity of some of the advocacy — and a dwindling number of seats — may keep him from having room for a Republican in his Cabinet.

Go deeper

Updated Mar 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet tracker: Which nominees have been confirmed

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All of President Biden's Cabinet nominees have now been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The big picture: Biden now has known, trusted people around him, many from the Obama administration, to help implement his policies and turn away from the tumultuous Trump years.

Young people want checks on Big Tech's power

Data: Generation Lab; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The next generation of college-educated Americans thinks social media companies have too much power and influence on politics and need more government regulation, according to a new survey by Generation Lab for Axios.

Why it matters: The findings follow an election dominated by rampant disinformation about voting fraud on social media; companies' fraught efforts to stifle purveyors of disinformation including former President Trump; and a deadly Jan. 6 insurrection over the election organized largely online.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

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