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Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has made his choice for secretary of state, three people familiar with the matter tell Axios, moving quickly to assemble a Senate-confirmable Cabinet even as President Trump refuses to concede the election.

The big picture: Biden already has said he's made his choice for Treasury, and both picks may be aimed at defusing confirmation fights with Senate Republicans and internal battles with Democratic progressives.

  • Biden is expected to roll out several top Cabinet picks next week, long before two runoff elections in Georgia on Jan. 5 determine which party will control the Senate.
  • Teasing his upcoming Treasury announcement yesterday in Delaware, he said his selection "will be accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party, from the progressive to the moderate coalitions."

Between the lines: So far, Biden's inner circle has remained leak-proof on the names of his final selections. But sources tell Axios that the nation's top diplomatic post will not go to Susan Rice, an indication Biden doesn't want to begin his presidency with a standoff.

  • Some Senate Republicans have sought to demonize her for the Obama administration's initial response to the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
  • Rice, who was a finalist to be Biden's vice president, could still be tapped to serve in another role in the Biden administration.

Be smart: Several Democrats close to Biden expect him to name his longtime adviser Tony Blinken to State. Biden aides declined to confirm Blinken is the pick.

  • If he is, that could create other openings inside the White House senior staff — in roles including national security adviser. Avril Haines, who served as deputy national security adviser under Obama, is thought to be a leading contender for that position.
  • Amid earlier predictions of a "blue wave" sweeping Democrats to a Senate majority, which did not come to pass, insiders had expected Rice to be tapped for State and Blinken to become the national security adviser.
  • A spokesman for the transition declined to comment for this story.

What we're watching: Biden's earlier remarks about his thinking on a Treasury pick set off speculation on Wall Street that he'll announce former Fed Chair Janet Yellen. But some Democrats close to Biden are not convinced that current Fed governor Lael Brainard is out of the running.

  • Biden announced additional senior White House staff today, including Ambassador Cathy Russell, to head the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.
  • Her husband, Tom Donilon, served as Obama's national security adviser before Rice and is under consideration for a high-level national security post, including director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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.

3 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Rising rates may hammer the stock market

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Stocks are much more vulnerable to interest rate swings than they used to be.

Why it matters: A sharp rise in rates in early 2022 is the key reason the stock market is off to an ugly start. And with the Federal Reserve making noise about trying to keep inflation in check, rates could go higher.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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