Joe Biden is expected to begin naming his major Cabinet appointments by Thanksgiving, and, assuming he is certified as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, the Democrat is likely to turn to longtime confidant Tony Blinken as secretary of state.

Sources close to Biden say former Deputy Secretary of State Blinken is the former vice president’s first choice for what is considered the premier portfolio in any president’s Cabinet.

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Blinken, the same sources say, would enjoy the same close relationship with Biden as president that current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo does with President Donald Trump and James Baker did with President George H.W. Bush while serving as his secretary of state.

A graduate of Harvard and Columbia Law School, Blinken, 58, served as both deputy national security adviser and in the No. 2 spot at the State Department under President Barack Obama.

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