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Trump Diversifies Cabinet; Picks Nikki Haley and Betsy DeVos – New York Times

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump rolled out their appointments with unstinting praise. Ms. Haley, he said in a statement, was “a proven deal maker, and we look to be making plenty of deals.” Ms. DeVos, he said, was a “brilliant and passionate education advocate.”

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Gov. Nikki R. Haley in Columbia, S.C., in January. Credit Travis Dove for The New York Times

For Mr. Trump, who was spending a quiet day before Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach, Fla., the appointments ended a breathless two-week sprint since his stunning victory. In a videotaped holiday greeting to the American people on Wednesday, he acknowledged the wounds left by a “long and bruising political campaign.”

His aides said he would resume meeting with potential cabinet members on Friday, when they said he would announce Mr. Carson, the retired neurosurgeon with whom Mr. Trump bitterly clashed and lavishly praised during the campaign.

Soon afterward, Mr. Trump is expected to name Gen. James N. Mattis as defense secretary. But the search for a secretary of state has become less clear, people involved in the transition said. Aides are divided between Rudolph W. Giuliani, who staunchly backed Mr. Trump’s candidacy but whose business dealings have drawn scrutiny, and Mitt Romney, viewed by many as a safe pick but who harshly criticized Mr. Trump during the campaign.

Mr. Giuliani, who has lobbied publicly for the position, confided to associates that he believed the job was his and told Mr. Trump’s top advisers that it was the only post he was interested in, according to the people briefed on the discussions.

But Mr. Trump grew concerned both with the attention Mr. Giuliani has been drawing to himself and the reports about potential business conflicts. Some in the president-elect’s circle voiced concerns about whether Mr. Giuliani would be the subject of a messy confirmation battle.

Their attention turned to an unlikely alternative: Mr. Romney. Advisers who favored Mr. Giuliani believed Mr. Trump could send a unifying message by holding a perfunctory meeting with a vocal critic like Mr. Romney. But Mr. Trump liked him and was intrigued by the prospect of a camera-ready emissary of the United States around the world.

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Mr. Giuliani met with Mr. Trump a day later, urging him to make a decision. Mr. Romney has not signaled to Mr. Trump directly that he would accept the job if offered, a person close to the transition said.

Mr. Trump has also been warned by several advisers against choosing Mr. Romney because he might pursue his own agenda.

charter schools, which are publicly funded but typically run independently of local school boards and teachers’ unions, and school vouchers, which give students tax dollars to apply toward private-school tuition.

Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers’ union, criticized the nomination, saying that Ms. DeVos’s efforts over the years had “done more to undermine public education than support students.”

“She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers — which take away funding and local control from our public schools — to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense,” she said. “These schemes do nothing to help our most vulnerable students while they ignore or exacerbate glaring opportunity gaps.”

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