eric-holder_web.jpgIt's Washington's favorite parlor game during a presidential transition: trying to figure out who'll land a top spot in the new administration. President-elect Barack Obama is weighing an array of Washington insiders and outsiders, including some Republicans, for Cabinet and other top positions, according to Democratic officials.

Just like the stock market, names rise and fall weekly, some zooming to the top, others dropping out of contention. Hillary Rodham Clinton suddenly is considered the top prospect for secretary of state, although other names remain in the mix. It looks like Eric Holder, former deputy attorney general, is on track to become attorney general.

Some of those who are the subject of speculation already have been chosen by Obama to serve as part of his transition team. For example, former Sen. Tom Daschle was picked Wednesday to lead Obama's working group on health care, the same day word surfaced that he's accepted Obama's offer to serve as secretary of health and human services.

Some names being floated are surprising, such as former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell for education secretary. Others are high-profile governors or members of Congress. Many are also little known to the general public – and may remain so.

DEFENSE SECRETARY                                      
• Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
• Former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig.
• Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., critic of Iraq war, retiring from Senate.
• Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., member of Senate Armed Services Committee.

TREASURY SECRETARY                                        
• Timothy Geithner, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
• Former Federal Reserve Chairman
Paul Volcker.
• Lawrence Summers, former treasury secretary and one-time Harvard University president.

SECRETARY OF STATE                                            
• Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, former first lady and one-time rival of Obama's for the Democratic presidential nomination.
• Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., former U.N. ambassador and energy secretary.
• Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., 2004 presidential nominee.
• Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., critic of Iraq war, retiring from Senate.
• Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

ATTORNEY GENERAL                                                
• Eric Holder, former deputy attorney general.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY                                                                          
• Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

• Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.

CIA DIRECTOR                                                      
• John Brennan, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center

• Tim Roemer, former Indiana congressman and member of the 9/11 commission.
• Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., chairwoman of House Homeland Security intelligence subcommittee.
• Jami Miscik, former head of CIA's analytical operations.

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER                            
• James B. Steinberg, former deputy national security adviser.
• Susan Rice, former assistant secretary of state for African affairs.

ENERGY SECRETARY                                              
• Dan Reicher, director of climate change and energy initiatives at Google, former assistant energy secretary in charge of efficiency and renewable energy programs in the Clinton administration.
• Former Rep. Philip Sharp, D-Ind., president of Resources for the Future think tank.
• Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

INTERIOR SECRETARY                                      
• Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.
• Former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles.
• Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., former executive director of Colorado Natural Resources Department.

EPA ADMINISTRATOR                                       
• Lisa P. Jackson, commissioner of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
• Mary Nichols, head of California Air Resources Board.
• Kathleen McGinty, former secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY                                                         
• Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.
• Renee Glover, head of Atlanta's housing authority
• Nicholas Retsinas, director of Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies
• Shaun Donovan, commissioner of New York City's housing department.

LABOR SECRETARY                                                
• Ed McElroy, former president of the American Federation of Teachers
• Former Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri
• Linda Chavez-Thompson, former AFL-CIO vice president
• Former Rep. David Bonior, member of Obama's Transition Economic Advisory Board.
• Maria Echaveste, former Clinton White House adviser.

COMMERCE SECRETARY                                            
• Laura D'Andrea Tyson, former chair of White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton.

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIRECTOR                                                            
• Peter Orszag, director of Congressional Budget Office.

EDUCATION SECRETARY                                         
• Colin Powell, former secretary of state, former chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff.
• Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
• Arne Duncan, chief executive officer of Chicago public schools.
• Inez Tenenbaum, former South Carolina schools superintendent.
• Linda Darling-Hammond, education professor at Stanford University.

TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY                            
• Jane Garvey, former head of Federal Aviation Administration.
• Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of House Transportation Committee.
• Mortimer Downey, former deputy transportation secretary.
• Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., member of the House Transportation Committee.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY                                       
• Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.
• Tom Buis, president of National Farmers Union.
• Former Rep. Charles Stenholm, D-Texas.
• John W. Boyd Jr. of Virginia, president of National Black Farmers Association.

VETERANS AFFAIRS                                                  
• Tammy Duckworth, a disabled Iraq war veteran and Illinois veterans affairs director.
• Former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, a Vietnam veteran who had three limbs amputated after a grenade blast.
• Current VA Secretary James Peake.

Photo: Eric Holder