Despite the banner headlines generated by Obama's big-ticket cabinet appointments, an interesting cast of characters is being tapped to fill out some of the less flashy, but still hugely important administration posts. Some Democrats are underwhelmed by the selections (or potential selections) and worry that Obama is appointing lobbyist-lovers, protectionists, and lightweights. We tried to separate fact from fiction this week.

Bradford Plumer evaluated the surprising controversy surrounding Obama's EPA pick.  

Seyward Darby wrote about the Labor Secretary rumor mill and suggested that the current front-runner is a "concession that there's nobody else out there." Darby also worried about Linda Darling-Hammond's potential ascension to education secretary. 

Suzy Khimm explained why Trade Rep frontrunner Xavier Becerra shouldn't scare free-traders ... that much.