Remember that Eric Cantor, the former House majority leader, became a regular at Davos before landing at boutique investment bank Moelis & Co. That's not to say that any of the top administration figures at the event — Biden, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General Loretta Lynch — will wind up on Wall Street or anywhere in corporate America next year. But it's a safe bet that all of them will draw major interest from the huge roster of corporate CEOs and top bankers making the rounds of cocktail parties and dinners at Davos. If you want to ensure a soft landing after leaving office, you don't get a better networking opportunity.
The U.S. delegation at Davos also includes HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and USAID Administrator Gayle Smith,. There are at least two governors attending — Gregory Abbott of Texas and John Hickenlooper of Colorado — and five senators and eight congressmen, including current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa from California.
To be sure, the big names from the Obama administration have plenty of official duties at Davos. Biden offered remarks — added at the list minute — in his new role as "cancer czar" charged with charting a course to curing the disease at long last. But according to various news reports, attendees were skeptical of how much Biden could achieve in the final year of a lame-duck administration.
Kerry, fresh off the release of prisoners in Iran and completion of a landmark nuclear deal that lifted sanctions on the longtime U.S. adversary, spoke about the possibility that sanctions could also soon be lifted against Russia if it behaves itself in Ukraine.