President-elect gets down to business

Obama to introduce economic team on Friday
November 6, 2008 2:39:02 PM PST
President-elect Barack Obama is hard at work at putting together his administration. With just 10 weeks until inauguration day, his transition team is looking at candidates for cabinet and staff positions.President-elect Barack Obama will receive his first full intelligence briefing on Thursday.

On Friday, Obama will introduce his economic team and take questions from reporters. On Monday, he and his wife Michelle will travel to Washington, D.C. where they will meet with President Bush.

Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Obama pick for chief of staff, arrived at his Northwest Side office on Thursday morning. He would not say whether or not he has decided to accept the job. But, by mid-day, Democratic officials said Barack Obama's fellow Chicagoan Rahm Emanuel had agreed to be White House chief of staff.

"I'm going to my congressional office. I have some meetings there that I'm going to work on and some stuff I have to look over from our constituents in the district. And I'm going to go do that. I just spent some time with my wife after she dropped the kids off this morning," said Emanuel Thursday.

Democratic insiders say Emanuel, who advised President Clinton, would have been hard pressed to refuse the job and would accept the position even if it means uprooting his family.

"I'm honored. I appreciate all this. I have a lot to weigh: the basis of public service, which I've given my life to, a career choice. And most importantly, what I want to do as a parent," said Emanuel.

After spending time with his own family, Obama is getting down to business. While the first African-American to be elected as a U.S. President gets up to speed on America's global issues, his transition team is hard at work.

That team includes President Clinton's chief of staff John Podesta, Obama friend and confidant Valerie Jarrett, and Bill Daley, brother of Chicago's mayor. They will be fielding a number of politicians vying for cabinet appointments which several Democrats say includes Massachusetts Senator John Kerry who reportedly has shown interest in becoming secretary of state in an Obama administration.

Senator Kerry's spokesperson says the rumor is untrue.

In the meantime, Rahm Emanuel is saying he is weighing some of the concerns he has about what an appointment or move would affect his family.

President-elect Barack Obama says he is planning a news conference in the next few days.

In the meantime, the security perimeter around the Hyde Park home of the president-elect has been extended as he continues his transition to the White House.

While the Obama administration is still in its infant stages, many political watchers are already comparing him to John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

"He will probably do a combination between John F. Kennedy, just the best and the brightest. That will almost inevitably lead him toward the pattern of F.D.R. And Lincoln which is the best and the brightest don't agree with each other," said Prof. Dick Simpson, University of Illinois at Chicago.


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