Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama Offers Chief of Staff to Rahm Emanuel

Obama offered the job of chief of staff to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, ABC News' Jake Tapper reported the day after the election.

Emanuel, a veteran of Bill Clinton's administration and a close political ally of Obama from Chicago, hasn't immediately given his answer.

Obama likes the fact that Emanuel knows policy, knows politics, knows Capitol Hill and has told associates that he knows that Emanuel will "have his back," ABC News' chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos said of the offer.

Obama didn't have time to savor his history making victory that made him America's first African-American to win the White House with a landslide victory over Republican John McCain. The Illinois senator amassed 338 electoral votes to McCain's 162, although three states -- Missouri, Indiana and North Carolina -- are too close to project.

President Bush in a Rose Garden statement congratulated Obama on his "impressive" victory and noted the historic significance of electing the country's first black president.

"No matter how they cast their votes, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made," Bush said.

"It will be a stirring sight to watch Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and their two beautiful daughters stop over the threshhold of the White House," he said.

The president acknowleged "we are embarking on a period of change in Washington," and promised his "complete cooperation" in the transition over the next two months.

The sweeping triumph, which included winning six states that had voted Republican in 2004, triggered euphoric crowds to turn out in Chicago where Obama claimed his victory as well as in New York City's Times Square and Harlem, and outside the White House in Washington, D.C.

By the time the dancing in the streets was over, names were being bandied over the airwaves about who Obama will name to his cabinet.

The President-elect has signaled that he will rely heavily on former members of Bill Clinton's administration and that he intends to include several Republicans on his team.

Obama intends to quickly settle on a secretary of treasury to help bring stability to the country's shaky economy.

"If people think there is a direction, a vision, a plan that we're moving forward, you can change the psychology, help the markets to settle down," Bill Clinton's former chief of staff Mack McLarty told "Good Morning America."

Timothy Geithner, president of New York's Federal Reserve Bank, and former treasury secretary in the Clinton administration Larry Summers are believed to be the leading contenders.

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