Speculation Swirls About Obama Cabinet

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WASHINGTON - President-elect Barack Obama has less than 11 weeks to go before he takes the oath of office.

Once he does, he'll assume the responsibility of managing two wars and the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. And with that, Obama is wasting no time building his transition team.

What needs to happen for a smooth transition? Click play for more insight from Regent University's Dr. Charles Dunn, following this report.

Moving deeper into his role as the next Commander-in-Chief, today President-elect Obama received his first top secret briefing from the nation's senior intelligence officials.

From here on out, he receives the same daily briefing as outgoing President George Bush. It's just the next in a series of steps Obama is taking toward a massive transition come January.

Wednesday, he spent six hours meeting with top advisers about the composition of his cabinet and putting together his transition team.

The campaign announced that it would be headed by former President Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, Peter Rouse - Obama's U.S. Senate chief of staff- and close friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Democrats confirmed that Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel has accepted the position of Obama's White House chief of staff.

"I'm honored to be considered," Emanuel said earlier. "I've got a lot to weigh: my commitment to my country, my commitment to public service and why I got into this, as well as my commitment to my family and what I want to do as a parent."

Emanuel, known for his drive and brash style, just won re-election and is a ranking member in Congress, credited for playing a key role in putting his party back in power in 2006.

But before his work on Capitol Hill, he served as an aide to former President Clinton, giving him both legislative and executive-level experience.

Bush Pledges Smooth Transition

Amid the speculation and all the talk about the next administration, Bush made it clear Wednesday that he is still in charge.

Still, he pledged to make the process as smooth as possible.

"I told the President-elect he can count on complete cooperation from my administration as he makes the transition to the White House," Bush said. "During this time of transition, I will keep the President-elect fully informed on important decisions."

With a sense of urgency, the Obama campaign had begun laying the groundwork well in advance of the election.

He's been working to fill hundreds of top Washington jobs - including perhaps the most important cabinet level position right now, secretary of the treasury to deal with the ailing economy.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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