Obama may begin naming his team as early as next week

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Washington, Nov 5 : After emerging a clear winner of the Presidential Poll 2008, Barack Obama's next task would to set up a new team of aides to deliver on the promises which got him elected with a thumping majority. And, most of the officials to be picked up by Obama are expected to be the experienced hands who had worked under the Clinton regime till eight years ago.

Those close to Obama claim that new Cabinet announcements may start trickling out by next week.

Obama is also expected to follow through on his pledge to "restrict the role of lobbyists in his administration". Obama's campaign lawyer Robert F. Bauer, a potential White House counsel, has been at work on a code of conduct. "People are going to be surprised at how strict we are," said a senior Obama aide.

According to the Washington Post, Obama is expected to name Rep. Rahm Emanuel, his longtime friend and ally from Chicago as the new Chief of Staff at the White House in the next day or two.

An Obama source familiar with the transition process (of picking up a new team team by Obama), said the goal is to move "quickly, but not hastily".

The approach to appointments and other senior hires will be comprehensive, as opposed to ad hoc, which may mean that Obama will not name, say, a Treasury secretary right away but will continue to rely in the short term on his current economic advisory team.

But, apprehensions are being expressed at Obama's inexperience in handling government offices. The paper said: "Obama remains largely a stranger to the vast federal bureaucracy and will be besieged by Washington insiders he barely knows -- and whose loyalties are untested -- seeking positions of influence".

"He was extremely good at running for office, but there's no way to predict what comes next. There's no school for presidents. A lot of this is on-the-job training, and we take a lot on faith," the paper quoted Stephen Hess, a presidential scholar with the Brookings Institution, as saying.

Obama's aides hope that his transition operation will be a "sharp contrast" with the chaotic operation that President-elect Bill Clinton ran in 1992. Clinton did not pick anyone, either for a Cabinet or White House position, until the sixth week of his transition, and he named much of his top White House staff on Jan. 15, just five days before his inauguration -- far too late for them to learn the contours of the jobs they were about to undertake.

Avoiding the same mistakes is one reason Obama is eager to have the hard-nosed Emanuel become the White House gatekeeper, added the paper.

ANI

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