Chicago, Nov.19 : After running a campaign known for its almost military-like cool and discipline, US President-elect Barack Obama is now assembling a staff whose members are known for their combativeness.
His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is a take-no-prisoners politician known for his willingness to butt heads with adversaries.
Obama's top liaison to Congress, Phil Schiliro, is a skilled political infighter and his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, is one of the few people who can boast of shouting down Sean Hannity of Fox News on Hannity's own show, reports the New York Times.
Obama's possible zeroing into Lawrence H. Summers, the outspoken former Harvard president, as Treasury secretary, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state, has sent the Washington press corps into overdrive. Experts say that by surrounding himself with forceful personalities, Obama may also be preparing himself and his administration for real battles.
Aides to Mr. Obama say that he intends to run a tight ship, and that an Obama administration would not be a return to the factional fighting of the Clinton White House.
They say that his choices of Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Emanuel - and potentially of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Summers as well - reflect a self-confidence and a willingness to tolerate internal dissent.
" 'No-Drama Obama' during the campaign meant that if you had something to say, you said it," one Obama campaign aide said.
"You didn't go around people, or try to undermine people, you said what you thought. That's how he's going to run his administration."
Added Stephanie Cutter, Obama's transition spokeswoman: "He doesn't put up with drama, but he encourages strong opinions and advice. In that environment of mutual respect, there tends to be little drama."