President-elect Obama begins transition period

Just hours after his historic victory as the first African-American president, Barack Obama immediately began the process of transition into the role and taking point as Commander-in-Chief.

First thing on the agenda, Obama named a chief of staff at the White House, report from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama pivoted quickly to begin filling out his new administration on Wednesday, selecting hard-charging Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff while aides stepped up the pace of transition work that had been cloaked in pre-election secrecy.

Several Democrats confirmed that Emanuel had been offered the job. While it was not clear he had accepted, a rejection would amount to an unlikely public snub of the new president-elect within hours of an electoral college landslide.

With hundreds of jobs to fill and only 10 weeks until Inauguration Day, Obama and his transition team confronted a formidable task complicated by his anti-lobbyist campaign rhetoric.

The official campaign Web Site said no political appointees would be permitted to work on “regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration.”

But almost exactly one year ago, on Nov. 3, 2007, candidate Obama went considerably further than that while campaigning in South Carolina. “I don’t take a dime of their money, and when I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House,” he said of lobbyists at the time.

Because they often have prior experience in government or politics, lobbyists figure as potential appointees for presidents of both parties.

On the morning after making history, the man elected the first black president had breakfast with his wife and two daughters at their Chicago home, went to a nearby gym and visited his downtown offices.

Aides said he planned no public appearances until later in the week, when he has promised to hold a news conference.

Also, more from Fox News on the Obama transition team:

After a selection process that has lasted the past several months, the Obama campaign has unveiled the individuals that will ensure the smooth transition of Barack Obama and Joe Biden into the White House in January:

Co-chairs: John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett, and Pete Rouse.

Advisory Board: Carol Browner, William Daley, Christopher Edley, Michael Froman, Julius Genachowski, Donald Gips, Governor Janet Napolitano, Federico Pena, Susan Rice, Sonal Shah, Mark Gitenstein, and Ted Kaufman.

Transition Senior Staff:
Chris Lu — Executive Director
Dan Pfeiffer — Communications Director
Stephanie Cutter — Chief Spokesperson
Cassandra Butts — General Counsel
Jim Messina — Personnel Director
Patrick Gaspard — Associate Personnel Director
Christine Varney — Personnel Counsel
Melody Barnes — Co-Director of Agency Review
Lisa Brown — Co-Director of Agency Review
Phil Schiliro –Director of Congressional Relations
Michael Strautmanis –Director of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs
Katy Kale — Director of Operations
Brad Kiley — Director of Operations

Video report from CBS News:


President-elect Obama will have a lot on his plate, first and foremost, this:

NEW YORK (AP) — A case of postelection nerves sent Wall Street plunging Wednesday as investors, looking past Barack Obama’s presidential victory, returned to their fears of a deep and protracted recession. Volatility swept over the market again, with the Dow Jones industrials falling nearly 500 points and all the major indexes tumbling more than 5 percent.

The market was widely expected to give back some gains after a runup that lifted the Standard & Poor’s 500 index more than 18 percent and that gave the Dow its best weekly advance in 34 years; moreover, many analysts had warned that Wall Street faced more turbulence after two months of devastating losses.

But investors lost their recent confidence about the economy and began dumping stocks again.

“The market has really gotten ahead of itself, and falsely priced in that this recession wasn’t going to be as prolonged as thought,” said Ryan Larson, head of equity trading at Voyageur Asset Management, a subsidiary of RBC Dain Rauscher. “Regardless of who won the White House, these problems are not going away.”

“We’re in a really bad recession, period,” he said. “People are locking in profits and realizing we’re not out of the woods.”

Beyond broad economic concerns, worries about the financial sector intensified after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. began to notify about 3,200 employees globally that they have been lost their jobs as part of a broader plan to slash 10 percent of the investment bank’s work force, a person familiar with the situation said. The cuts were first reported last month. Goldman fell 8 percent, while other financial names also fell; Citigroup Inc. dropped 14 percent.

Commodities stocks also fell after steelmaker ArcelorMittal said it would slash production because of weakening demand. Its stock plunged 21.5 percent.

Although the market expected Obama to win the election, as the session wore on investors were clearly worrying about the weakness of the economy and pondered what the Obama administration might do. Analysts said the market is already anxious about who Obama selects as the next Treasury Secretary, as well as who he picks for other Cabinet positions.

“The celebration is over. Today we saw a bit of reality,” said Al Goldman, chief market strategist at Wachovia Securities in St. Louis. “President-elect Obama is coming into a situation with limited experience, having to handle an economy in serious trouble, a couple of wars and terrorism. It’s an extremely tough job.”

Clearly much of this began months ago, however, this is what Obama will now have to deal with and start giving a nation, which promised to change, some answers about what he intends to do.

Short vacation I guess..