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Team Obama Takes Shape

CBS News has confirmed that Sen. Hillary Clinton has decided to accept the offer to join President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet as secretary of state, according to a senior Clinton adviser.

The adviser told CBS News that Mr. Obama formally told Clinton earlier in the week the job was hers if she wanted it.

But a Clinton spokesman stressed that this is not a done deal. "We're still in discussions, which are very much on track. Any reports beyond that are premature," said Philippe Reines, a senior adviser to the New York senator.

CBS News has also learned that New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner is Mr. Obama's choice for Secretary of the Treasury.

The Associated Press reported late Saturday that Obama is planning to name former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers - previosly thought to be a front-runner to resume that post - as director of the National Economic Council.

Obama is expected to announce both of those economic picks, and possibly others, on Monday.

And CBS News has confirmed that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had emerged as a likely pick for commerce secretary.

Elsewhere, CBS News correspondent David Martin reports that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, met Friday for a one-on-one meeting with Obama. Mullen flew to Chicago at the invitation of Mr. Obama and the men met for about 45 minutes. Mullen refused to say what was discussed. As the president's chief military adviser, Mullen will play a key role in helping Obama make good on his campaign promise to end the war in Iraq and get all combat brigades out by July, 2010.

A more complete rundown of the emerging Obama cabined is below, based on reporting by CBS News and the Associated Press:

  • Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton

    "In many ways this pairing would seem the most unlikely of the new administration, especially given the often bitter primary battle between the two," said senior political editor Vaughn Ververs. "But the president-elect has emphasized his desire to bring former opponents into his administration and there's not a better example of this 'team of rivals' approach than this. Whether it works out in the long run is the $64,000 question."

    CBS News' Chip Reid reported Friday that Clinton's decision to accept the job came only after additional conversations with Mr. Obama to make sure she was comfortable with the idea of the two former rivals working together.

    An Obama transition aide told The Associated Press that the two camps have worked out financial disclosure issues involving Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, and the complicated international funding of his foundation that operates in 27 countries.

    Clinton is reported to have been mulling the post for several days, but the transition aide's comments suggested that Mr. Obama's team does not feel she is inclined to turn it down.

    Some Democrats and government insiders have questioned whether Clinton is too independent and politically ambitious to be an effective secretary of state. But Mr. Obama is said to admire her talents and experience, as do many other Democrats.

    A senior adviser to Mr. Obama said the president-elect believes Clinton would bring instant stature and credibility to U.S. diplomatic relations and that the advantages to her serving far outweighed potential downsides.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the apparent choice in an interview with CBS News, saying "Fabulous, she'd be absolutely great. She's so respected through our country and also throughout the world."

  • Secretary of the Treasury: Tim Geithner

    If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Geithner, 47, would assume chief responsibility for tackling an economic slowdown and a credit crunch that threaten to create the deepest recession in more than a generation. The president of the New York Federal Reserve, he has played a key role in the government's response to the financial crisis and has worked closely with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

    He is also a veteran of the Treasury Department, having served in top posts under Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush.

    In an interview with CBS News, Washington Post columnist Steve Pearlstein called Geithner a "great choice" who "knows exactly what's going on and going wrong"

  • Commerce Secretary: Bill Richardson

    Like Clinton, he was a rival of Mr. Obama's for the Democratic presidential nomination last winter. He dropped out after the early contests, though, and soon threw his support behind the eventual winner.

  • Attorney General: Eric Holder

    Holder was a top Justice Department aide in the Clinton administration, though most recently he has been in private practice.

  • Secretary of Defense: Unknown

    While speculation has been rampant about numerous Cabinet-level appointments, there has been relatively little about Mr. Obama's choice as defense secretary. His aides encouraged speculation before the election that Robert Gates, who now holds the position, would remain in office for an interim period.

    Other possible candidates include former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., a critic of the Iraq war who is retiring from Senate, and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a member of Senate Armed Services Committee and Obama friend.

  • Homeland Security Secretary: Janet Napolitano

    The Arizona governor is Mr. Obama's top choice.

  • CIA Director: John Brennan

    Brennan is a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

  • Secretary of Health and Human Services: Tom Daschle

    The former Senate Majority Leader from South Dakota and longtime Obama supporter has all-but-officially gotten the nod.

  • Director, Office of Management and Budget: Peter Orszag

    Orszag is the current director of the Congressional Budget Office.

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