November 6th, 2008
11:45 AM ET
5 years ago

The Transition: Scene in the Pentagon

An office in the Pentagon has been established for Obama staffers.
An office in the Pentagon has been established for Obama staffers.

(CNN) - The Pentagon is all abuzz with talk of the "transition," so - along with some other reporters - I got a sneak peak at the transition office the Pentagon has set aside for the advance team from the Obama camp.

The "office" is series of new, but nondescript cubicles on the E-ring of the 3rd deck of the Pentagon, not far from the Secretary of Defense’s office.

Room 3E971 to be precise.

Nobody has moved in yet, but the office is equipped with phones, computers and office supplies.

A lot of highlighters, hanging files, and other office accoutrements.

“Look like somebody’s been to Staples,” one reporter equipped.

Because nothing transition related goes uncovered in Washington, we’ve asked for permission to photograph the empty spaces.

Look for that video coming soon to a cable news network near you.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Pentagon
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. N. S. Huntsville, Al

    To bad Obama has to take the white house from Bush, because I don't trust Bush for nothing, he is settign Obama up I feel it. Obama needs to be very careful and select some good people in his office because trust me there is too many people that want him to fail.

    November 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Deacon

    Katiec has it wrong! The first thing President Obama needs to do is get briefed on what the Military is doing, what the threats to America are and the plans to mitigate those threats. To just charge into the pentagon and begin chopping away at the current military system would be a huge mistake and open us up to considerable risk.

    We trust Obama is smarter than to cut without knowing the whole story.
    If he is not, then we obviously voted in the wrong person.

    November 6, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. David

    Yes, it is possible that Bush and the Republican's will try to deliver the White House to Obama with a "Poisin Pill" so to speak to damage his presidency and ability to get a smooth start. But may this conspiracy theory be a false one. There is more at stake here than Obama's Presidency so I would hope country comes first on all sides.

    November 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Dave, Central Illinois

    "katiec", thats exactly what McCain was pushing for.
    "N. S. Huntsville, Al", Bush is being much more accomodating than Clinton ever was toward him. Clinton's hacks denied Bush's transition team access to headquarters and caused critical delays.

    November 6, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. proud american

    Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense- that would be a great choice

    November 6, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Scott NYC Independent

    For security reasons I don't think having photo's of the room and making public the exact room number is very intelligent. But this is typical of the Bush administration. I don't think the Obama people will move into that room; in fact I think they already know where they are going to set up shop and it won't be the Bush adminstration that will tell them where to do it.

    November 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Praetorian

    I believe the majority of the military staff and civilians working in the Pentagon will welcome the change.

    Just imagine the "very different" kind of discussion around the water cooler when the directions from the Commander-In-Chief and the Secretaries of Defense, and the different armed services–are in synch!!!

    There will be a joyous banter, and a revelry in the return of reason, judgement, and clarity of orders from the White House.

    November 6, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. panterazero

    "Let's complete the West Wing "life imitating art" theme of this election as thoroughly as possible."

    McCain nominated as SecDef would be one fulfillment of that, but Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State would be the other - and better.

    November 6, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. ANGIE

    Chuck Hagel for Defense!

    November 6, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I agree that Hagel could be a good Sec of Def. At this point, if Gates gets along well with Obama, it could mean that Gates could stay. it wouldn't be out of the realm of possiblities.

    November 6, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    You liberals, there is no Peace Dividend that you can take from the Defense Department when our country is in a time of war against terrorism, fighting on 2 battlefronts, dealing with rogue nations, and Russia and China being questionable friends. The military needs to resupply their inventory and continue training. You can gety rid of cost overruns and no bid contracts but our Armed Forces need the latest and greatest to fight with and to save their lives. As someone who did 20 years in the Navy part during the Clinton years it is his role that played the greatest role in Troops not having body armor, armored Humvees, and enough troops to do a proper occupation in Iraq and Afganistan at the same time. In the Constitution a strong defense is required, entitlements are not required per the Constitution. I hope Obama does not move the Armed Forces from being 15% behind their civilian counterparts back to the 21% that Clinton took them.

    November 6, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. JDC

    BO wants to eliminate programs that don't work. Also favors cutting military, so why bother with "transition."

    November 6, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. 1/20/13

    Are we still going to need the Pentagon under an Obama Administration??? You know with alll the world piece now

    November 6, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    First of all congratulation to 44th and the american people for a job well done: A silent revolution has taken place in America.

    The establishement had it all wrong from day one. But the winner is the American people. No blood shed. Yet a revolution took place in the mist of fraud charge and voter suppression.

    Yet the voice of the American people resonated like a large gong in the middle of the night of October 4th, 2008.

    However, this is only the beginning of the battle: Americans cannot let their guards down. The forces of intolerance, the angry right is still at work. They need to watch both Obama and the Far Right for possible high jack of the political system.

    Many are calling for the inclusion of GOP men into the government and others are calling for GOP programs to squash the Dems program. The country needs to look out for GOP Creeps who will be creeping into anything that is done what ever language that makes it either ineffective or completely takes over.

    Neocons are complaining on all media and will not let go. But Dems should keep them at bay. The debate that took place in this country over two years is a good one. That should continue.

    watch dogs and rapid response groups, e groups and My bo should all stay on. The president may need you to fight some of his battles. You may need to convince the president that his mandate was not a mistake, bu the will of the people.

    Aliou

    November 6, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. aliousalam

    First of all congratulation to 44th and the american people for a job well done: A silent revolution has taken place in America.

    The establishement had it all wrong from day one. But the winner is the American people. No blood shed. Yet a revolution took place in the mist of fraud charge and voter suppression.

    Yet the voice of the American people resonated like a large gong in the middle of the night of October 4th, 2008.

    However, this is only the beginning of the battle: Americans cannot let their guards down. The forces of intolerance, the angry right is still at work. They need to watch both Obama and the Far Right for possible high jack of the political system.

    Many are calling for the inclusion of GOP men into the government and others are calling for GOP programs to squash the Dems program. The country needs to look out for GOP Creeps who will be creeping into anything that is done what ever language that makes it either ineffective or completely takes over.

    Neocons are complaining on all media and will not let go. But Dems should keep them at bay. The debate that took place in this country over two years is a good one. That should continue.

    watch dogs and rapid response groups, e groups and My bo should all stay on. The president may need you to fight some of his battles. You may need to convince the president that his mandate was not a mistake, bu the will of the people.

    Aliou

    November 6, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Steve

    Reid should get rid of Liebermann. Wait until he gets a 60 seat majority and then send him packing.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. mitch

    i hope they have president barack's 'big chair' ready for him.

    November 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Michelle, PA

    McCain for Secretary of Defense? Would be good for waste in the budget, but bad for a less hawkish agenda. He would be better in Homeland Security than Secretary of Defense, IMO. His experience can be put to excellent use in that position!

    November 6, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. JL

    I think the transition will be one for the record books, too. I really hope President Elect Obama picks fresh faces and lives up to his bipartisan promises.

    November 6, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Larry Bird, NBA

    Hey dave from Illinois, i dont know where you have been living but McCain LOST.

    November 6, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Glenn; Bakersville, NC.

    Colin Powell would make an ideal Sec Def in my opinion. He understands the need for military power projection while also understanding the value of good diplomatic efforts. Sen. Clinton would make a good Sec State too!

    November 6, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. aliousalam

    The best Commander in Chief ever. BO.

    November 6, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Christopher W. Mannoia

    Get in there and PITCH! Mr. President! You do have a "righteous wind at your back!" and can do anything!

    Hey, how about John MCCain for SECDEF? He knows the systems, our enemies would be terrified of him, and the world would see that President Obama truly is Bi-Partisan.

    Yes we did!

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. Christopher W. Mannoia

    President-Elect Obama is proactive, not reactive, yay, what a change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 6, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Faith, hope and charity

    Before a new administration moves in how about getting the place blessed?

    November 6, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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