November 26th, 2008
05:55 AM ET
3 months ago

Gates expected to stay on as Obama's defense secretary

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Gates will continue as defense secretary.
Gates will continue as defense secretary.

CHICAGO (CNN) – Several officials close to President-elect Barack Obama's transition told CNN on Tuesday that Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to stay on the job for at least the first year of the new administration, with one source calling it "all but a done deal" that the official nomination could be announced as early as next week.

"It's now pointing in that direction," one of the sources close to the transition said of Gates being part of Obama's national security team, which many say also is likely to include Sen. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

"It's likely to happen," a second source close to the transition said of Gates staying on. This source noted that Gates could stay longer than a year if he and Obama end up working well together.

Sources close to the transition have said Obama is interested in some continuity at the Pentagon because he is entering office having to deal with two wars - in Iraq and Afghanistan - as well as the international financial crisis.

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Filed under: Obama transition