November 17th, 2008
06:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama team meets with Rice, Defense officials

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Condoleezza Rice met with members of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team Monday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Members of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team met with key officials in the Defense and State Departments Monday, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Rice met with Tom Donilon and Wendy Sherman, Obama's State Department transition team leaders, and promised a smooth hand-over, according to State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood.

In the half hour meeting, held at Rice's request, Rice "expressed her desire to work closely with the team on a smooth and professional transition," Wood said.

Across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, Obama's Defense Department transition team leaders, John White and Michele Flournoy, made office calls to four senior officials and requested more meetings for later this week, senior Pentagon officials said.

White and Flournoy met with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel David Chu, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition John Young and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence James Clapper, according to senior Pentagon officials.

Flournoy also met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff's transition head, Kenneth F. McKenzie, while 17 members of the Obama transition staff came into the Pentagon Monday to fill out paperwork and get access badges, according to Pentagon officials.

On Friday, White and Flournoy met with Defense Secretary Robert Gates' transition head, Robert Rangel. The meeting lasted about 90 minutes, according to Pentagon officials.

Both Friday and Monday's meetings have been described by Pentagon officials as courtesy calls prior to the coming work between the offices.

Sherman and Donilon also first arrived at the State Department transition offices on Friday and met with the three top State Department officials working on the transition.

State Department officials said that two other transition team members also arrived Monday. Gayle Smith, a former Clinton official on Africa and Aaron Williams, a former U.S. Agency for International Development official who is currently a development executive, will be handling the transition for USAID.

More than a dozen more Obama transition officials are expected to arrive at the State Department in the coming days, the officials said.

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Stan

    KJL: Why attack Secretary Rice? She did her job well, in a difficult administration.

    Yeah, ignoring that "Bin Laden Determined To Attack Within United States" memo sure was a "heckuva job".

    November 17, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. Griff

    Black's of America! You hsave to understand, no matter how powerful you may think you are... Africa is a Continent... 1000's of Tribe's...
    I Know! Don't tell a Black Man his History... But it is not your History...
    Your Roots have disapeared... You Have no Country... So you think you will make America your Country, ajns strill pretend to Be African's..
    Your All Hypochrits. That's why you Elected an African... Spiritual Trash.... You live in pergatory... You always will...
    While the Real African's... Are Ignored... Arn't you ashamed.. Because you should be... I know more about Africa than Most of you,,,\
    I would never have Voted for Borack Obama.. I told you so, a Thousand times... Now live with it... You will all ge the Blame, for every mistake he makes...

    November 17, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  3. caribbean admirer of OBAMA

    This LADY is one of the most experienced Secretaries of States the US had in the last decade.
    Happens to be a coloured person and I have no doubt that indeed she voted for Barack Obama on the 4th of November.
    The results of the Presidential election show that a mayority of Republicans crossed the line and supported the the Godsend and mostlikely she was one of them.

    Congratulations Mr. President 2008 – 2016

    November 17, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  4. box of rocks

    She didnt have the guts Colin Powel had,at least he said he wasnt going to keep lying to the American people.He has my respect and a legacy left in the history books.

    November 17, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  5. J.C.

    I want to thank Dr. Rice for her honorable service to our country for 8 years. She is a self made leader.

    November 17, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  6. Robert Williamson

    As Chair and Founder of the Greenhouse Neutral Foundation and Author of http://www.strategicbookpublishing.comZEROGreenhouseEmissions.html I am heartened that President Elect Obama is moving swiftly to intoroduce the change he has offered to the Amercan people on main street. 8 years has been too long.

    November 17, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  7. MR E

    Dont take no lectures / notes or advice from her pleaseeeeee, we have had enuogh from the Bush people. we need change and God has given it to us

    November 17, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  8. David

    To Catholic mom for Obama– Have you repented for your Obama vote yet??

    November 17, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  9. billy-bayou

    All those people in the employ of the present administration should be very careful how they depart their meetings with the incoming administration. This may keep them from a knife in the back. These are treacherous people taking over.

    November 17, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  10. Rick in L.A.

    Condi Rice? I seem to remember her as being somewhat relevant at one time. My how time does fly.

    Welcome Mr. Obama and true World Savers!

    November 17, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. billy-bayou

    Very interesting how often CNN chooses not to print anything that may sound derigatory aimed at that thing those poor stupid people elected to the office of president. Well...Their chickenzzzzzzzz will come home to roost!!!!

    November 17, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Her hairdo continues to resemble a Darth Vader helmet.

    Can we at least agree on this point?

    November 17, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  13. Gaylon Barrow

    Obama's team seems to be worried about Bill Clinton's dealings. AFTER all the corruption Obama himself went through. Gimme a break. He could only imagine a relationship with world leaders that Bill Clinton has already long established. Hillary should be President not an idiot.

    November 17, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  14. Gaylon Barrow

    Don't be surprised that Rice is asked to stay on as Sectretary of State. She has the right posture for it.

    November 17, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  15. Tom

    Condi Rice is a great american . Erika in KS. is clueless

    November 17, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  16. Reality

    Dumb it down for them C Rice

    November 17, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  17. Independent in WI

    So much hate. The left is so sure they are correct and so arrogant to not believe anything but themselves. Must be so sad to be so full of yourself an yet to think the other side are the ones that are despicable. Ironic and sad at the same time.

    I guess in the 21st century you can't trust anyone UNDER 30.

    November 17, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  18. larry det, mi

    it's not her fault her boss is a dumb azz

    November 17, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  19. Bob

    Hey "Get Over Yourself" about you heed your own moniker and do just that.

    So you voted for Obama and you're white. Congratulations. So did lots of other white people. And lots of white people voted for McCain NOT because he was white but because they thought him the better candidate. News flash...almost half the people that voted did NOT vote for Obama, and since then (if you've been objectively watching the news) it appears that a good percentage of Republicans didn't bother even voting. That suggests that the country is about 50/50 on their feelings for Obama. This is NOT a mandate.

    That said, THIS white university professor who voted for McCain is going to give his support to Obama and hope he does well, since it is WAY past time for us to work together.

    Oh, and if Colin Powell had been running, I would have voted for him in a heartbeat. It ain't about color of skin, "Get", it's about perceived capability and freedom of choice.

    November 17, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  20. Anna, ATL

    'get over yourselves?':
    what are you trying to prove?

    Condi will be happier back at STANFORD U.

    November 17, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  21. Independent voter

    I wish Rice didn't have such a connection to Bush, she'd be a good cabinet member under Obama. She is a strong, intelligent and very driven individual, too bad she is a Bushie.

    November 17, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  22. meme

    I'm surprised Condi doesn't have as much grey hair as Obama. If anyone knows the dirt in the White House today, she does. Poor thing, how does she sleep at night. She's a tough girl, go Condi, we know you voted for BO... he thanks you.. we thank you.. Now pack you things, sorry new administration coming in... Smooches...

    November 17, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  23. DOCS 3


    November 17, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
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