Obama Talks to Gates About Staying at Pentagon

Defense Secretary fulfill talk of bipartisan cabinet
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2008 12:07 PM CST
Obama Talks to Gates About Staying at Pentagon
Gates is the most likely Bush cabinet member to stay on under Obama.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Barack Obama and Robert Gates are negotiating policy issues with a view toward Gates remaining Defense secretary, the Financial Times reports, a move that would make the Bush appointee a key member of a bipartisan cabinet that resembles Abraham Lincoln's “team of rivals.” Gates, a former CIA chief, is respected for being tough, but in a less abrasive manner than predecessor Donald Rumsfeld.

The Obama camp has long admired the Pentagon chief, calling him an “old-fashioned patriot” who would be “an even better” leader under Obama. Gates and the president-elect disagree on Iraq, but a new US-Iraqi pact defining America’s exit makes that issue nearly moot. Gates is said to have surveyed his senior advisers, and a high percentage would stay under Obama's rule. (More Barack Obama stories.)

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