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Obama selects Rep. Emanuel for Chief of Staff

The NY Times reported that President-elect Barack Obama announced Thursday that he has selected Representative Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff because he has “deep insights into the challenging economic issues that will be front and center for our administration.? Rep. Emanual is known for being a fierce and consummate navigator of the capital’s political terrain.

“I announce this appointment first because the chief of staff is central to the ability of a president and administration to accomplish an agenda,? Obama said in a statement. “And no one I know is better at getting things done than Rahm Emanuel.?

Emanual worked in the Clinton administration and is a fellow member of Congress from Illinois. He has served as a close adviser for the president-elect. Obama was notified Thursday, when Emanual told him he would step down as the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives to assist in the Obama administration.

“Now is a time for unity,? Emanuel said. “I will do everything in my power to help you stitch together the frayed fabric of our politics, and help summon Americans of both parties to unite in common purpose.?

Obama visit the white house on Monday for his first post-election stop there, accepting an invitation that President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush gave to him and his family after he won the election Tuesday evening.

“Michelle and I look forward to meeting with President Bush and the First Lady on Monday to begin the process of a smooth, effective transition,? Obama said in a statement. “I thank him for reaching out in the spirit of bipartisanship.?

Obama will conduct his first post-election news conference Friday morning, following a meeting with his top economic advisers in Chicago. Obama is not expected to determine any cabinet appointments during the session, aides said, however he is eager to keep the focus on the economy during the first days of his transition.