He’s only been the President-elect for a couple of weeks, but with the amount of press and analysis already flooding Obama’s transition thus far, you could be forgiven for forgetting that Barack Obama isn’t actually running the free world yet. Nevertheless, here is our pick of the press from the whirlwind two weeks:


Hillary might reject Secretary of State job. Hillary Rodham Clinton isn’t certain she would accept the Secretary of State post even if Barack Obama offers it to her, several people close to the former first lady say. Press reports that portray Clinton as willing to accept the job – once the Obama transition team vets Bill Clinton’s philanthropic and business ventures – are inaccurate, one Clinton insider told Politico. — Politico

Rahm Emanuel accepts Chief of Staff post. A veteran of the Clinton administration and a fellow member of Congress from Illinois, Emanuel has been a close adviser to Obama. He informed Obama of his decision on Thursday morning, saying he would step down as the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives to help guide the Obama administration. — International Herald Tribune

Guantanamo closure an Obama priority. The Obama administration will launch a review of the classified files of the approximately 250 detainees at Guantanamo Bay immediately after taking office, as part of an intensive effort to close the U.S. prison in Cuba. — Washington Post

Obama’s climate change goals. Speaking by video to a climate conference in Los Angeles, Mr. Obama repeated his campaign vow to reduce climate-altering carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050, and invest $150 billion in new energy-saving technologies. — New York Times

Analysis and opinion

Obama and the dawn of the Fourth Republic. The election of Barack Obama to the presidency may signal more than the end of an era of Republican presidential dominance and conservative ideology. It may mark the beginning of a Fourth Republic of the United States. — Salon

What a new energy economy might look like. Obama has said building an alternative-energy economy will be his top priority. The question is, how bold is he willing to be about that? Actually, there are a lot of questions: How much of the stimulus plan he proposes in January will be devoted to immediate middle-class tax relief, and how much to investing in the future? What would a plausible alternative-energy plan look like? — Joe Klein, Time

Palin has reached her sell-by date. It doesn’t matter whether Palin was “a joy to work with,” as McCain aides said publicly, or a “diva” and a “whack job,” as some said privately. It doesn’t matter whether she decided to buy the $150,000 in new clothes, or the Republican National Committee bought them for her. What matters is her real and measurable effect on the broader American public. And if Sarah Palin were a cereal, she’d be rushed off the shelf. — Politico

Will Secretary of State be enough to appease Hillary’s army. Will the twenty percenters be assuaged if Hillary accepts the job of Secretary of State? Some will still grumble that it’s all window dressing: Hillary should have got the nomination. She should have been offered the vice presidential slot. Now she’s being offered a job on the victor’s terms, take it or leave it. — The Daily Beast

The genius cabinet. Here’s a radical suggestion: Barack Obama should pick the smartest people he can find for his Cabinet. — Slate


The first couple’s first interview, watched by over 24.5 million Americans.

Obama meets Bush. Obama’s first trip to the Oval Office.

McCain and Obama’s post-election meeting. Awkward.

McCain on Leno. “Don’t blame Palin”.

Stay up-to-date with all the latest transition news, analysis and videos at Crikey’s US election page.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey