Obama names Clinton Secretary of State, keeps Gates at defence (Second Lead)

December 2nd, 2008 - 12:31 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Dec 1 (IANS) US President-elect Barack Obama named Hillary Clinton, his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, as Secretary of State and asked Defence Secretary Robert Gates to stay on in that job as he announced his national security team Monday.Introducing the full team at a news conference at the president-elect’s office in Chicago, Obama said he aimed to implement a “new dawn of American leadership” that integrates military, diplomacy, law enforcement and the economy.

“The team that we have assembled here today is uniquely suited to do just that,” Obama said. “They share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose about America’s role as leader in the world,” he added.

Obama, who takes office Jan 20, also named Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary, Eric Holder as attorney general, retired Marine Gen. James Jones as national security adviser and long-time adviser Susan Rice as ambassador to the United Nations.

Obama, who has pledged to be more inclusive and says he has a vision of renewing America’s leadership in world affairs after President George W. Bush’s eight years in office, said he admires Hillary Clinton’s work ethic and also believes the former first lady’s star power would boost his vision of improving America’s global standing.

The president-elect said Robert Gates meets the qualifications of being an outstanding secretary of defence and he has complete confidence in the 65-year-old official, who has been lauded by members of both parties since taking over the Pentagon from Donald Rumsfeld in late 2006.

Asked if he had named Gates to such an important position to fulfil his promise of including Republicans in his administration, Obama said he did not go round checking the appointees’ political affiliations and was only looking for the best persons to do the job.

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