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Chicago, IL - Obama Unveils His National Security Team

Published on: December 1, 2008 01:04 PM
By: FOX News
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Chicago, IL - President-elect Barack Obama today officially introduced the members of his national security team, including former Democratic primary rival Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state and Robert Gates, who will be remain as defense secretary.

Obama also announced that retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones—a former top commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Europe—would be his national security adviser.

“I am confident that this is the team that we need to make a new beginning for American national security,” Obama told reporters during a morning news conference in Chicago.

Obama said his team “must pursue a new strategy that skillfully uses, balances, and integrates all elements of American power: our military and diplomacy, our intelligence and law enforcement, our economy and the power of our moral example.

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“The team that we have assembled here today is uniquely suited to do just that,” he added as his Cabinet picks stood behind him on a flag-draped stage. “They share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose about America’s role as a leader in the world.”

Obama named Washington lawyer Eric Holder as attorney general and Arizona Gov. Janet Naploitano as homeland security chief. He also named two senior foreign policy positions outside the Cabinet, including campaign foreign policy adviser Susan Rice as U.N. ambassador.

Obama introduced Clinton first, saying of his former presidential rival, “She possesses an extraordinary intelligence and toughness, and a remarkable work ethic. ... She is an American of tremendous stature who will have my complete confidence, who knows many of the world’s leaders, who will command respect in every capital, and who will clearly have the ability to advance our interests around the world.”

Clinton will give up her seat as a senator from New York to join the Obama Cabinet. Her appointment was preceded by lengthy negotiations involving her husband, the former president, whose international business connections posed potential conflicts of interest.

The former president also agreed to disclose the donors to the foundation that built his library, as well as contributors to his international foundation.

She said to Obama, in brief turn at the lectern, “Mr. President-Elect, I am proud to join you on what will be a difficult and exciting adventure in this new century.”

Gates said he was “mindful that we are engaged in two wars and face other serious challenges at home and around the world.”

“I must do my duty as they do theirs,” he said of the men and women in uniform in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. “How could I do otherwise?”

He said he was “honored to serve President-elect Obama.”

Gates’ appointment fulfilled a campaign promise by Obama, the naming of a Republican to his Cabinet.

Obama said Napolitano understands the need to protect against terror attacks and to respond to natural disasters—and that she also understands as well as anyone the danger of unsecured borders.

Obama said that in choosing independent-minded people like Clinton and Gates, he wanted people who have strong opinions and are not shy about expressing them.

“I’m a strong believer in strong personalities and strong opinions,” he said, adding that he didn’t check people’s political registration as he assembled his team.

But at the same, he said he’ll follow the Harry Truman model and that “the buck will stop with me.”


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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 01, 2008 at 02:35 PM Anonymous Says:

BH he kept on robert and gates and appointed hillary clinton.
they are a great team and will do much better than bush and rice.

2

 Dec 01, 2008 at 03:40 PM Kogan Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

BH he kept on robert and gates and appointed hillary clinton.
they are a great team and will do much better than bush and rice.

Yeah, they will be able to finaly give backJerusalem to the Palestinians and facilitate a peace treaty with Syria and return Golan Heights up to Kineret to them.
Bush and Rice accomplished nothing for the Palestinian people and did not help their cause at all. They, for the most part let the Israelis deal with the situatuion themselves.
Thank you president-elect Obama for appointing strong minded people like Hillary Clinton who will be able to devise many different ways how to pressure Israel into negotiations and stop their agression against Palestinian people. Finaly the one sided approach will be over.

3

 Dec 01, 2008 at 06:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Great a starting lineup of leftists - that's a real defense of what I don't know

4

 Dec 01, 2008 at 07:17 PM educated Says:

Reply to #2  
Kogan Says:

Yeah, they will be able to finaly give backJerusalem to the Palestinians and facilitate a peace treaty with Syria and return Golan Heights up to Kineret to them.
Bush and Rice accomplished nothing for the Palestinian people and did not help their cause at all. They, for the most part let the Israelis deal with the situatuion themselves.
Thank you president-elect Obama for appointing strong minded people like Hillary Clinton who will be able to devise many different ways how to pressure Israel into negotiations and stop their agression against Palestinian people. Finaly the one sided approach will be over.

just like condi rice has been trying to do for years as mandated by her boss man bushie and his confounded failure of a road map which calls for an "end to israeli occupation which began in 1967"

5

 Dec 01, 2008 at 07:16 PM huh? Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

Great a starting lineup of leftists - that's a real defense of what I don't know

Gates is a leftist?
Clinton is a leftist?

what planet are you on???

6

 Dec 01, 2008 at 06:46 PM Anonymous Says:

I feel protected already by this bunch of talking do nothing social worker diplomat speak mentality who are appointed to run this country.

7

 Dec 01, 2008 at 10:02 PM mw13 Says:

let's face it: clinton, for all the good and bad you'll say about her, has very little foreign policy experience (remember when she claimed she landed under sniper fire in bosnia?). let's hope she'll use diffrent advisers than bill did.

and while gates is the best man to deal with iraq/afganistan, his policy in the rest of the middle east is to kiss up to the arabs. i care more about israel than iraq/afganistan.

8

 Dec 01, 2008 at 11:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Never forget Hashem is running this country.
We are in golus and until Moshiach doesn't come well...........the situation with Israel won't be over. :-(

9

 Dec 02, 2008 at 12:42 AM murray Says:

National Security is one thing--we should really be worried about obama's so called National Defense Force, an idea straight from the KGB-check "google"- - search for "Obama's 20,000 internal security force"

10

 Dec 02, 2008 at 06:36 PM educated Says:

Reply to #7  
mw13 Says:

let's face it: clinton, for all the good and bad you'll say about her, has very little foreign policy experience (remember when she claimed she landed under sniper fire in bosnia?). let's hope she'll use diffrent advisers than bill did.

and while gates is the best man to deal with iraq/afganistan, his policy in the rest of the middle east is to kiss up to the arabs. i care more about israel than iraq/afganistan.

little foreign policy experience? are you a joke? which committee has she been succesfully the head of in the senate all these years? hhmmm?
what did she do as first lady diplomat?

you know nothing. you use a dumb campaign example.

she has a ton more foreign policy experience than Condi the machasheyfa Rice did! What was she before going to washignton? A college administrator!

Hillary is the best the aboslute best possible choice for this job. her knowlege, her experience and her exposure plus her moderate and hard line stance on the important issues and her unwavering support for israel make her the best choice and obama should be commended for making it.

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