Toby Harnden
November 13, 2008

The head of his transition team said the President-elect wanted to make genuine efforts to reach out across the parties.

John Podesta, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, said Republicans and independents would be in Mr Obama’s cabinet and lower-level jobs at “not just a token level”.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

The news came as Mr Obama revealed he had asked two leading Democrat and a Republican figures to meet delegates on his behalf at the G20 financial summit in Washington at the weekend.

Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Mr Clinton, and Jim Leach, a former Republican congressman, will represent him during the talks.

Denis McDonough, a senior foreign policy adviser to Mr Obama, said: “There is one President at a time in the United States, so the President-elect has asked Secretary Albright and Congressman Leach, an experienced and bipartisan team, to be available meet with and listen to our friends and allies on his behalf.”

Among the Republicans under consideration for senior posts in the cabinet are Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, a possible Secretary of State, Colin Powell, being looked at for Pentagon chief or Education Secretary, and Robert Gates, who could be kept on at the Pentagon.

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Vietnam veteran who has lambasted President George W. Bush for his conduct of the Iraq war, is also a possible Republican in the 14-member cabinet.

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