Obama Team Swarms Federal Agencies

Preparation for handover has been under way for months
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2008 7:26 AM CST
In this June 27, 2007 file photo, John Podesta speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. Podesta is heading Obama's transition team.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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(Newser) – As Washington prepares for an Obama administration, 135 members of the president-elect's transition team are swarming into federal agencies to scrutinize budgets, interview civil servants, and prepare to take control of the government. Preparation for a smooth transition began months before Election Day, writes the Washington Post. The Obama teams, wearing yellow badges and following strict ground rules, have elicited both excitement and wariness among Bush appointees.

The team relies heavily on former Clinton administration officials who have first-hand knowledge of government. President Bush has won praise for his commitment to a smooth handover of power, and the outgoing administration has been largely impressed by the team's thoroughness, if still skeptical. "Most people are cautiously optimistic," said an official at the Labor Department. "We are happy they are asking for a lot more detail, unlike the Clinton administration."