Rep. Rahm Emanuel chosen as Obama's chief of staff

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Two days after the end of the presidential campaign, President-elect Barack Obama began the transition into his new administration by filling a major staff post.

Obama chose his longtime friend and the fourth-highest ranking Democrat in Congress, Rahm Emanuel (D- Ill.), to be his chief of staff.

Emanuel is a Chicago native who studied in Westchester, graduating in 1981 from Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, where he first got involved in political campaigning.

The hard-nosed Democrat also served in the Clinton administration and has a reputation of being political savvy and having a no-holds-barred approach to getting things done.

On Friday, Obama will be holding his first public appearance since his victory Tuesday night, although it has been reported that the president-elect will not name other members of his future Cabinet until Thanksgiving.

The new first family will head to Washington, D.C. Monday to meet with President Bush and the first lady.

Addressing a group of staffers Thursday morning, President Bush vowed to make the transition a smooth one for Obama?s administration.

"We face economic challenges that will not pause to let a new president settle in," Bush said.

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