The Straits Times
Published on Nov 09, 2012

Change coming to Obama's team, just not right away


WASHINGTON (AP) - Big changes are coming to the President Barack Obama's administration - just not right away.

The White House is making the nation's high-stakes fiscal crisis its top priority coming out of the election, underscoring the vital importance of averting severe year-end tax increases and spending cuts, not just for the economy but in setting the tone for Mr Obama's second term.

Still, Mr Obama is weighing replacements for high-profile officials expected to leave his Cabinet and the White House soon.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton both want to step down but have indicated a willingness to push their departures into next year, or at least until successors are confirmed. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta also wants to retire next year.