President-elect Barack Obama has begun the task of building his administration, just 76 days before he becomes the 44th President of the United States.
The first job Senator Obama is seeking to fill is White House chief of staff -- the senior aide to the president. Top Democrats say Mr. Obama offered the position to Congressman Rahm Emanuel, who is from his home state of Illinois. Emanuel also served in former President Bill Clinton's administration. It is unclear whether he has accepted the position.
Mr. Obama on Wednesday also announced the creation of a transitional team to prepare him for the White House, where he will face the challenges of two wars and a severe economic crisis. The transition team will help him choose his cabinet, put policy promises into effect and analyze federal government agencies.
Mr. Obama was elected the first African-American president of the United States late Tuesday. The Democratic party nominee defeated Republican John McCain. Mr. Obama will be inaugurated January 20th.
In a statement, Mr. Obama named three co-chairs of his transition team: Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, John Podesta, Mr. Obama's own chief of staff in the Senate, Pete Rouse, and a long-time adviser, Valerie Jarrett.
At last count, Mr. Obama won 349 electoral votes, compared to 163 electoral votes for Republican Arizona Senator John McCain. It takes 270 electoral votes to win. Mr. Obama secured victory with over 52 percent of the popular vote.
In Washington, President George Bush congratulated Mr. Obama on his victory and said U.S. citizens had shown the world, in his words, "the vitality of America's democracy." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is also African-American added her own congratulations today, and assured Mr. Obama that her department would work for a smooth transition of power.
In a victory speech to 240-thousand supporters in his hometown of Chicago, Mr. Obama said his election proves "America is a place where all things are possible." Senator McCain conceded defeat in Phoenix, Arizona, telling supporters Mr. Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and his country.
Mr. Obama's victory ends eight years of Republican control of the White House under President Bush.