That might mean Tim Geithner at Treasury: Geithner, "whose acumen is as striking as his youthful appearance, is a more attractive alternative [than Larry Summers] to some Obama advisers. A possible middle ground that has been advanced to the president-elect is the towering presence of 81-year-old former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, with Geithner as his deputy and heir apparent."
The new boss introduced himself early: "In wooing federal employee votes on the eve of the election, Barack Obama wrote a series of letters to workers that offer detailed descriptions of how he intends to add muscle to specific government programs, give new power to bureaucrats and roll back some Bush administration policies," Carol D. Leonnig reports in The Washington Post.
"The letters, sent to employees at seven agencies, describe Obama's intention to scale back on contracts to private firms doing government work, to remove censorship from scientific research, and to champion tougher industry regulation to protect workers and the environment. He made it clear that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would have an enhanced role in restoring public confidence in the housing market, shaken because of the ongoing mortgage crisis."
Noam Scheiber wonders whether Obama can keep his team in line as it grows: "Already, there are signs of strain. Overshadowed by Emanuel's Hamlet routine was the unintentional rollout of [Robert] Gibbs as White House press secretary, which transition officials first pushed back against, then grudgingly acknowledged. This week, Obama honchos beat back rumors that former secretary of state Warren Christopher, a man many Democrats associate with concave-chested wimpiness, would help guide the State Department transition. An e-mail asking foreign policy aides to stiff the press quickly found its way to Politico; internal discussions about Guantanamo leaked to the Associated Press. Other personnel news keeps gushing forth prematurely: Reports have former Clintonista Patti Solis Doyle in a senior White House job."
How many future Cabinet members will we see this week in Washington, with a lame lame-duck session on tap?
"Congressional Democrats had high hopes for their lame-duck session this week, but they now acknowledge that passage of an economic stimulus plan or automaker bailout will likely have to wait until next year," Roll Call's Emily Pierce and Steven T. Dennis report. "If there is a GOP objection to adding the automaker rescue package to the unemployment measure, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid will likely use procedural tools to set up a vote on Wednesday, the aide said. Because the vote will likely be on a motion to limit debate, or invoke cloture, 60 votes will be needed to move forward on the bill."
Ex-senator Obama won't be playing, and neither will still-current Sen. Joe Biden: "The [resignation] action means Obama will not be part of the congressional debate this week over a stimulus package to jump-start the nation's struggling economy. He has said the package should include an extension of unemployment benefits and aid for the foundering auto industry, but prospects for passage of that type of plan appear slim," Michael A. Fletcher reports in The Washington Post.
Look for a bill to be unveiled Monday -- but movement may wait until January.