Obama Balances Fiscal Cliff, Defense Department Appointment

David Kerley reports the latest news on the president's agenda.
1:58 | 12/01/12

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Transcript for Obama Balances Fiscal Cliff, Defense Department Appointment
And president obama is facing two, big items on his agenda as the new year approaches. Not only is he in a staredown with congress over the fiscal cliff. But a choice for his cabinet may come at the end of this month. And his choice may be a surprising one. We're talking about the top spot for the defense department. Reporter: We were talking that the president probably next week who he would like to go to the state department. But maybe he's going to do a package deal next week. State department nominee, as well as defense department nominee. And there could be a couple of surprises here. These are the names we've been hearing over the last couple weeks. One is interesting. Chuck hagel, a former senator. He's a republican. Also, john kerry, currently in the senate. Michelle flournoy. Hagel would be an interesting pick. If he picks hagel, a republican, that takes some of the heat off of susan rice to be nominated as secretary of state. She's had a tough time on capitol hill talking to republicans. If you get a package deal, a republican and a democrat, that you're nominating from the president. What are senators going to do, but take both of them? We're hearing, if the president wants susan rice, he's going to nominate susan rice, one way or the another. Neither side seems to be moving on what they need to do to avoid a fiscal cliff and reach an agreement. Is there posturing? Reporter: Well, this is washington. The whole fiscal cliff is forcing them to do something. The president has said that tax rates will go up for the wealthy. Republicans won't bend on that yesterday, john boehner said, we are at a stalemate. This is posturing. This is washington. We're going to have ups and downs. Ups and downs in the stock market, as well. David, thanks. Have a great weekend.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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