-- The head of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team said Sunday that the incoming administration is conducting an extensive review of President Bush's executive orders.
Asked about reports that the transition team already has identified a number of areas where Obama could issue executive orders as soon as he takes office, John Podesta said he would not "preview decisions that [Obama] has yet to make."
"I would say that as a candidate, Sen. Obama said that he wanted all the Bush executive orders reviewed and decide which ones should be kept and which ones should be repealed and which ones should be amended, and that process is going on. It's been undertaken," Podesta said Sunday on "Fox News."
Podesta pointed out that there is a lot the president can do without waiting for Congress, and voters can expect to see Obama do so to try and restore "a sense that the country is working on behalf of the common good."
"I think that we're looking at -- again, in virtually every agency to see where we can move forward, whether that's on energy transformation, on improving health care, on stem cell research," he said.
Podesta, chief of staff under President Clinton, is president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank that he founded.
Podesta said Sunday that preparations for Obama's transition have been in the works since early August.
Asked what members of the team have learned from past administrations, Podesta
said they knew they had to act quickly.
"I think one of the most critical things ... that we focused on was it was important to name a White House chief of staff early and build a White House staff right from the beginning to go along with the Cabinet's [selection] process," he said.
Watch more on the team's working weekend »
named Rep. Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff two days after the election.
Podesta said he thinks Obama "intends to move very quickly" in naming other members of his senior leadership.
"I think we're moving aggressively to try to build out that core economic team, the national security team, and you'll see announcements when they're ready," he said, pointing to Obama's Friday comments that he plans to move with "all deliberate haste."
Podesta said to expect a Cabinet that "looks like the way President Obama ran his campaign."
"He brought millions of people in. They weren't all Democrats. He reached out to independents and Republicans. And I think we want to see that reflected at every level of government," he said.
Obama's first pick brought criticism from Republicans, some of whom said they thought Emanuel contradicted the Democrat's message of change.
Emanuel insisted Sunday that he would help the president-elect work in a bipartisan fashion, brushing off criticism that he would be a "hyper-partisan" chief of staff.
"President Obama is very clear, as you look at his career, both in the [Illinois] state Senate, U.S. Senate and the campaign, that we have to govern in a bipartisan fashion," he said on ABC's "This Week."
"The challenges are big enough that there's going to be an ability for people of both parties, as well as independents, to contribute ideas to help meet the challenges on health care, energy, tax reform, education."
After Obama's selection of Emanuel, the Republican National Committee put out a press release that said, "Obama's Broken Promise: After promising change, Obama selects hyper-partisan wedded to special interests." Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called Emanuel an "ironic choice" for a president-elect who promised to "govern from the center."
However, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, called Emanuel a "wise choice."
Graham said he and Emanuel worked together during the presidential debate negotiations, and "when we hit a rough spot, he always looked for a path forward."
Emanuel, who has a reputation as a tough political infighter, is credited with helping Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in 2006.
He was elected to the House in 2002 and is the fourth highest-ranking member of the chamber's Democratic leadership. He worked on Clinton's first presidential campaign and was a White House adviser to Clinton.
The Chicago, Illinois, politician said Sunday that it will take a joint effort from leaders of both parties to tackle the challenges facing the country.
Emanuel also said he thought Sen. John McCain would be a "partner" in working to solve those problems.
Obama has yet to make any Cabinet appointments, but several names have been floating around as top contenders.
Senior Democrats say Sen. John Kerry is jockeying to be secretary of state -- and has a good case after endorsing Obama over Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel also may be in the hunt.
Health care is another priority, with former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota a possibility. But Democratic sources say Howard Dean, a doctor who had a strong run as the Democratic National Committee chairman, is hungry for the job.
Speculation about Obama's treasury secretary has centered on Lawrence Summers,though he's faced controversy over alleged sexist comments as president of Harvard University. Another name being mentioned is former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
Plugged-in Democrats say there's also serious talk of Obama briefly keeping Robert Gates, President Bush's defense secretary, onboard.
Podesta would only say Sunday that "there will be announcements forthcoming."