Officials: Emanuel offered chief of staff job

WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Barack Obama chose Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanual to be his White House chief of staff, his first selection for the new administration, Democratic officials said Wednesday.

If Emanuel accepts, he would return to the White House where he served as a political and policy adviser to President Clinton.

Several Democrats also said Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was actively seeking appointment as secretary of State in the new administration.

Two campaign officials said the appointment of a chief of staff was not expected for at least a day. Instead, they said Obama would issue a written statement announcing that his transition team would be headed by John Podesta, who served as chief of staff under Clinton; Pete Rouse, who has been Obama's chief of staff in the Senate; and Valerie Jarrett, a friend of the president-elect and campaign adviser.

The officials who described the developments did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss events not yet announced.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)