President-elect Obama planned to honor fallen troops Tuesday, taking a short break from his primary task of mapping out his administration to mark Veterans Day.
The Democrat was slated to lay a wreath in Chicago, accompanied by Tammy Duckworth, a disabled Iraq war veteran and 2006 failed congressional candidate who now is the Illinois governor’s veterans affairs director.
Aside from the brief public appearance, Obama planned to huddle in private with top advisers planning for the transfer of presidential power in January.
His aides say no Cabinet positions are to be announced this week, though White House staff positions may come later in the week.
Aides say Obama talks with transition chief John Podesta and other transition committee members several times a day, as well as with Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman who was tapped for White House chief of staff.
Obama is expected to remain in Chicago all week, and aides say he doesn’t plan to meet with world leaders in the United States this weekend for a summit on the global economic crisis.
“He’s very interested and thought it was a good idea to have the meeting, but … there’s only one president at a time, and we will stay up to date and briefed on what’s going on but will not be a participant,” said Robert Gibbs, a senior Obama adviser. Gibbs said “it’s a possibility” that Obama advisers will take part in the meeting.