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A top Justice Department official, who asked not to be identified, said that if Mr. Holder is nominated, “at least Justice will have a chance to survive the Obama administration.”

“He is very highly regarded by almost everyone who knows him, present company included. The business with the pardons at the end of the Clinton administration drove him crazy. I don’t believe his heart was in it. He is a gentleman and a good manager. In fact, as I sit here and think it through, I cannot imagine a better person to be AG than Holder.”

Newsweek and NBC reported the job had been offered and accepted, though vetting is still under way, and no formal announcement is expected before economic appointees are named.

On Tuesday, Mr. Obama spoke in a video to the Governors’ Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles, which includes more than a dozen top world leaders and U.S. governors who are crafting a blueprint for the next global agreement on the issue.

He promised to begin with a federal cap-and-trade system that would reduce emissions to their 1990 levels within 12 years and achieve an 80 percent reduction by the year 2050.

Mr. Obama also said the government would tap safe nuclear power and develop clean-coal technology while investing $15 billion annually to help the private sector develop and improve solar and wind power and biofuels.

Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a climate-change critic, blasted the president-elect as facing “significant hurdles” to his proposals.

“Even before our current economic woes, nearly 30 percent of Senate Democrats opposed the costly Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill in June. In the end, supporters only had at most 35 Democratic senators willing to vote for final passage on the largest climate-tax bill in U.S. history,” he said, predicting an even tougher path given the economy.

But Mr. Obama said his plans for new funding can create up to 5 million new “green jobs” to help the struggling economy and said companies willing to invest in clean energy “will have an ally in Washington.”

The news - and speculation - about Mr. Obama’s future administration are flying fast.

Susan Rice, a top adviser to Mr. Obama on foreign policy and national security, was at the White House Tuesday.

National Journal reported that Mr. Obama will tap another Clinton veteran, Peter Orszag, for the Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Orszag is now at the Congressional Budget Office.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported that an Obama “intermediary” has approached current Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to negotiate terms for him staying at the Pentagon after the new president is sworn in on Jan. 20.

With respect to the veterans and Army posts, a Democratic source familiar with discussions going on between the Obama transition team and potential appointees said Mr. Cleland would like to return to the nation’s capital and serve in either role.

Mr. Cleland served several years on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States after being appointed by President Bush in 2002. He also served as an administrator in the Veterans Administration under President Carter, a department that later became known as Veterans Affairs.

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