12/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gates Chances Of Staying At Defense Rise With Clinton

Defense Secretary Robert Gates may be closer to being tapped for extended duty by Barack Obama because of the near certainty a Democrat -- possibly Hillary Clinton -- will be named secretary of state and Gates's willingness to accept a new team around him, according to Democratic and Republican experts.

It isn't certain that President-elect Obama will ask Gates to remain or that he would accept if asked. Still, a bipartisan group says Gates would provide stability at the Pentagon as the new administration inherits wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and confronts the global credit crisis.

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