It has been an open secret for weeks, one that has riveted official Washington: Barack Obama is expected to name his former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state at a news conference today in Chicago. Mr Obama has tapped as his chief foreign emissary a politically savvy former first lady, a sitting US senator and a hero to millions of women who has travelled to more than 80 countries and will be well-regarded internationally from day one.
She is experienced, often pragmatic and will bring star power - and likely strong opinions - to the presidential cabinet. But all eyes will be on how well the two former foes can work together to refashion US diplomacy, as Mr Obama has pledged to do, and whether their reconciliation has truly transformed them into a team of partners, or whether they will operate as a so-called "team of rivals". Also on that team, to be announced today, will be the incumbent defence secretary, Robert Gates, who is likely to stay on for at least one year; and James Jones, a retired marine general, as Mr Obama's national security adviser.