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FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2011, file photo President Barack Obama, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at right, speaks about Libya in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington. Obama now has a freer hand to deal with a world of familiar problems in fresh ways. That could mean tougher Iran and Syria policies, or new engagement toward countries such as Cuba and North Korea. He could also refocus on the moribund Middle East peace efforts. But a pressing task is assigning a new national security team. Clinton has announced her plans to retire and could stay a few weeks past January to help the administration as it reshuffles personnel.
President Barack Obama is weighing replacements for several White House aides and Cabinet members expected to leave before his second term begins, or early in his second term.

Among those expected to leave and some names mentioned as possible replacements (in parentheses):

— Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.; U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice; former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman; Deputy Secretary of State William Burns).

— Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. (White House chief of staff Jack Lew; former Bill Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles).

— Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. (Ashton Carter, Panetta's deputy; Michele Flournoy, former Defense Department policy chief).

— White House senior adviser David Plouffe.