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Does Bob Gates count as a Republican?

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has indicated that he wants to appoint Republicans to his cabinet, and rumor has it negotiations are underway to keep current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in office past January 20. But would Gates really count as a bipartisan pick if he's technically not a Republican?

Below is an exchange between CNN's John King and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from Sunday's Late Editon

KING: There's been some talk of keeping Secretary Gates on for some time. Is that acceptable to you?

REID: Sure. I think we need a good transition there. I am confident that Senator Obama has somebody in mind for secretary of defense but Gates -- you know, it's interesting, my conversation with Secretary Gates, he's not even a Republican. Why wouldn't we want to keep him? He's never been a registered Republican.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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