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Bush signs presidential transition order

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush signed an executive order Thursday directing his staff to begin preparing for transferring the White House to his successor.

"It has probably never been more critical that a transition from an administration, from one to the next, is as seamless as possible," White House press secretary Dana Perino said during a news briefing. "Our nation is at war, we are dealing with a financial crisis, and we are trying to protect ourselves from terrorist attacks."

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White House staff and other administration officials have been working with transition representatives from Republican candidate John McCain and Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Bush's executive order also creates a Transition Coordinating Council to manage of the agencies' transition efforts, Perino said. The panel includes people with authority and expertise in presidential transitions, and in areas such as national security, homeland security and the economy.

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