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Obama Asks Cabinet Applicants to Tell All


Those seeking Cabinet posts and other top positions in President-elect Barack Obama's administration face what some are calling the most extensive application ever for an administration.

A report by The New York Times Thursday said the seven-page questionnaire contains 63 requests for professional and personal information, including details about applicants' spouses and grown children.

Many of the questions show how new technology has altered the White House vetting process.

The application, published by the Times, asks for descriptions of any e-mails or text messages that might embarrass the president-elect. Applicants must also list any Web aliases they have used and include blog posts and links to their pages on the social networking sites Facebook and MySpace.

In another sign of the times, Mr. Obama is asking post-seekers to identify any links they have to fallen mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and any other institution being helped by the government's $700 billion rescue plan for the economy.

The New York Times said applicants must also release tax and health records, and list organizations they have belonged to and any domestic workers they have employed, including their legal status.

Many of the questions each new president asks his potential Cabinet members are meant to head off any controversies or mistakes of past administrations.

Throughout his campaign, Mr. Obama pledged to clean up Washington and bring change to the White House.

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