Bill Steigerwald

Bill Sammon has been the deputy managing editor of the Fox News bureau in Washington only since August, but he's no rookie inside the Beltway. A former White House correspondent for The Washington Times and The Washington Examiner and frequent Fox News on-air guest, he's written four New York Times best-sellers, including "At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election" and "Strategery: How George W. Bush is Defeating Terrorists, Outwitting Democrats, and Confounding the Mainstream Media." With President Obama and his team about to take over D.C., I called "Big Stretch" -- the nickname used by some for the 6-foot 7-inch Sammon, including President George W. Bush -- at his office on Thursday, Dec. 4:

Q: Is Washington looking or feeling any different during the preparations for the coming of Obama?

A: I think there's a tremendous sense of anticipation in Washington, regardless of one's political party, that not only are we getting a new president after eight years but we're getting, obviously, the first African-American president, and obviously a change-of-party president. You know, I have a daughter who lives in Washington. She lives on U Street, and on election night people spontaneously gathered and marched on Lafayette Park, cheering and chanting and partying. So, yeah, it definitely feels different, especially as we prepare for the inauguration festivities.

Q: What's your general assessment of the way Obama is handling his transition preparations and picking his team?

A: I think he's been fairly deft at it, as he was at his campaign -- pretty sure-footed; not a lot of gaffes, although there was that unfortunate throwing of Nancy Reagan under the bus for seances she never held. But other than that, he's been pretty sure-footed, and I think it's been a continuation of how well he ran his campaign. You can disagree with this guy or agree with him on policy and on politics, but on the mechanics of running his campaign and so far running his transition, I don't think you can find a whole lot of fault there.

Q: Any surprises on his economic team, which is seen pretty much as centrist and certainly not leftist?

Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald, born and raised in Pittsburgh, is a former L.A. Times copy editor and free-lancer who also worked as a docudrama researcher for CBS-TV in Hollywood before becoming a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a columnist Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Bill Steigerwald recently retired from daily newspaper journalism..