At a press conference a few moments ago, Defense Sec. Robert M. Gates, who was formally reappointed yesterday by Pres.-elect Barack Obama, confirms that he does indeed have a party affiliation.

"I felt when I was at the CIA that as a professional intelligence officer, like a military officer, I should be apolitical, so I didn't register with a party," he said, adding,"... I consider myself a Republican. Until yesterday, all of my senior appointments have been for Republicans."

Gates also said he has not determined how long he'll stay on in the position. "I've thrown away the clock because it was absolutely useless at the end of the day," he said with a chuckle.