Bum nominations hard to avoid, history shows

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No matter how careful he is, sooner or later President-elect Barack Obama is likely to make a bum nomination or two.

"It's unavoidable," says Paul Light, a New York University professor and expert on presidential transitions.

It may happen because a nominee has lied about his or her background to Obama's team, or because something that was dismissed as minor turns out to be a big deal.

Whatever the reason, "These things are likely to pop up at any time — even though they are trying their darndest to make sure that doesn't happen," says George Mason University Professor James Pfiffner, another expert on transitions.

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