If you'll notice, the tenor of our political discussions have mellowed since November 4th. Partly, this is because the mass media has stopped covering politics 24/7, partly this is because Sarah Palin isn't whipping her supporters into a frenzy calling PEBO a "socialist" who "palls around with terrorists," and partly because many conservatives are pleased with Obama's transition effort - to date.
Obama is building his political capital. He knows that liberal and moderates will give him a few month honeymoon when he takes the oath of office on January 20, but he can extend his honeymoon by making the occasional overture to conservatives. Keeping Gates on as Sect. of Defense and Paul Volcker to be one of his economic advisers does this.
In so doing, many are already talking of Obama building an era of post-partisanship. We should only be so lucky.