Obama, Bush prepare for post-election meeting

November 9, 2008 8:46:23 PM PST
President-elect Barack Obama and the future first lady visit the White House Monday.As Obama's team works on the transition to power, there is word about some of the first actions he might take once he is sworn in as president.

Obama's transition chief says the president- elect will use executive orders to make an immediate impact.

The Obama transition team is working around the clock on the economy, but Monday is likely to be the most dramatic single day between now and the inauguration day January 20, as the nation's first African-American president visits the world's most famous political residence, the White House, which was built with the help of slaves more than 200 years ago.

Barack Obama's took time out between meetings, phone calls and transition planning for a dinner date with his wife Michelle Saturday night and for a workout at the gym Sunday before watching the Bears game at home Sunday afternoon.

Monday, he and his wife, Michelle will get a tour of the White House, followed by a private meeting between the president-elect and a president, who has already been extremely cooperative in the transition process, even though Obama was sharply critical of his policies every day on the campaign trail.

"It says a lot about our country. You can compete vigorously in the campaign, and yet come together for the good of our country, and I think we will have president Bush's support," said Valerie Jarrett, Obama transition team co-chair. "The challenges are big enough and the ability of people of both parties to contribute ideas."

Obama is expected to discuss his most urgent priorities with President Bush, including a immediate assistance to the ailing auto industry and early passage of an economic stimulus package that will create jobs and tax cuts for the middle class.

"The urgency is on the economy, along with giving confidence to the world that the change in administration is peaceful, smooth and competent one," Obama transition advisor Bill Daley said.

The transition team is also researching the possibility of overturning a limit placed on federal dollars for stem cell research and opening federal lands for gas and oil drilling, as the president-elect tries to get off to a fast start on multiple fronts.

"He's in the process of assembling a team, assembling a strategy and doing the hard work now so that he can hit the ground running when he gets into the White House," said Obama Transition Team Chief John Podesta.

Barack Obama is scheduled to return to Chicago Monday afternoon to get right back to work on transition matters.

As for Mrs. Obama, she may stick around in Washington to take a little bit of time to check out private schools for her daughters. They have to start school after the inauguration, which will be the second semester for them and a big change. However, Mrs. Obama would like to keep them in the same school, and that could limit some of the options. It will be interesting to see where they end up going.


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