Pres.-elect Obama holds first news conference

First press conference as pres. elect
CHICAGO President-elect Obama is getting down to business today. He is meeting with economic advisors, vice-president-elect Joe Biden, and others to talk about his plans for the economy.

Obama is scheduled to hold his first news conference since being elected president Friday afternoon. ABC7 and will show the press conference live. It will be his first public appearance since Tuesday's election.

The inauguration is still 2 1/2 months away, but the president-elect Barack Obama already has a very full plate, and then some, as he tries to balance the demands of his family with the demands of the nation's future, beginning, of course, with the deteriorating economic situation which will probably dominate this first post-election news conference at 1:30 Friday afternoon.

The weight of the world was on hold for an hour Friday morning as president-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle attended parent-teacher conferences at their daughters' private school in Hyde Park.

And then, after a good-bye kiss, the Obama motorcade headed downtown for a day that includes another security briefing, taping Saturday's Democratic radio address, returning more post-election congratulatory phone calls and holding his first news conference -- after convening a high-level meeting with vice-president-elect Joe Biden, newly designated chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and an economic team that includes billionaire investor Warren Buffet, former Clinton cabinet members Robert Rubin and Robert Reich, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Chicago banker Bill Daley, the mayor's brother.

"There are a lot of problems to get through. Obama has to get the game plan running right from the start," said David Henderson, Raven Securities trader.

The economic challenges are daunting, with auto and retail sales, and the stock market all tanking this week and unemployment on the rise.

Chicago Congressman Rahm Emanuel, the soon-to-be White House chief of staff, is -- among other things -- an expert on the economy from his years in the Clinton White House, which apparently earns his a seal of approval from old friend Hillary Clinton.

"President-elect Obama made an excellent choice. Rahm Emanuel understands both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. He understands the private sector where he was very successful for a number of years. He gets things done," said Senator Hillary Clinton, (D) New York.

There is also speculation that there could be a spot in the new Obama administration for his Vanquished Democratic foe, Hillary Clinton. She is being talked about informally for secretary of state or secretary of defense. That is by no means a done deal, and maybe it's only talk right now.

As for the Obamas themselves, after a very full weekend in Chicago, Barack and Michelle will head to Washington on Monday for their first meeting at the White House with President and Laura Bush.

The kids aren't going on the trip. They have school Monday. They will probably return sometime down the road to see the White House themselves.

ABC7 will be reporting from Washington on Sunday night and Monday.

Obama is planning to stay home this weekend. On Monday, he meets with President Bush in Washington.

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