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Legacy Content / EARLYBIRD

Transition News

Obama makes his first visit to the Oval Office today, while speculation ramps up over Treasury and attorney general picks.

November 10, 2008

• "Less than one week after his historic victory, President-elect Obama heads to Washington on Monday to learn firsthand from President George W. Bush about the challenges that await him on January 20," Reuters reports.

• "The first meeting of incoming and outgoing presidents has been a rite of passage fraught with emotion, surprises and the rare exchange of secrets between leaders of opposite political parties," AP reports. "On Monday, President Bush will welcome" Obama "to the White House, and the 43rd and 44th presidents will make nice."

• "Bush's White House started working nearly a year before Election Day to get the government in shape to be handed off. Aides to Obama also began planning before the voting, just in case their candidate won," AP reports. "But everything accelerates into overdrive now that the 77-day presidential transition clock has started ticking."

 

• "With the economy in a downward spiral, US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the nation under threat from terrorists, President Bush pledged Saturday to make a smooth transition to an Obama administration a top priority for the rest of his days in office," AP reports.

• "It's almost certain that the handoff of the White House from President George W. Bush to President-elect Barack Obama will pass more smoothly than the greeting that Bush's new crew faced in 2001," the Chicago Tribune reports. "The Ws were removed from the keyboards of typewriters in the executive office building of President Bill Clinton's departing administration."

• Obama "is poised to move swiftly to reverse actions that President Bush took using executive authority, and his transition team is reviewing limits on stem cell research and the expansion of oil and gas drilling, among other issues, members of the team said Sunday," the New York Times reports.

• "President-elect Obama is putting hope on hold," AP reports. "In two appearances since he was elected, Obama has emphasized the monumental challenges the country faces and warned against expectations that he will bring a quick fix. The change he promised on the campaign trail will come, he told an eager nation, but it will take some time."

• "With the economy in disarray and the nation's treasury draining," Obama "and his advisers are trying to figure out which of his expansive campaign promises to push in the opening months of his tenure and which to put on a slower track," the New York Times reports.

• "The big money on who becomes the next attorney general is split between two distinct camps: consummate Washington insiders with serious policy credentials and prominent political backers of" Obama, the Politico reports.

• Obama, "elected president as an agent of change, is building his new team with old hands from the Clinton administration," Bloomberg News reports.

• "At the upper reaches of the Democratic Party, 'FOB' used to mean 'Friend of Bill,' as in Clinton," the Los Angeles Times reports. "With Obama's victory on Tuesday, 'FOB' is the new acronym for the close-knit corps of Chicago neighbors, graduate school classmates, pickup basketball teammates and family friends of the incoming president."

• Obama "says moneyed interests won't have an inside track in his White House, but six of the 15 people he named to his transition team are top fundraisers," USA Today reports.

• "Two men in contention to be" Obama's "Treasury secretary have vastly different temperaments, but are also close allies with similar philosophies about handling a global financial crisis," the Wall Street Journal reports. "Former Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Timothy Geithner are a study in contrasts -- one a garrulous academic, the other an intense technocrat."

• Obama "plans to push ahead with a middle-class tax cut soon after taking office, his choice for White House chief of staff said yesterday," the Washington Post reports. "Rahm Emanuel also hinted that Obama would not postpone a tax increase for families earning more than $250,000 a year despite the deepening economic gloom."

• "Having mobilized an army of workers to help elect" Obama, "top union officials have not been shy about their plans to push a legislative wish list blocked under President Bush, and they say they will not wait," the Washington Times reports. "On the other hand, business leaders have not been shy about warning the president-elect against such early moves."

• "A senior Pentagon advisory group, in a series of bluntly worded briefings, is warning President-elect Barack Obama that the Defense Department's current budget is 'not sustainable,' and he must scale back or eliminate some of the military's most prized weapons programs," the Boston Globe reports.

• The Obama team is signaling that Michelle Obama will not follow Hillary Clinton's example as co-president in the new administration -- at least not yet, the USA Today reports.

• "This is the transition you don't hear so much about: Michelle Obama is getting ready for a new life as first lady, giving plenty of thought to what kind of profile she will carve out for herself in the White House," AP reports.

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