President elect Barack Obama, flanked by his newly named White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and his economic advisors including Paul Volker, called a “news conference” today to say just about….nothing. He told us what we already knew: the economy is bad and we have one president until January 20: George W. Bush.
The President Elect did say he favored an immediate economic stimulus package and Congress has already agreed to meet in a lame duck session to consider proposals.
The only other substance of the event concerned his daughter’s allergies and the care that will have to be taken in choosing the next White House Dog. Current White House canine Barney is in the dog house for nipping a reporter yesterday. No reporters were bitten today but many remain smitten despite the lack of substance in today’s media “event”….
By NEDRA PICKLER and LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writers
Obama said Friday that the country is facing the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime and “we’re going to have to act swiftly to resolve it.”
However in his President Bush and his economic team, noting that the country has only one government and one president at a time.since winning the presidency Tuesday, Obama deferred to
He said the Congress needs to pass anmeasure either before or just after he takes office in January.
But, he said, “immediately after I become president I will confront this economic crisis head-on by taking all necessary steps to ease the credit crisis, help, and restore growth and prosperity.”
“I’m confident a new president can have an enormous impact,” he added.
The president-elect spoke after he and Vice President-elect Joe Biden met privately with economic experts to discuss ways to stabilize the troubled economy.
More evidence of a recession came Friday when the government reported that the unemployment rate had jumped from 6.1 percent in September to 6.5 percent in October. Despite dour third-quarter reports from Ford and General Motors, stocks rose some after two days of heavy losses.
Obama’s transition to power and early days in office, if not the entire first year of his presidency, almost certainly will be devoted to finding ways to remedy dismal economic conditions. The economy was the top concern of voters demanding a new direction as they ushered into office the Democrat who promised change after eight years of Bush’s policies.
On other topics:
He said he will review a letter from Iran’s leader but refrained from directly responding to it. It’s not something “that we should simply do in a knee-jerk fashion,” he said.
“We only have one president at a time,” Obama said, adding that he wants to be careful to send the signal to the world that “I’m not the president and I won’t be until Jan. 20.”
Major Issue At Today’s Press Conference
President-elect Obama says getting a dog for his two daughters when the family moves into the White House in January is “a major issue.”
Obama told reporters Friday that his mention on election night of getting a puppy for Sasha and Malia had “generated more interest” on his Web site than any other topic.
He said, “We have two criteria that have to be reconciled. One is that Malia is allergic so it has to be hypoallergenic.”
Obama also said there were a number of breeds that were hypoallergenic, but that the family’s preference is to adopt a dog from a shelter.
Obama added: “But obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me. So whether we’re going to be able to balance those two things, I think, is a pressing issue on the Obama household.”
From Ben Smith, Politico
Barack Obama said in his first post-election press conference that he’s spoken to all the former presidents — Carter, Bush, Clinton, as well as the current Bush — and, looser than he’s been in months, dares a joke at the expense of the widow of the most recently deceased.
“I have spoken to all of them who are living,” he says. “I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any séances,” he says.
He was responding to a question, from the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet, about whether he’d spoken to all of the “living” former presidents.
He was apparently referring to the reports in the 1980s that Nancy Reagan consulted an astrologer while in the White House. Mary Todd Lincoln, however, reportedly held actual séances.