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Obama and McCain Hold Photo Op and Issue Joint Statement on Meeting

President-elect Barack Obama and Sen John McCain (R-Ariz.) smile during their meeting at Obama's transition office in downtown Chicago, Nov. 17, 2008. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

By Garance Franke-Ruta
President-elect Barack Obama put his campaign message of post-partisan unity into practice today, sitting down for a private meeting with former presidential rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in Chicago to discuss, in general terms, opportunities for bipartisan action on the nation's most pressing problems.

The meeting at the Presidential Transition Office on the 38th floor of the Kluczynski Federal Building in downtown Chicago kicked off with a conference-room photo op, to which a pool reporter had three minutes of access.

"We're going to have a good conversation about how we can do some work together to fix up the country, and also to offer thanks to Senator McCain for the outstanding service he's already rendered," Obama said, laying out the goal of the tete-a-tete.

Asked whether he would help the incoming Obama administration, McCain replied, "Obviously."

The pool reporter on the scene, Ken Bazinet of the New York Daily News, asked Obama a question on the auto industry bailout, but "was shouted down by the pool sherpas," as he described it. Obama addressed him with a smile, Bazinet reported, saying, "You're incorrigible."

Joining Obama and McCain at the meeting were Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), who will be Obama's chief of staff in the White House.

After the meeting, the president-elect and McCain issued a joint statement emphasizing the need for unity and bipartisanship to address "critical challenges like solving our financial crisis, creating a new energy economy, and protecting our nation's security."

"At this defining moment in history, we believe that Americans of all parties want and need their leaders to come together and change the bad habits of Washington so that we can solve the common and urgent challenges of our time," they said.

"It is in this spirit that we had a productive conversation today about the need to launch a new era of reform where we take on government waste and bitter partisanship in Washington in order to restore trust in government, and bring back prosperity and opportunity for every hardworking American family," they continued.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 17, 2008; 2:41 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Hill Transition  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Setting Aside Rivalry, Obama to Meet with McCain
Next: The Battle for Energy and Commerce


It is magnanimous of Obama to include McCain in his plans but I say how do you clean up the bad habits of Washington by engaging with someone who surrounded himself with lobbyists?

I say give him a position where he can't crash any more planes.

Posted by: JRM2 | November 18, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

If you read Archarito's comments and imagine the Taco Bell chihuahua giving them voice, it's truly hilarious.

Of course, some of you might argue that nothing additional is needed to make Archarito's comments hilarious. All the same, just putting it out there.

Posted by: bwhoover | November 17, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: kendreik | November 17, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a uniter. He'll start by uniting the Disunited States and then he'll go on to unite the world! Peace at last!

Posted by: francinelast | November 17, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

What a sight!

The RINO sitting cordially with the Socialist he set up with the Presidency, by committing Political Suicide with a VP Pick, wholly unqualified to assume the reins in case he succumbed to a debilitation!


I just Threw-Up in my Mouth!

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 17, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

The election is over. Why meet unless Obama has offered McCain a position. The Democrats aren't dumb. Why meet so soon? Obama met with McCain because McCain is a foot in the door to the Democrats. McCain's old job of reaching across the aisle is still there if he wants it. Who believes that Obama and McCain met to clean up bad habits of D.C. McCain is back where he feels most comfortable, sitting with a Democrat.

Posted by: houstonian | November 17, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

LDVUONG - I have to respond to you too. You said Obama didn't have respect for "a sitting Christian conservative President". You get respect if you earn it... Bush hasn't earned it. And what does being a Christian have to do with it? Are you saying if a president isn't a Christian, then we don't have to give them respect? And, by the way, Obama IS a Christian whether fundamentalists think so or not. One's religion (or no religion) is really nobody's business anyway. I've met too many "Christians" who act anything but... so I could care less if they say they're Christian.

Posted by: AlexaK | November 17, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Real Brother here.

The White Racists and Supremacists just won't quit will they? Again, had any of their nonsense worked during the primaries or the campaign or through the general election OK, we might give the nonsense "some" consideration, but come the hell on!

We've heard all this White Supremacist crap before and its simply STUPID. McCain and Palin(Hillary, Nader, Paul etc.) LOST because they were simply far weaker, DUMBER, less qualified candidates then Barack Obama.

Constently trying to attack Obama for being Black won't work, why don't these Idiots simply realize that?

They are tryhing to claim that since Obama is Black and Blacks were not granted full citenzenship untill 1966 that Obama is NOT an American. Its silly because the Civil Rights Act was retro-active making any African American born in the US prior to its signing a citizen.

Blacks including Obama born in the United States are American Citizens and so the Idiots claiming he's not need to quit.


Posted by: Realbrother0003 | November 17, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse


A) What does the religion of the President have to do with it.

B) I wouldn't call many of Bush's supporters terribly respectful of people with differing views.

C) Actually the opposite is true - Republican rule in the 20s brought us the great depression. FDR's democratic policies laid the groundwork for years of steady economic growth following WWII (though I will note that the war is what really solved that one) Reagan unleashed an era of deregulation, bam, recession in the early 90s. Dem pres through the 90s, great prosperity. Bush takes office, now MAJOR recession.

Looks like it's republican policies that screw things up, but I'm glad you like the view from your imaginary land.

Posted by: waterwarior84 | November 17, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm expecting some ignorant right wing bloviation in the comments section, but hey, where is it?

Weird having competent leadership for a change, isn't it?

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | November 17, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I love Obama.

Posted by: GeorgHerbet | November 17, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

With comments like these -- "On the biggest issue of all, eligibility, McCain is numb and speeechless ... a colloborator to neutering the US Constituion by not learning about Obama's fraudulent candidacy" -- I really kind of miss the days when people could not talk back to their newspapers. Where do people like Archarito come from. Or rather, where do they come up with these kind of statements, which just get repeated and on and on.

Posted by: rashibama | November 17, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I hope Obama told ole' magoo to fetch him some tea and call him 'massa'.

Posted by: Heerman532 | November 17, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse


What the heck are you talking about? Obama was perfectly constitutionally eligible to be president, as he is an American citizen, born inside the U.S. and is over 35. What court cases are you referring to? Moreover, what the heck is all this about Obama going to "acquiesce to his military identificaton [which is spelled incorrectly]." You need to cite evidence if you want anyone to think of you as a vaguely comprehensible.

Posted by: mikeswagger | November 17, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse


I understand that they are having a sale on aluminum foil at Meijer's just in case you need to make a new hat.

Posted by: mhhaggard | November 17, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Not surprising Obama is courting McCain since McCain gave Obama a total free pass during the campaign.
McCain did not want to win the election enough to campaign like he wanted to win.
He GAVE Obama FREE PASSES on every issue.

On the biggest issue of all, eligibility, McCain is numb and speeechless.

Obviously McCain is a colloborator to neutering the US Constituion by not learning about Obama's fraudulent candidacy and addressing it during the campaign.

It took Americans who care more about the US Constitution than John McCain to challenge Barack Obama in up to fiften state and federal court cases, so far!

If Obama is coronated and gives McCain a job based on natial prorites according to Obama, and; how much McCain helped Obama during the campaign by not challenging his qualfications, Obama will acquiesce to his military identificaton and give him the position of: Enforcer in Chief of Martial Law.

Posted by: Archarito | November 17, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

... "a sitting Christian conservative president ... abortion ...weak foreign policy" (as if President Christian has secured our world)... I tell you, I failed to grasp how completely whacko the far-right wing would turn after this election. But let's be clear, abortion policies are the least of this country's problems right now.

Posted by: rashibama | November 17, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama made his career blaming Mr. Bush, without mercy or any respect for a sitting Christian conservative president, without any records or achievements of his own. Time will tell if he can do anyhing good, history shows Dermocartic policy always fails, with big speding, big well-fare system, high taxes to pay for all those things, free abortions paid for with taxpayers' money, and weak foreign policy. Then, we will see people will turn against him, without mercy nor respect for a change. Watch Pelosi, with her own ambition, closely! Mr. McCain shows he is a true gentleman, a hero and tested leader, a greater man than Mr. Obama's showmanship, for "Country First."

Posted by: LDVUONG | November 17, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

What ever happened to old Newt "The Fornicator"?
His term for McCain would be "Pathetic Loser".....
Change? What about that Broun guy from Georgia. Is he the new Newt?

Posted by: TOMHERE | November 17, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Is Obama wearing a dark blue bracelet for colon cancer awareness?

Posted by: buddroke1 | November 17, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

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