Obama and McCain Meet

From the pool report:

Asked about the goal of the meeting, Mr. Obama said, “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 Sen. McCain for the outstanding service he’s already rendered.”

Sen. McCain was asked whether he would help Mr. Obama with his administration, and he responded, “Obviously.”

Your pool tried to get the President-elect to answer a question on the auto industry bail out, but was shouted down by the pool sherpas. Mr. Obama finally said with a smile, “You’re incorrigible.”

What Does Clinton Want?

Speaking in Kuwait yesterday, Bill Clinton sounds like he wants his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, to become the next Secretary of State in the Obama administration. 

He claims not to know much about the discussions, but adds, “If I did, I wouldn’t tell you.”

Meanwhile, Mike Allen reports that the Obama team, “after all but offering SecState to Senator Clinton, is expressing EXASPERATION with the Clinton camp for the difficulty in getting a clean vet on President Bill Clinton’s many entanglements.”

However, Ben Smith says sources tell him that Sen. Clinton herself is conflicted about taking the job.


The Story of SuccessJust out this week: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

The author of The Tipping Point and Blink poses a provocative question in his latest book: Why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential?

As we’ve watched Barack Obama rise from an unlikely background to become the next President of the United States, Gladwell challenges the idea that successful people are self-made and propelled by their own talent. Instead, he says “they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.”

Just Like Lincoln

USA Today notes another Lincoln parallel as President-elect Obama prepares to meet with Sen. John McCain today: “Early in his tenure, after the outbreak of the Civil War, Lincoln met with one of the men he defeated in the 1860 general election, Stephen Douglas.” 

Newsweek has much more on the similarities between Lincoln and Obama.

Huckabee Lashes Back, Settles Scores

Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to AmericaOut this week: Do The Right Thing: Inside the Movement That’s Bringing Common Sense Back to America by Mike Huckabee.

Time calls it “at once a memoir of his campaign, a treatise on the ills of the Republican Party, and a blueprint for his own political future.” The book is also “filled with sharp words for fellow Republicans who frustrated his bid for the party’s nomination.”

Mitt Romney “comes in for the roughest treatment… He notes that Romney declined to make a phone call of congratulations after Huckabee beat the oddsmakers to win the Iowa caucuses, ‘which we took as a sign of total disrespect.'”

He also “calls out Pat Robertson, the Virginia-based televangelist, and Dr. Bob Jones III, chancellor of Bob Jones University in South Carolina, for endorsing Rudy Giuliani and Romney, respectively. He also has words for the Texas-based Rev. John Hagee, who endorsed the more moderate John McCain in the primaries, as someone who was drawn to the eventual Republican nominee because of the lure of power.”

Quote of the Day

“Terry could sell shit to the zoo. He’s the best salesman in the world.”

— Democratic strategist Paul Begala, quoted by Politico, on former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe’s “charm offensive” as he ramps up his gubernatorial campaign in Virginia.

Ex-Rivals Meet Today

At 12 p.m. ET, President-elect Obama will meet with Sen. John McCain for the first time since the election.

The Wall Street Journal notes both men “have much to gain from swift reconciliation after a bitter contest… Obama aides stress the opportunity the president-elect is offering Sen. McCain. The senator turned off some independents and Democrats who had admired him with his tack rightward to win over the Republican base. He now has a chance to reclaim his maverick, bipartisan mantle.” 

James Carney says sources close to McCain “say their man wants to leave the campaign behind and return to the role he forged for himself on Capitol Hill as the leading reformer and bi-partisan legislator in the Senate.”

Gingrich Says Palin Will Not Lead Republicans

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich “is batting down the hype that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin heads into 2012 as the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination,” according to The Hill.

In an interview on Face the Nation, Gingrich “took Palin down a notch, asserting that she would not become the party’s leader, as some have predicted.” 

Said Gingrich: “I think that she is going to be a significant player. But she’s going to be one of 20 or 30 significant players. She’s not going to be the de facto leader.”

Obama on 60 Minutes

In his first televised interview since winning the presidency, Barack Obama spoke to60 Minutes about the economy, the automobile industry, the government’s $700 billion financial industry bailout program, their visit to the White House, the emotions of election night and the search for a family dog.

Clinton Appointment Seems Likely

Many Democrats close to both camps said that it seemed likely that President-elect Obama would ask Sen. Hillary Clinton to become his Secretary of State, “assuming they could work something out regarding Mr. Clinton’s role,” the New York Timesreports.

“More than a dozen advisers to both sides said Sunday that although they did not have firm information, they considered it improbable that Mr. Obama would have opened the door to Mrs. Clinton’s appointment without having decided, at least in principle, that he would like to make it happen. Rejecting her after letting the possibility become so public would risk a new rupture within a party that spent much of the year divided between Mr. Obama and the Clintons.”

Obama Forced to Give Up Email

President-elect Obama is a big user of his Blackberry, “but before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off,” the New York Times reports.

“In addition to concerns about e-mail security, there is the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A final decision has not been made on whether Obama could go against precedent and become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that was unlikely…”

“Obama, however, appears to be poised to make technological history in other ways: Aides said he hopes to have a laptop on his desk in the Oval Office. He would be the first American president to do so.”

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