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18.11.2008 US & Canada

Obama, McCain Meet Face-To-Face

By Daily Guide
Obama, McCain Meet Face-To-Face

President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are meeting Monday for the first time since the presidential election to talk about how they can work together on problems facing the country.

The former rivals will sit down at the Obama transition headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

The meeting comes as Obama is trying to fill out his Cabinet with the most capable people and show he can reach across party lines.

Obama aides have said the president-elect is expected to focus on common ground issues, like climate change and ethics reform, in Monday's meeting.

The two are not expected to talk about any possible Cabinet position for McCain, according to both McCain and Obama advisers.

In Obama's first television interview since the election, he told CBS' "60 Minutes" that the global economic crisis provides an opening for the two parties to come together.

"You actually have a consensus among conservative, Republican-leaning economists and liberal, left-leaning economists. And the consensus is this: that we have to do whatever it takes to get this economy moving again, that we're going to have to spend money now to stimulate the economy," Obama said on the program, which aired Sunday.

The last time Obama and McCain appeared together was in a debate during the bruising campaign season.

They will be joined at Monday's meeting by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Obama's new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

Ed Rollins, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor, said he expects the former rivals to "bury the hatchet" when they meet.

"I think John McCain can serve a very important role as a liaison in the Congress to Republicans, and I think he'll be willing to do that," Rollins said.

Obama last week met with two former rivals for the Democratic nomination -- Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Bill Richardson -- about the secretary of state position in his administration, sources told CNN .

Rollins said Obama's meeting with Clinton "makes the Democratic Party very powerful."

"I think it shows Barack Obama's a bigger man than most people in the sense that he's willing to take the person who gave him a real race for his money into his Cabinet," he said.

Obama's transition team has made public some key staff appointments, but no Cabinet positions have been announced.

Republicans have praised the prospect of Clinton becoming secretary of state.

Henry Kissinger, who was secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford administrations, said Clinton would be an "outstanding" selection, Bloomberg News reported.

GOP Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona told Fox News, "She's got the experience; she's got the temperament for it."

And California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told ABC it would be a "great move."

A new poll suggests that most Americans are confident that the president-elect will make the right decisions when it comes to picking his top officials.

Forty-three percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday morning are very confident that Obama will make the right choices, with 34 percent somewhat confident and only 23 percent not confident.

CNN

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