My Chicago Sun-Times colleague Abdon Pallasch quotes President-elect Obama saying the Chicago reporters are tougher than the national press, as ABC-channel 7 political reporter Andy Shaw gets a question in the brief photo op.
By Abdon M. Pallasch
Chicago Sun-Times Political Reporter
CHICAGO–Just 13 days after the election and a month after their last face-to-face debate, President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain sat down to talk Monday at Obama’s Transition headquarters in Chicago.
Off to McCain’s right was his close ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham R-S.C. Off to Obama’s left was his newly announced chief of staff, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.)
“The national press is tame compared to the local press,” Obama leaned over to McCain and quipped as the press filed in for a 90-second photo shoot.
The four men sat in front of a blue curtain with three flags behind them and four glasses of water laid out for them on a coffee table in front of them.
Asked what they planned to talk about, Obama said, “We’re just going to have a good conversation about how we can do some work together to fix up the country, and also offer thanks to Sen. McCain for the outstanding service he has already rendered.”
Obama’s aides started trying to clear the press out, reminding them there were not supposed to be questions.
That did not stop ABC-7 political reporter Andy Shaw from asking McCain if he planned to work with Obama to help him get things done.
Even as the aides shouted louder not to ask questions, McCain said, “Obviously.”
Obama smiled and told the reporters still asking questions they were “incorrigible.” Then he proceeded to lean over to McCain and tell him a campaign-trail story about one of his aides.
The meeting was on the 38th floor of the Kluczynski federal building, where Obama also has his senate office. The South windows look over the open-air top floor of the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
This is one of the earlier meetings between presidential rivals.
President George W. Bush had a White House meeting with President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore on Dec. 19, 2000, about six days after Gore conceded the race.
Presdient George H.W. Bush met former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis on Dec. 2, 1988, in Washington, D.C.
On Nov 18, 1980, President Jimmy Carter had Ronald Reagan over to the oval office for 90-minute chat.