Odds & Ends

Obama's First Visit to the Oval Office: Check

Six days after winning the election, President-elect Obama visited the White House to meet with the current president. Hundreds of people gathered outside the presidential residence, straining for a glimpse of the meeting. Obama and his wife arrived 11 minutes earlier than expected and were greeted by President Bush and the First Lady on the South Portico. Mrs. Bush escorted Mrs. Obama into the house for a tour of the family's living quarters. The senator and president strolled down the Colonnade together — patting backs and posing for pictures — on their way to Oval Office for a private meeting.

We don't know what they discussed behind closed doors, but if we had to guess, we'd probably guess a) the economy, b) the economy or c) the economy.

According to his staff, this was Obama's first time in the Oval Office. He's now on his way back to Chicago. Reportedly, Michelle Obama is sticking around DC a bit longer to check out schools for the girls.

— Thomas Pierce

UPDATE:
A statement from the Obama Transition Team and from White House Press Secretary Dana Perino about today's meeting after the jump...

From Obama's Transition Team:

President-elect Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama were very warmly welcomed today at the White House by President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Upon arriving, President-elect Obama and President Bush proceeded to the Oval Office, where they had a productive and friendly meeting that lasted for over an hour. They had a broad discussion about the importance of working together throughout the transition of government in light of the nation's many critical economic and security challenges. President-elect Obama thanked President Bush for his commitment to a smooth transition, and for his and First Lady Laura Bush's gracious hospitality in welcoming the Obama's to the White House.

After a brief private meeting, the First Lady led Mrs. Obama on a tour of the White House that focused primarily on the private residence of the historic home. After this tour, the First Lady and Mrs. Obama visited in the West Sitting Hall, where they discussed raising daughters in the White House, as Jenna and Barbara Bush were similar in age to Malia and Sasha Obama when they visited their grandfather, President George H. W. Bush, during his presidency. Mrs. Obama was honored to finally meet the First Lady, who was a gracious hostess. Following their visit, Mrs. Obama met with Admiral Rochon, the White House Chief Usher.

From Dana Perino:

The President and the President-elect had a long meeting, described by the President as good, constructive, relaxed and friendly. They spoke about both domestic and international issues, though since it was a private meeting the White House will decline to comment on specifics. The President also showed President-elect Obama the living quarters, including the office the President uses, the Lincoln Bedroom, and the rooms for the Obamas' two young daughters. The President enjoyed his visit with the President-elect, and he again pledged a smooth transition to the next administration.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.