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Obama's First Post-Election Press Conference

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Obama's First Post-Election Press Conference

Obama's First Post-Election Press Conference

Not a terribly newsy first newser from our President-elect. Obama emphasized that "the country only has one President at a time" and he won't be trying to step on President Bush's toes. He also reminded the audience that "it is not going to be quick and it is not going to be easy for us to dig ourselves out of the hole that we are in." But he expressed certainty that it can happen if politicians put aside partisanship and get to work.

As for priorities, Obama cited the October job losses as evidence that a second stimulus package is needed -- he vowed that if a second stimulus isn't passed during the lame-duck session it "will be the first thing I get done as President of the United States". He said his team would review the current administration's implementation of this summer's bailout package to make sure that it's being implemented as effectively as possible.

Asked about a letter of congratulations he received from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Obama took a sober tone. He repeated his long-held position that "Iran's development of a nuclear weapon...is unacceptable. And we have to mount an international effort to stop that from happening." He decried that nation's "support of terrorist organizations," adding that his administration's Iran policy will not be hastily crafted, and he will not make any diplomatic moves until he is sworn in January 20th.

Obama also said he won't rush to fill his cabinet, so that he can be sure he's making the right choices. He told the reporters he had consulted former (living) Presidents Carter and Clinton and both Bushes for advice on his new job, but joked that he "didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any seances".

Maybe the most eagerly-awaited news of the availability regarded the Obama family's plans to get a dog when they move to the White House. Obama said the family would prefer a shelter dog, but given Malia's allergies they might not be able to go that route (because "a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me"). He called the dog choice "a pressing issue on the Obama household."

-- Evie Stone

UPDATE: You can hear the whole thing here:

Obama's First Post-Election Press Conference

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/96756752/96760459" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

UPDATE: Obama Transition Team Spokesperson Stephanie Cutter has announced that the president-elect called Nancy Reagan after the press conference to apologize for his "careless and off-handed remark" about seances. She added that they had a "warm conversation."