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1 Obama Reaches Out for McCain’s Counsel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:51 am

rosco 357

my words. i really don't see much changing in the near future, from Obama promises in the campaign to what he says now, he seems to realize now how the real world works. i do think ppl optimism will be good for the economy.. i remember ppl making fun of president Bushes rebate check. some ppl even said they would not accept them. but did. now lets see who says what about the rebate check Obama is going to send out, i really don't expect much to change, even gitmo, he admits will take a year after his order to close, as he finds country to take the prisoners,as bush was in the process of doing, he will not loose the close to successful Iraq policy, i said long ago when he reads the classified secret reports each morning that president bush reads, he may seem a lot like what we have now.. but we shall see, it will be interesting no matter how it goes,

Obama Reaches Out for McCain’s Counsel
Published: January 18, 2009

WASHINGTON — Not long after Senator John McCain returned last month from an official trip to Iraq and Pakistan, he received a phone call from President-elect Barack Obama.

As contenders for the presidency, the two had hammered each other for much of 2008 over their conflicting approaches to foreign policy, especially in Iraq. (He’d lose a war! He’d stay a hundred years!) Now, however, Mr. Obama said he wanted Mr. McCain’s advice, people in each camp briefed on the conversation said. What did he see on the trip? What did he learn?

It was just one step in a post-election courtship that historians say has few modern parallels, beginning with a private meeting in Mr. Obama’s transition office in Chicago just two weeks after the vote. On Monday night, Mr. McCain will be the guest of honor at a black-tie dinner celebrating Mr. Obama’s inauguration.

Over the last three months, Mr. Obama has quietly consulted Mr. McCain about many of the new administration’s potential nominees to top national security jobs and about other issues — in one case relaying back a contender’s answers to questions Mr. McCain had suggested.

Mr. McCain, meanwhile, has told colleagues “that many of these appointments he would have made himself,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a close McCain friend.

Fred I. Greenstein, emeritus professor of politics at Princeton, said: “I don’t think there is a precedent for this. Sometimes there is bad blood, sometimes there is so-so blood, but rarely is there good blood.”

Professor Greenstein said Mr. Obama’s impulse to win over even ideological opposites appeared to date at least to his friendships with conservatives on The Harvard Law Review when he was president.

For Mr. Obama, cooperation with his defeated opponent could also provide a useful ally in the Senate, where Mr. McCain has parlayed his national popularity and go-his-own-way reputation into a role as a pivotal deal maker over the last eight years. But on the subject of Iraq, in particular, their collaboration could also raise questions among Mr. Obama’s liberal supporters, many of whom demonized Mr. McCain as a dangerous warmonger because of his staunch opposition to a pullout.

Mr. Obama arrived for their Chicago meeting on Nov. 16 with several well-researched proposals to collaborate on involving some of Mr. McCain’s favorite causes, including a commission to cut “corporate welfare,” curbing waste in military procurement and an overhaul of immigration rules.

“The corporate welfare commission and military acquisition reform are two things the president-elect wants to do very soon,” Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff and a participant in the meeting, said in an interview. The new administration is already preparing to introduce legislation echoing a previous McCain bill on the commission idea, Mr. Emanuel said, adding, “We have been very respectful and solicitous of his ideas.”

Mr. Emanuel said he did not remember any discussion of Iraq. “Barack has been clear that he is going to stick to his responsible reduction in forces, and he hasn’t changed from that,” he said.

But Mr. Graham, who accompanied Mr. McCain to the meeting, said Mr. Obama took a notably different tone toward Iraq than he had during the campaign, emphasizing the common ground in their views.

“He said that he understands that we had differences but he wanted to let us know that he also understands that we have got to be responsible in how we leave Iraq,” Mr. Graham recalled. “What the Obama-Biden administration has talked about is not losing the gains we have achieved. ”

He added, “Obama does not want to be the guy who lost Iraq when it is close to being won.”

Mr. Emanuel, whose only previous contact with Mr. Graham was negotiating the terms of the presidential debates, began calling him more than once a week to follow up. “Constantly,” Mr. Emanuel said. “There has been a running dialogue.”

Mr. Graham, in turn, called his counterpart “a pleasure to do business with.”

Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., a friend since Mr. McCain was the Navy’s liaison to the Senate three decades ago, has also played intermediary. He called Mr. McCain to ask him to appear at the inaugural dinner, and he invited Mr. Graham on another recent trip to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I know the vice president-elect is very concerned about the end game in Iraq,” Mr. Graham said.

Some Senate Democrats have complained that Mr. Obama failed to seek their contributions about certain appointments — notably Leon E. Panetta as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But the Obama transition team has consistently sought advice and feedback from Mr. McCain, the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, on national security appointments, Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Graham both said.

Mr. Graham said Mr. McCain had enthusiastically supported those appointments: Gen. James L. Jones (an old McCain friend) as national security adviser; Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, the retired Army chief of staff, as secretary of veterans affairs; Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state; and most of all, retaining Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

“Picking Gates is a good statement that they are not going to pull out of Iraq in a way that undercuts the gains achieved,” Mr. Graham said.

And when Mr. McCain raised “concerns” about the potential choice of Adm. Dennis C. Blair as director of national intelligence, Mr. Emanuel said, Mr. Obama’s advisers asked the admiral to provide answers to Mr. McCain’s questions to win his support. (Neither side would disclose the details of Mr. McCain’s concerns, but Admiral Blair has faced past questions about his relations with the military dictators of Indonesia when he was in the Navy, and a possible conflict of interest when he later worked with a nonprofit group evaluating weapons systems.)

“We gave McCain time to talk through it, made sure he was briefed,” Mr. Emanuel said.

Mr. Obama’s cultivation of Mr. McCain is a stark contrast with the practices of past presidents. After the 2004 election, President Bush did not talk to his defeated opponent, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, until Mr. Kerry visited the White House in March 2005 as part of a large group to celebrate the Red Sox victory in the World Series. (“I like to see Senator Kerry,” Mr. Bush said, “except when we’re fixing to debate.”) And after Mr. Bush defeated Mr. McCain for the Republican nomination in 2000, the two had only perfunctory contact and often-adversarial relations for nearly two years.

Shortly before his second inauguration, former President Bill Clinton awarded his defeated opponent, Bob Dole, the Medal of Freedom. But it was an entirely ceremonial event. (Mr. Dole joked that had hoped to be at the White House picking up “the front door key” instead.)

A spokeswoman for Mr. McCain did not respond to several messages. But Mr. Graham said he and Mr. McCain were convinced that Mr. Obama was genuinely interested in working together with them on both domestic priorities and foreign policy.

“Not only is it good politics,” Mr. Graham said, “it gives you an insight into who ur dealing with.

2 Re: Obama Reaches Out for McCain’s Counsel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:32 am


How strange it is people would consider refusing to cash a stimulas check,now that would be a genuine dumb ass for sure, jeezzzz how often does the govt. give back what they take every day.

3 Re: Obama Reaches Out for McCain’s Counsel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:53 am


that is a very Smart man, Obama~ to ask McCain for his advice /assistance who is very experienced and smart also`

I did make fun of the stimulus check,but not because I am a dumb ass and I did pay gas bill, but it sure didn't stimulate anything if I remember right~

4 Re: Obama Reaches Out for McCain’s Counsel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:34 am


A small check 500.00 or so isn't going to be the answer to encourage spending, but hey if Obama wants to send me another one it works for me .

5 Re: Obama Reaches Out for McCain’s Counsel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:39 am


very true..
I do like the of cutting taxes withheld on working people paychecks~

6 Re: Obama Reaches Out for McCain’s Counsel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:55 pm

rosco 357

lets wait and see, as i have read, the dems in congress have their own way of working, james carville on larry king said obamas will have more probs with the dems in his own party than with the republicans, but we will know in a couple of month, what they usually say , the new prez gets about a 100 day honeymoon, but i hope things go great, because anything else is wishing i was getting my throat cut, i pray not hope that things go great, but its a deep hole and as been said will take a while on the economy,,, lol this just makes sence, i wonder how much economic production will be lost tuesday, from ppl. laying out of work to watch the inaguration, i know we have one that is not going to be at work.. well my 500 could well cover tinted windows in my car, or put in savings, or put it towards new metal garage doors , the doors are my next project.. send me the 500..

7 Re: Obama Reaches Out for McCain’s Counsel on Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:21 am


with the big bailout Obama is supporting, I am not going to hold my breath for a tax cut of any kind for anyone.

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