Liveblogging Obama's First Press Conference As President-Elect...With Puppies!

Illustration for article titled Liveblogging Obama's First Press Conference As President-Elect...With Puppies!

Barack Obama and Joe Biden are meeting with their economic advisers in Chicago, after which (at 2:30 ET) President-Elect Barack Obama will hold his first press conference. Do you think he might talk a little about the economy? Announce some new hires? Are you stuck at the office and unable to watch but nonetheless on the edge of your seat? Luckily, my office is my couch and so I'll be liveblogging it from start to finish (although assisted by tea instead of my usual alcohol, since it is the afternoon).3:11 ET: Wait, and that's the end? Ok, well, there you go. I would've liked to see more specificity on his plans for the first 100 days and thereafter — what were they talking about all morning? His lack of comment on the intelligence briefings is actually super interesting, but makes me wonder what the hell is in them and whether I should be more concerned than I am. 3:10 ET: Should Americans expect to pay more taxes in 2009? His plan calls for tax cuts, haven't you been paying attention? Plus he wants job creation. 3:09 ET: With the new intelligence briefings he's getting, has he changed his mind about anything. He can't comment on the nature of the briefings, and thinks that intelligence can get better although it's gotten better. 3:07 ET: What books is he reading, who is he talking to, what is he reading, what dog, and public or private schools? Obama has spoken to all the living former Presidents and everyone has been gracious. He's re-read some of Lincoln's writings. The dog "is a major issue." They've got two criteria that need to be reconciled: Malia's allergic, so it needs to be hypoallergenic. "Our preference is to get a shelter dog, but many shelter dogs are mutts like me." They don't know about the schools yet. 3:06 ET: Obama makes an attempt to give a local guy time. He asks about what Obama wants to see in his Senate seat. "That is the governor's decision, not my decision." Obama's advice to Blagoivich is that he get someone capable and passionate about helping Illinois' working families. 3:05 ET: "When we have an announcement about Cabinet appointments, we will make them." He knows you're dying to know, but he will move "with all deliberate haste." So he's going to make sure he thinks it through. 3:03 ET: If Bush makes decisions Obama does like, what will Obama do? Obama is going to meet with him and talk about stuff and not make assumptions about what he will or will not do. "The critical tone that has to be struck by all of us right now... is that the American people need help, the economy is in bad shape and we've just ended the longest election cycle in history. It's time to set politics aside..." Once again, that's probably not going to happen. 3:01 ET: He got a congratulatory note from Ahmadenijad, which is the first one an Iranian leader has sent since the revolution. Did he respond? When will he start sending low-level envoys? Obama says he will review and respond appropriately when he gets the letter, but he's not happy about the pursuit of nukes or their support for terrorism. But he's not going to shank Bush while he's still President. 3:00 ET: He's asked about the stimulus package in a lame duck session, with it might not happen. "If it doesn't happen in a lame duck session, this will be the first thing I do as President." 2:59 ET: He is asked what he can really get done in the first 100 days. He thinks there's a lot he can do. He's saying we need a stimulus package passed either before or after his inauguration, we need to get on jobs and to provide assistance to state and local governments so they don't have to lay people off or increase taxes. 2:58 ET: There will be tough choices, and it won't be quick or easy to get out of this economic crisis. We have to, apparently, put aside partisanship and politics to do it, so we're pretty much fucked. 2:57 ET: They're going to monitor the financial bailout actions to make sure Bush and his buddies don't fuck it out. And once they're done with all of that, then they'll lay out long term plans in terms of health care, tax relief, energy independence and education reform. 2:55 ET: We have to address the credit crunch, and the financial crisis "is increasingly global and requires a global response." He neglects to say what that is. On the auto-industry, he wants Bush to accelerate the auto industry bailout funds and he's going to come up with some new ideas to help them. It's what Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is there. 2:54 ET: The discussed immediate challenges and priorities. They want a rescue plan for the middle class: extension of unemployment insurance benefits and a fiscal stimulus plan is long overdue. 2:53 ET: We've lost 1.2 million jobs this year and more than 10 million Americans are unemployed. This speech had better get more hopeful. After I finish typing that, he mentions that George Bush is still running the government until January. 2:52 ET: "And here comes the President-Elect of the United States, Barack Obama 2:50 ET The economic team has assembled behind the podium. Paul Volcker is very tall, Robert Reich is very short, and Rahm Emanuel is standing two steps in front of everyone else. 2:44 ET: Barack Obama may be in Chicago, but he is running on what is colloquially known in these political circles as "D.C. time," or 15-20 minutes late. It's what happens in a city of overachievers and over-scheduled people.



Ah, yep, they just said Rahm will be there.

Is anyone thinking about going to the inauguration? I was going to - I'm only about 4 hours outside of DC - but it looks like the spring semester will have started by then.