Obama, McCain Meet; Vow To ‘Fix Up Country'

Obama shoos reporters from McCain meeting -- 'You're incorrigible'

President-elect Barack Obama and his former Republican rival John McCain met on Monday at Obama's Chicago transition office as part of an effort to move beyond the divisive campaign.

The meeting is the first since Obama, the Democratic Illinois senator, beat McCain, an Arizona senator, by an Electoral College landslide in the Nov. 4 election.

"It's well known that they share an important belief that Americans want and deserve a more effective and efficient government, and will discuss ways to work together to make that a reality," Obama spokesman Stephanie Cutter said.

Obama and McCain made a pledge to work together, NBC5 political reporter Mary Ann Ahern reported.

"We're just going to have a good coversation about how we can do some work together to fix up the country," Obama said. "And, to offer thanks to Sen. McCain for the outstanding service he's already rendered."

Obama told "60 Minutes" on Sunday that his cabinet would include Republicans, but would not elaborate as to which Republicans he would name.

Now that Obama has officially resigned from the Senate, the president-elect is focusing on who he will appoint to his cabinet. With no official announcement just yet, many observers suspect that the Secretary of State job is Sen.Hillary Rodham Clinton's if she wants it. The first of Obama's cabinet picks may be announced this week, Ahern reported.

While reporters did not have a chance to ask questions of either McCain or Obama, former chairman of McCain's Illinois campaign, Jim Durkin, said with the nation's current economic woes, the meeting was a good start.

"The fact is, the government has to intervene and to stop this hemorrhaging that's going on in our economy," Durkin said.

The president-elect also worked the phones on Monday, reaching out to leaders in the Philippines and in Turkey.

The two were joined at Obama's Chicago transition office by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a McCain confidant, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois Democrat whom Obama has chosen to be his White House chief of staff.

The two issued a joint statement following the meeting:

“At this defining moment in history, we believe that Americans of all parties want and need their leaders to come together and change the bad habits of Washington so that we can solve the common and urgent challenges of our time.  It is in this spirit that we had a productive conversation today about the need to launch a new era of reform where we take on government waste and bitter partisanship in Washington in order to restore trust in government, and bring back prosperity and opportunity for every hardworking American family.  We hope to work together in the days and months ahead on critical challenges like solving our financial crisis, creating a new energy economy, and protecting our nation’s security.”

 In his first two weeks as president-elect, Obama has struck a bipartisan tone. He paired a Republican and a Democrat to meet with foreign leaders this weekend on his behalf in Washington, for example, and his aides emphasized the bringing together of both sides in announcing the meeting with McCain.

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