November 17th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama acts presidential even as he lays low

President-elect Obama called California's governor and the mayor of Los Angeles to express concern about the wildfires raging in Southern California.
President-elect Obama called California's governor and the mayor of Los Angeles to express concern about the wildfires raging in Southern California.

(CNN) – The man once referred to by a rival campaign as “the biggest celebrity in the world” has intentionally been keeping a very low profile in the awkward limbo period between Election Day and his inauguration on January 20.

But on Monday President-Elect Barack Obama stepped out a little and acted decidedly presidential in the middle of a disaster in California.

Obama called Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villraigosa “to express his concern over the wildfires and to receive an update on the situation,” according to a statement released by the Obama transition team Monday.

In the nearly two weeks since Election Day, Obama has taken great pains to make it clear that President Bush remains in charge of the country and its affairs until Obama’s swearing in two months. At his first press conference as president-elect, Obama stressed that the country only has one president at a time and, Obama did not participate in the recent economic summit of world leaders convened to discuss a coordinated response to the financial crisis that has roiled global securities and credit markets.

Update 3:15 p.m.: The Web site of President-elect Obama's presidential campaign, barackobama.com, was altered after Obama's calls to Gov. Schwarzenegger and Mayor Villaraigosa in order to encourage visitors to the site to donate to relief efforts for the victims of the Southern California wildfires. Click here to read a blog post on the Web site.

soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Wow, they moved up Inaguration? Fantastic...I guess Georgie Boy got the GOP Memo too...Country First.

    November 17, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. AJ

    Oh, maybe Obama can huff and puff and blow the fires out. Isnt he supposed to be the Messiah?

    November 17, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Leave it to Obama to be concerned. Bush probably can't find California on the map even. The fires in Calif seem to get worse every year too.

    November 17, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. just a thought

    obama is a graceful man, america is blessed to have this caring man as our new president.

    November 17, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. MLH

    I'm not sure how much of this article is news. President Elect Obama has behaved the way one would expect a president-elect to behave by not being in President Bush's face. As for calling about the wildfires, why wouldn't he? Didn't Obama and McCain make sure they got updates on economic woes while they were running for office? I don't see how calling the Governator is any different.

    November 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Joe Regis

    Bush needs to continue to preside over the crisis for as long as required. By the time Obama takes office the situation will already be on the mend.

    November will continue to be a dull month, but by the middle of December a significant recovery will be on the way in economic activities.

    November 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. SIMP

    Tom in Deleware

    You have to be biggest idiot on the blogs today. Keep your hateful comments to yourself. Your blog shows the level of your intellengence, 0 just in case you don't get it I will spell it out ZERO!!!

    November 17, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. BM

    It appears thatall you old bigots sixty and older think only old white men are capable of running things.They, the rich and famous are the the reason we are in this mess now.
    I can't believe that this newly elected president is being blamed already and yet he hasn't been sworn in. It use to be a time not so long ago that a bigot hid their hate by wearing a cover.

    November 17, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. MikeH

    Move along folks, there's no story here. CNN producers are bored and doodled out this ticker article.

    BTW, someone tell wowwow to take off his tin-foil hat, it's focusing too many negative energy waves into his mind.

    November 17, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Ken in Dallas

    Did you hear that the Bush presidency was nothinbg more than a hoax?

    The Iraq war was just a really, really long bad dream.

    Unfortunately, by believing Bush was president, we effectively slept through the last eight years, so, yes, we really are this broke.

    November 17, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. JNC, California

    Thanks President-Elect for atleast showing SOME TYPE OF CONCERN!!!! Hello bush, o your outta here in two months, thank goodness!!!!

    November 17, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. Tulsa

    lol, I don't think it's a "act".
    The president elect IS presidential.
    As citizens of this great country, we owe it to him and ourselves to be watchful and questioning, but give the man the benefit of the doubt.

    November 17, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Victor

    "In the nearly two weeks since Election Day, Obama has taken great pains to make it clear that President Bush remains in charge of the country and its affairs until Obama’s swearing in next month."

    Next month? Editor, please.

    November 17, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. bill

    caint wait till jan 20th.so these two scumbags are out of our house.bush chaney.GO AWAY NOW.NEVER TO BE HEARD OV AGAIN.by the way barack better get really good exterminator. to get the stinch out of our house.

    November 17, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. EW

    Since when is expressing concern over the phone Presidential?

    Guess that makes me Presidential as well.

    The fires in California keep getting worse because of the flawed thinking that no one should cut brush, trees, etc. If people don' t clean out the forest, nature will.

    November 17, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. BBB

    Oh for crying out loud... the man does not control what a magazine publishes Joe.

    When is this infantile behavior going to stop?!

    November 17, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Obama "acts presidential" because he is the REAL DEAL-not some pampered idiot "good ol' boy" like Bush was.

    November 17, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. wycliffe, NJ

    WOW, it never even criss crossed president Bush mind that he has to do something about the wild fires just like Katrina.

    November 17, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Simmy

    W O W! This is a man this country can roll with!

    November 17, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    OBAMA IS PRESIDENTIAL AND HAS A HIGHER POWER OF INTELLIGENCE.

    November 17, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. No Hillary = No Obama

    With an Obama presidency people will no longer know what is newsworthy and what isn't. It's known as the Celebrity Syndrome and it's already starting. Well, what do you expect when the media strong arms it's audience with it's biased reporting.

    November 17, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. jULIET

    WOW WE STILL HAVE NAYSAYERS...SMH...SOME PEOPLE ARE VERY BOLD WITH THEIR RACISIM STILL...TOO BAD....HAHAHA HE WON. NOW....................................................
    GET OVER IT..............................

    November 17, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. BM

    Bush needs a bail out! ASAP. He is the root of all the evil and take all the old bigots with you!

    November 17, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. rob

    Brown-nosed Obamamaniac CNN at it again! Stop! This is unprofessional journalism, at best. He isn't even President yet! I am sure you all have ordered the Obama Commerative plate..yes, there are now commercial for this! Sick!

    November 17, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. Independent Dave, Iowa

    Not "acts" presidential, "is " presidential. Why wait until January to address the issues of today?

    November 17, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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