November 17th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
10 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,, 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. we need change, tx

    Obama would have parted the Red Sea instead of Moses. The man of Mystery will walk on top of a mountain in California and blow out the fires, like a chacter from XMEN. How will he fix out problems? I sat at my home on the Intercoastal Cannal over the weekend, and counted 5 barges moving freight. I normally see 20-30 during a weekend. People, we are in a huge mess.. Obama will leave office filthy rich like all ex-presidents. Thanks for voting Obama, now we are all going to see this country fall apart more than it has since he won. Should that tell you guys something. People are scared of this guy. Way to flaky for me.

    November 17, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Harald

    @Noah and Bush hasn't forced his right wing ideas onto people that are in the middle or left these last 8 years?

    November 17, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. mitch

    nice to see his cocern. did bush call to find out what's goin'on, and if they need anything?

    November 17, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Sylvia

    OH MY GOD...this is ridiculous.......this guy gets kissed every day!!!!!

    November 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. hometowndemocrat

    On the issue of Obamas birth certificate............
    Lets just put it this way, if the CIA, FBI and Homeland Security are not concerned about this, then I think it may be time for you lunatic conspiracy theorist to move on to your next lame brained idea.

    November 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

    Obama haters: (Joe, Wendy, Roger, Rob, and others...)
    Acting or not HE WON! Low key or not HE WON! Cover of magazines or not HE WON! On the job traing or not HE WON!! To deliver or not HE WON!! Woo-hoo!! He won, he won, he won!!! Nanny nanny boo-boo!!

    November 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Mike November 17th, 2008 3:00 pm ET

    You ask who will protect the constitution? Surely you can't be thinking that republicans will. Let's look at the The Patriot Act for example: It vanquishes any and all purpose of the constitution, bill of eradicates the need for the Declaration of Independence and the purpose of the Revolution and Civil Wars. That is just ONE act...imagine the plight of our american idealogies if we were to allow republicans to stay in office any longer!

    I will definitely take democrats this time around in hopes of restoring our heritage of liberty and justice for all!

    November 17, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Carter in ATL

    Sylvia 3:40
    You seem jealous...nobody kisses you huh?

    November 17, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    AJ November 17th, 2008 1:42 pm ET

    Oh, maybe Obama can huff and puff and blow the fires out. Isnt he supposed to be the Messiah?
    I don't know about that. But there are rumors that George Bush's barber noticed that he had three 9's on his forehead!

    November 17, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. BJ

    To "Get over yourselves"

    I find it oddly interesting that all the positivity is coming from Demoncrats who really should be working. If you have time during the work-day to spew your love on our President-elect on company time, then I'm sure there are thousands of unemployed workers who would like to have your job.

    See...looks really dumb, don't it?

    November 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. Georgia Gal


    He's on the cover of magazines because he is the President Elect. I guarantee you McCain (well probably Palin) would've been on these too if he had won.

    November 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Mike

    hometown democrat....unlike you I am not a blind follower who believes what some left wing nut job tells me....if he has nothing too hide...then why can't he produce a birth certificate? He took tv over for 30 minutes a few weeks ago....he ciouldn't spend 10 seconds showing his birth certificate.

    November 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Charm

    It's great to know bigotry and racism is alive and well in the U.S. And for those posters here who have proven they have the intelligence of an amoeba, that's sarcasm.

    November 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. President Barack Obama

    Repeat after me...... President Barack HUSSEIN Obama.... say it again for me....President Barack HUSSEIN Obama .... I cant hear you.. one more time .... President Barack HUSSEIN Obama.. Yeeaahh, Thats sounds Great!! For ALL of YOU HATING on my dude President Barack HUSSEIN Obama...He will be your President to like it or not!!!

    November 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Ex-Republican for Obama

    @we need change, tx November 17th, 2008 3:38 pm ET

    I'm glad you counted the barges during your weekend. But you forgot one little part. Bush is the guy in office and he is to blame for your low count on the ships. But, you are probably one of those right wing lunatics that look to blame anyone but the guy in charge if it's one of your GOP buddies (which it always is when it comes to things going bad).

    Hey, I wish you the best....your fellow kin, satan spawn...aka G.W.B. is returning to your state. Best put your head between your knee's and pray...if he does to your state what he did to my're going to be in for a very rough life!

    November 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Georgia Gal


    No he doesn't yet have the power to do anything, but he wasn't trying to. He just wanted to be kept abreast of the situation and as President Elect of the United States that is his right.

    November 17, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Ed

    Obama is a true leader!

    November 17, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Bob

    Stop the presses, he made a phone call!

    Now get a towel and clean up that mess, you're drooling
    all over the floor!

    November 17, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. A Brave New World

    Does that mean it's OK now to use Obama's middle name without fear of retribution?

    November 17, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    we need change, tx:
    Even if he were the messiah, the only one that should be afraid of him is Satan.

    What exactly are YOU afraid of?

    November 17, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. MikeH

    Mike, why don't you quit behaving like an ignorant troll. You already know the bitrth certificate exists and has been certified.

    Nobody here needs to respond to your claim, it is bogus, like you. Go find something useful to do for America, and earn your right to call yourself an American Citizen.

    November 17, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Mike

    ex republican for obama.....did i say republicans would?????????? and who are you trusting....barack who voted for immunoty for the phone companies who illegally listened on our calls?

    yeah....inform yourself because you sound dumber with every comment.

    November 17, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. we need change, tx

    You just summed up why you voted for Obama. Evidently you did it for one reason. I did not vote for him, am I a BIGGOT. Tell me, if I voted the entire Rep. ballot, am I a biggot. Tee, you must not make very much for a living and DO NOT own a company. That sounds like your own fault. But hey, Obama will pay your bills, just chill out at home, call in sick tomorrow, they will find someone to wipe off the tables.

    November 17, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Maggie from Virginia

    Fellow Bloggers,

    Please don't waste your time on Mike or any other Obama hater. They're not worth it.

    Instead, let's continue the dialogue on working together to support each other by helping our next president.

    November 17, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. No More GOP

    Obama is Ten Times the man that Bush ever even thought he was... It's about time we got an intelligent, caring man in the White House and not another Republican crook!

    November 17, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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