November 5th, 2008
08:07 AM ET
12 years ago

Next Obama steps crucial


Barack Obama will have to immediately begin assembling administration, analysts say.(Getty Images)

(CNN) - Barack Obama will likely begin assembling his administration almost immediately, and cannot afford the so-called honeymoon some president-elects have enjoyed in the past, CNN analysts say.

With the nation's economy in continued turmoil, and an electorate that is overwhelmingly calling for change, the president-elect will have little time to rest over the next 2 1/2 months before he is officially sworn in.

"This is something that the Obama campaign is working on now for many months," CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger said. "Obama himself got very involved in this after the Democratic convention, I'm told."

Likely to take immediate priority is the naming of a White House chief of staff, who will help shepherd the transition. Potential names tossed around for that post include the former Clinton aide and Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

Watch: Obama makes history

Obama will also move quickly to put in place an economic security team, and has already held high-profile meetings with several economic advisers.

"I think people are encouraged by the kinds of people he's had around him and the names circulating for Treasury," CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen said.

One such name is Tim Geithner, the 47-year-old chairman of the New York Federal Reserve. Other names being discussed include former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Paul Volker, the former Fed Chairman under Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

"For the first time I can remember, the secretary of the treasury is going to be almost as important as the secretary of state," said Gergen, a former adviser to several presidents.

Obama will also want to communicate immediately that he is ready to assume the duties of commander-in-chief, and avoid initial mistakes Bill Clinton made during his transition process.

"He doesn't want to appear like he's not ready for prime time," CNN's Roland Martin said. "A lot of criticisms of Clinton was that he had too many young people around him who weren't experienced in Washington. Obama, who's extremely methodical, very deliberate, wants to bring it across, "I am an absolute leader, I am in charge."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (497 Responses)
  1. DR

    Doesn't anyone else think that if the ENTIRE world wants us to elect a particular guy there MUST be a reason?? And those countries want him elected because it will benefit THEM not us. They could care less about our "reputation" in the world, they just want what's best for THEM. More people should have thought before they voted. 96% of black people voted for Obama??? Reverse Racism is just as racist!

    November 5, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. Dominique (Canada)

    Mr. President Obama BRAVO,

    Four years ago, from Calgary, Alberta, during a Democratic Convention, I did not know about Barack Obama. After the speech Barack gave, I stood up and was almost in tears and I told my wife, one day this man will become president of the US. Since then, I was following each move of Barack... I am proud to be a black man ....BRAVO M. President


    November 5, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. sour grapes

    A couple of things. In response to "Really"; 54% is overwhelming in election terms. To all of the other negative people out there, get over it. I have a feeling that all of you who are pouting today over the Obama victory are also responsible for electing the current, and worst president in the history of the country. Congratulations!! Now, go away and think of new and exciting hateful things to say in 4 years,

    November 5, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. CLee

    I hope and pray that all those with negative comments will, now that Obama has won, open their minds and their hearts and give him a chance.

    Now that Obama has won he is everyone's president. Please don't condemn him but support him. If he does screw it up you can say "I told you so" when and IF that time comes. In the mean time please give him the benefit of the doubt.

    November 5, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  5. Dan

    He is a good man and even though I didn't vote for him, I think he will do a lot of people proud. However, I am scared that my job might suffer. I am a carpenter and I do custom/finish carpentry for "the rich/people who make $250k+" and I am concerned that his tax increase for them will affect my business in a negative way.

    I know for a fact that if I do take a hit, I will have to cut loose my one worker.

    I share this same sentiment with my fellow small business peers.

    November 5, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  6. Ernie Quilingan

    Congratulations and Yes We Can ! May God Bless America.

    November 5, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  7. Ann

    this is a miracle!! god has heard i prayers, cries and pleas to him. i am so thankful that this country has change in its heart!!! when i heard that Obama won i broke down in tears. and a very big thank you goes to Obama, for taking all of the anger, disbelief, sorrow, pain and fear and turning it into love, happiness and hope for this country!!! we have a second chance of saving this country. THANK YOU SO MUCH OBAMA, MRS. OBAMA AND MR. AND MRS. BIDEN!!! we were in desperate need of change!

    November 5, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. Sensible Joe

    God bless America, and God bless President-Elect Barack Obama! At this pivotal crossroads in our nation's history, it has chosen a leader who has shown a steady hand, a good heart, a thinking mind, a firm grasp on reality and the wherewithal to motivate people and get the job done throughout his campaign, all with goodwill and grace under pressure even during the ugliest attacks. So shall he govern. It's time for Americans to lay aside bitterness, divisiveness and pessimism for the good of the USA and make "country first" more than a slogan. Let's be constructive and work together. Contrary to his detractors, Obama is destined to be the steady center and moderate voice America has long needed at home and abroad after the past eight years of some very scary, inept and arrogant political adventurism from the radical right. It's time to get back to our roots and focus on our basics: the Constitution, constituency and the common good.

    November 5, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  9. tattooed and Body pierced voter

    I can't speak for the rest of them, but I voted McCain. Watch those sweeping generalizations, gatesballs. One thing I hate is being labelled a liberal because of appearance. I am as red as they come. Just because I don't go to church, listen to country music, or attend shin digs does not make me a liberal idealist fool.

    November 5, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. ET from OMAHA

    Stand ....Up... Fight With me.......Stand up......Fight with me.....
    Stand.....Up. .....Fight with me. Nothing is inevitable.....we make history.
    Welll now granpa McCain HISTORY IS MADE.

    Thank you for choosing Sarah Palin as VP and having McBush same old failed Economic Policies.

    By the way I understimate your strenth with your age. You are a true Hero and a fighter but sory blame bush. Chao

    November 5, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  11. Gary

    Here's a tough question.
    Do the girls each get their own room??


    November 5, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  12. Yvonne

    God bless America and God bless President elect Barack Obama and his beautiful family...Yes We Can!!!

    November 5, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  13. Laura

    I did not get the chance to vote in this historic election as I am from the UK.I live in New York now and have watched the race with huge interest over these past months and am delighted that Obama has been elected.

    He is a true leader in every sense of the word and I was proud to be in New York last night supporting him like all other Democrats! This is great moment for Americans and I think Obama is already a legend. The first black president of America.....Awesome!

    November 5, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  14. holly

    i am terrified for america's future. uninformed voters have been swayed by the deceit of the obama's and by the negative media. The only change obama will bring is change towards a socialist america and then a communist america. You think that will help the economy? Yes look at russia's economy....they are still recovering from their communism and doing great dont you think? The only positive I can see is that we have an African american as our president-it shows America is a diverse country however I think it is a form of racism that black people voted for obama simply because he is black. I'm a white person....if I said I voted for mccain because he is white how much crap do you think I would get? I would be called a racist. I think america is headed downhill because of obama's policies. As far as giving the Democrats control of the senate and the house...are you joking me america??? This whole financial crisis was during a DEMOCRATIC CONTROLLED senate....if you wanted change why didn't you vote republican. frankly im disgusted.

    November 5, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  15. Joe

    LMAO…I love the doom and gloom crowd here…Communist state? Pleas...Obama extended his hand last night to both sides. So did McCain. You don't have any desire to work together with us to make things better…you just want to sulk? Okay…But I think the majority of the people out there are at least willing to try. You know, it's not about one guy winning the election…it's about making the country better for everyone…even you. Good luck with that immature attitude of yours!

    November 5, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  16. Mike Anderson in Wyoming


    Now you have the floor, let's see the dance... But, if nothing else please, please, please let our troops win. Not another Viet Nam.

    November 5, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. Jeremiah

    Obama first needs to thank an unpopular
    GEORGE W BUSH for his victory,


    November 5, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  18. The Cosmos Rocks


    November 5, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  19. chris

    Can we now please begin trial proceedings for crimes of atrocity against humanity for Bush, Cheney, Rove and all of the other treasonous SOBs involved in the disgrace that is our current white house? Dems have the white house back. Dems have the Senate locked down. Dems own the House. I'm all for moving forward and putting the last 8 horrible years behind us, but someone needs to pay for the crimes of the evil Bush administration.

    That being said, this is the first time in years that I am proud to say I am an American. We have our country back. And just in time.

    November 5, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  20. Let us unite and Pray

    I ask that we all join in prayer for Mr. Obama and for our country.

    Let us pray that he can do the things he hopes to and that this country can truley unite.

    The weight on this man's shoulders is incredible. If he faulters he will set back race relations, as he will give the bigots a reason to point and say "we told you." He has the support of so many Americans that he has the chance to enact REAL change, let us hope this support holds and we as an AMERICAN people can move forward.

    November 5, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  21. linda from South Dakota

    my deepest congratulations to you barack,, my trust is in you and biden to bring back america,, the land i love,,,this is one of the most touching and memorable president elections i have ever seen..yes we can and we will,,, obama/biden 08 and beyond

    November 5, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  22. Tracy Carpenter

    I am so happy that we have at long last reached the time when race is becoming truly irrelevant. This is what the Amewrican dream was supposed to be about!

    November 5, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
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