December 2nd, 2008
08:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama briefed daily on intelligence

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama is receiving regular briefings, says McConnell"]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama apparently has a hearty appetite for intelligence.

The president-elect is receiving intelligence briefings every day of the week, exceeding the six days given to President Bush, according to Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence.

At an appearance Tuesday at Harvard University, McConnell jokingly wondered aloud whether "there's a little bit of competition" between the men.

He said he was amazed at how much and information the two men absorb and how quickly they do it. "The speed with which these two particular gentlemen absorb information and move on is astounding," said McConnell.

Obama's briefings typically last 30 to 60 minutes and cover a "great deal of substance on any topic you can imagine" concerning national security and threats to the country, McConnell added.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Michael

    This is so incredibly frustrating to me when people bash the Bush Administration. I understand everything and I could destroy any of these liberal whiners in a debate. There is a reason for why George W. Bush did everything he did, just ask me.

    December 2, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  2. Godluvr

    To Jen, Cali, Michael, Larry, Helen, VT, and Franky (Palin in disguise):

    Little ones, please stop tinkering with your parents equipment!

    Those letters on that board and the tv screen are meant to be for grownups!

    Go to bed now, and leave the serious talk to the smart, intelligent people! Night, night!

    P.S. Actually, McConnell is being diplomatic.
    He didn't want to come right out and say that President-Elect Obama is briefing President Bush! But we know! WInk, wink!

    LIGHT of the world, shine on US!

    December 2, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  3. Michael

    It is shocking to me how many Americans are uninformed and have no idea how the world functions. I would like to ask all the idiots out there to stop blaming everything on George Bush when, for the most part, it is the fault of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton forced banks like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give out a certain number of loans each year to unqualified persons. George Bush has done a fine job and it is my hope that history will remember him as the right man for a tough time in America. There is a reasonable explanation for why George Bush did everything the way he did.

    December 2, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. Mistres Carmelle

    The Intelligence Community must be fuming over the accusations that they gave faulty Intelligence. This is untrue and I hope they rectify their image/name.

    December 2, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  5. Milhouse van Houten

    I tells ya'all this info absorbed so quickly,it's got to be some sort of alien trickery....either that or some really cool new hats.

    December 2, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  6. Mike in Ohio

    All of you people who are regurgitating all the campaign smear rhetoric about Obama being inexperienced, incapable, unpatriotic, etc., etc., can stop now. The election is over, and that garbage is a big reason why the Republicans lost.

    If you can put aside your anger, your partisanship, your racism, or whatever else is still stuck in your craw, and look at things objectively and fairly, you will realize with the rest of us what a brilliant job Obama is doing already in forming an incredible team and preparing to take over his awesome responsibilities.

    Eventually, most people will realize that it is better that Obama is successful and this country gets out of the rathole of issues that it is currently immersed in. Even if they must admit that perhaps they were a bit wrong in their quick judgments about this man. As he takes office and begins to act, feel free to criticize his actions if you disagree with them. That type of criticism is the American right and obligation. But cut the smear crap from the campaign. That will help move us exactly nowhere.

    December 2, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  7. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Most people don't realize that besides his law degree Obama as a degree in political science with a specialization in International Relations. There will be no on the job training for Obama just briefings to stay current. I love that we have a brilliant man that will be our next president 🙂

    December 2, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  8. Unshrub

    Helen, VT

    Democrats and republicans alike comment on how fast Obama is learning and how well he can comprehend, but yet you think you have the wisdom to say Obama has a big mouth. At least he can back it up with intelligence, that's more than you can claim.

    December 2, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  9. A different MICHAEL

    TO the OTHER Michael:

    Your mindless bashing of Liberals just serves to make you seem, at best, ignorant and/or not very bright.

    Your beloved president stole the first (and possibly second) election, destroyed the economy, the environment, civil liberties, education, health care, the U.S. constitution, and our reputation around the world.

    You can kiss his anatomy if it pleases you, but I'd rather have an intelligent and decent Liberal (if there are any left) any time!

    December 2, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  10. Michael

    Other Michael,
    You are wrong. George Bush clearly won Florida in 2000 and everyone knows it. Al Gore was the one who tried to cheat by trying to make a partial recount. Bill CLinton destroyed the economy and Barack Obama might sound smart but he has very liberal views which are very wrong.

    December 2, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  11. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    "Michael".....firstly....George Bush deflected vs. absorbed data in order to pursue his adolescent agenda that America now pays a brutal price for. Secondly, please cast a much wider net and get informed vs. parroting the political and intellectual equivalent of Jerry Springer.

    December 2, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  12. Conservative in Ohio

    McConnell is a highly skilled and intelligent man. This tongue in cheek competition is just that. It's not a debate over the history of liberalism vs. George Bush or a reason for cynical and irrational bias on the part of either president. Both men believe they are doing what’s right for the country that seems more than some of those commenting can claim. Admittedly the last eight years have not been our best, but to lay all the blame at GWB’s doorstep is also false. What the country needs is not a debate on whose fault it is or the faults of the new anointed, but rather a willingness for all to leave fear and hatred behind. We need to move forward.

    December 2, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  13. Mike in Philly

    "for the most part, it is the fault of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton forced banks like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give out a certain number of loans each year to unqualified persons."

    Bill Clinton has been out of office for 8 years. So apparently you think that all of the bad loans are all from the Clinton years, and *none* from the Bush years?

    Look at it like this – yes, some of the regulations were removed in Clinton's time. But that in no way forced the banks and mortgage brokers to act as they did. (come now – a mortgage given to someone with no documentation of income? Any sane business person worthy the name would never have agreed to that. Even I know that, and I'm just a computer geek ...).

    Just because you open a window, does not mean someone else is then obligated to jump out of it ... there's lotsa blame to go around for the current economic mess. For gov't, businesses and the consumers who got the loans ...

    December 3, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  14. Bush voters sit this one out.

    Obama is already doing better than Bush. Much better. What is it with you Republicans? Is mediocrity in your genes? Bush was already planning a vacation at this point in his presidency. You guys LOST. One more time you L-O-S-T and for a good reason. Go sit and snivel about abortion or religion or something else.

    December 3, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  15. bmoody

    It feels kinda nice having an intelligent President again.

    December 3, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  16. Bush voters sit this one out.

    Bush is a flop. He is, was, and always will be beholden to the oil and defense industries. Bush spent his entire presidency chasing imaginary terrorists in Iraq. 10 billion dollars per month since 2003 yet the we couldn't even catch Bin Laden? The world will be happy to see Bush go and there is a reason for that even if the average American Republican voter cannot see it.

    December 3, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  17. David

    Methinks Mr. McConnell astounds too easily.

    December 3, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  18. Bush Voters Sit This One Out

    Bush was the King of on-the-job training. Boy, this board is rife with Republican drivel. Bush sat like a terrified child as he was informed of the Twin Towers and after that managed to squander a 90% approval rating. Repubs-the masters of mediocrity.

    December 3, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  19. Desert Storm Vet

    To hear how everyone is idolizing him, I wonder if he is briefed on National intelligence or his own.

    December 3, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  20. CJ in FL

    I guess my last post wasn't pro-Obama enough.

    Newsflash people, Obama is about as smart as Bush. Too many out there seem to confuse 'a good speech' with 'intelligence'.

    A large chunk of the electorate should take a cue from both men and start getting smart on many subjects as possible (the first being the U.S. Constitution).

    Thsi country is infested with sheeple.

    December 3, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  21. CitizenT

    That was very kind of him to praise the current president. One has to wonder though how a man who can absorb so much information so quickly can so consistenly make the wrong decision.

    December 3, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  22. John Kyriacou

    I laugh at those who claim Obama is unintelligent. I tell you, they must be out of their minds.

    First of all he is Columbia and Harvard educated with high honors.

    Second of all, you can see the solid brain trust he is setting up around him.

    Lastly, Bob Woodward said on 60 Minutes that Bush "is not an intellectual" or what "would be called a deep thinker." He also said "He shows little intellectual curiosity," . Obama is very intellectually curious. That right there is a huge plus for our new President.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand how in the past voters can choose the one who they'd be willing to have a bear with over the one they have to use a dictionary to figure out what he is saying. Way to set the bar low on the intelligence you put in the white house.

    December 3, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  23. hilary

    All presidents-elect should receive them daily. I don't think it's helpful to a transition team to start receiving them only a few days before inauguration day.

    December 3, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  24. afgail

    OMG. Bush has been the president for eight years and the trolls are still blaming Clinton for everything that has gone wrong during his watch. Bush/Cheney have been in charge with full control of the congress all the while. Your team gets all the credit for the mess this country is in.

    December 3, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  25. shantiquax

    Them folks talking bad about our President Elect during a time of war, make that two wars, don't seem very patriotic to me. I mean, there's a war, I mean wars, going on. Why do these Obama haters hate America so much that they would give comfort to the enemy by demeaning his intelligence and questioning his loyalty? I can't wait until Barack Obama's portrait goes up among the other presidents. In my life time, too! Yay for the majority!

    December 3, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
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