What will President-Elect Obama do now?

So what happens now? Obama will get his cabinet together, but what other stuff goes on in the transition period?

He’ll get the same briefings Bush does, apparently. But what else?
[li]I don’t know if its a fiction or not, but if it is true do the incoming POTUS and VP get codes to thenuclear football? (I guess it does exist, theres a wiki page)[/li][li]Surely there are well, secrets that only the president and his staff know. Do they inform the incoming POTUS or is that something that that happens after Obama takes office?[/li][li]What preparations will the new First Lady and the kids have to go through?[/li][li]If there is a spaceship in Area 51will they tell him?[/li][/ul]
The last one was more of a joke, but I’m serious about the rest, I just want to know for the sake of being curious.

Here’s a little bit of an answer: CNN reported last night that Obama will officially open his transition office at noon today, and should start naming members of his incoming staff shortly. He appears to be making a fast and smooth transition a priority, and according to the New York Times, he will probably name his choices for secretaries of state and treasury by Thanksgiving.

Man, that’s brutal. If I’d just done two years of straight campaigning, I’d want to sleep for a week on a beach somewhere. I guess that’s why Type B personalities don’t run for President.

If I were he, I would go off to HI for my grandmother’s funeral (what a shame she couldn’t have survived a few more days to witness his triumph) and then spend a week on the beach there. He has 76 days before inauguration; surely he could take a week off. I expect he will go to HI for the funeral in any case.

Oh, and he’d better a good supply of O’s for the White House keyboards.

He’s certainly earned a Hawaii vacation. He should name a trusted advisor who isn’t himself (or herself) too frazzled and sleep-deprived to head the transition office, and take a week off. Jolly Roger, the President-elect and Vice President-elect get a briefing on The Football but don’t have access to it until Jan. 20, 2009. Michelle (and maybe the kids) will get a tour of the White House while Obama meets with Bush in the next few weeks, most likely, and will learn about living arrangements and any “secrets” about life there. The Area 51 visit will have to wait until the Earth is actually attacked by aliens (didn’t you see Independence Day?).

And, perhaps most importantly of all, the First Family-to-be needs to go to the local pound and select a puppy.

I think I’m most looking forward to the puppy. :smiley:

As a follow-up, how does the move out of/into the White House work? Does Bush reside there right up until the inauguration? I can’t imagine he would run the country (if that’s what you want to call it) from anywhere but the Oval office while he is still president, but I would think it would take a day or maybe two to get out, and another day or two for Obama to get in. I’m just thinking of the same mundane issues that every homeowner and business faces when moving.

The final episode of the West Wing was pretty realistic in how the mechanics of the transfer happens.

In recent years, the winning candidate opens a transition office in Washington, D.C., and gets (or ought to get) full cooperation from the outgoing administration. The incumbent and his successor meet and talk. The winning candidate gets all kinds of briefings about what to expect once in office.

The incumbent and his family remain in the White House right up to the moment they leave for the Inauguration ceremonies at the Capitol. While they’re away, by meticulously-planned prearrangement, all of their personal stuff is whisked into moving vans, and all of the new President’s household stuff is placed in the White House residence. It takes a couple of hours but usually goes off without a hitch, from all I’ve read. It happens every four or eight years, after all, and the White House staff has gotten pretty good at it.

I think he should take a few days off to play with his kids and sleep with his wife.

Mr President, you have my permission

A lot of briefings and lessons on being President.

Which I always wondered about, who selects the teachers?

If I may ask an associated question here.

Is it true that the delay in winning the election and taking office a holdover from past times when after an election all the results had to be collected and taken to Washington which would be a time consuming affair.

I started a similar thread a long time ago well before this election heated up:

Who Teaches a New President of The U.S. How to Be President?


It’s partially to allow all the votes to be counted, partially to allow the incoming pair time to settle their affairs at home (remember that Presidents used to be inaugurated in March), and partially so that the new Prez and VP can learn how to do their jobs.

A president-elect is not POTUS. A president-elect has no legal authority to know or have access to the codes.

…learn to do the
…extend hand toward the taxpayer,

Wayne Herzagiuna has the Miami Dolphins up for sale, he says he’d rather give the money to charity than to him.

Um… OK?

In past times it was even longer. Inauguration used to be March 4. The 20th amendment moved it up to the present date. FDR was the last president to assume office on March 4, following the 1932 election. It was a holdover, but not necessarily for vote counting. In the 18th and early 19th century, such things as travel considerations meant a lag of months for the newly elected president to relocate to Washington. From the wiki article:

Reflecting the change in “modern times” from 1932 to now, you may perhaps argue that another shortening is in order, but pushing inauguration up further runs into Christmas season and becomes awkward.

Look for something to be up at www.change.gov (currently it’s asking for a password) in the not too distant future.

I heard that and thought, I think he deserves a nap. My goodness, take one day off to celebrate and rest for a moment!