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President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. JOhn McCain met face to face for the first time since their last presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York.
In today’s meeting, the former foes met to discuss how McCain, who lost the quest for the White House to Obama, and the 44th president can reach bipartisan accord on ways to reduce government waste and find other ways to improve government.
After the meeting, the two issued the following statement: “At this defining moment in history, we believe that Americans of all parties want and need their leaders to come together and change the bad habits of Washington so that we can solve the common and urgent challenges of our time.
“It is in this spirit that we had a productive conversation today about the need to launch a new era of reform where we take on government waste and bitter partisanship in Washington in order to restore trust in government, and bring back prosperity and opportunity for every hardworking American family.Â We hope to work together in the days and months ahead on critical challenges like solving our financial crisis, creating a new energy economy, and protecting our nation’s security.”
Ahead of the meeting, Obama said, “We’re going to have a good conversation about how we can do some work together to fix up the country, and also to offer thanks to Sen. McCain for the outstanding service he’s already rendered.”
McCain was asked whether he would help Obama with his administration, and he responded, “Obviously.”
Also in attendance were Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), White House chief-of-staff-designate.
In the months leading up to the election, Obama and McCain repeatedly clashed. McCain kept emphasizing Obama’s inexperience and Obama talked up the 72-year-old’s age and erratic behavior.
Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director at BlackEnterprise.com