Obama Discusses Economy, New Puppy

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Photo: Getty Images

Just now, Barack Obama wrapped up his first press conference as president-elect (there was even a helpful placard on his podium that explained who he was, in case you didn't know). He's clearly not used to these. Though he called on reporters by first name (and even asked Lynn Sweet from the Sun-Times what happened to her arm — she injured it running to hear him speak at Grant Park on Tuesday night), he said "um" quite a bit and skirted around answers he was uncertain about. Still, he was surrounded by an impressive crew. His Economy Advisory Team, arrayed behind him, included Warren Buffett, Robert Reich, Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons. It was a blend of corporate, political, and academic experts.

Obama talked about a rescue plan for the middle class first and foremost, and then addressing small businesses and floundering local and state governments. He said he plans to review the administration of the government's financial program, and talked a good deal about salvaging the auto industry. "America is a strong and resilient country," he said. "I know we will succeed." He skirted specifics about his first 100 days, however. When asked about the congratulations he received from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he said he wouldn't respond, and added, "We only have one president at a time."

On a far more important note, he also discussed what kind of dog he was going to get for daughters Malia and Sasha. He has two priorities, he said. One, Malia is allergic to dogs so he needs one that is hypoallergenic. And two, he hopes to find one to rescue. "Our preference would be to get a shelter dog," he said. "But obviously a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me." Aw!