President-elect Barack Obama will meet Monday with John McCain in talks that Obama’s transition office said would focus on ways they can cooperate on an array of troublesome issues facing the country.
The meeting will be the first since Obama, the Democratic Illinois senator, beat McCain, the Arizona Republican senator, by an Electoral College landslide in the Nov. 4 election.
“It’s well known that they share an important belief that Americans want and deserve a more effective and efficient government, and will discuss ways to work together to make that a reality,” Obama spokesmansaid in announcing the meeting.
Advisers to both men say they do not expect Obama to consider McCain for a position in his administration, as he is with former primary rival Hillary Rodham Clinton for secretary of state. But he’d like to have McCain as a partner in the Senate on legislation they both have advocated on the campaign trail, like climate change, earmark reform and torture.
Cutter also said the two will be joined at Obama’s Chicago transition office by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a McCain confidant, and , the Illinois Democrat whom Obama has chosen to be his White House chief of staff.
In his first two weeks as president-elect, Obama has struck a bipartisan tone. He paired a Republican and a Democrat to meet with foreign leaders this weekend on his behalf in Washington, for example, and his aides emphasized the bringing together of both sides in announcing the meeting with McCain.
Republican and Democratic officials say Emanuel and Graham arranged in a postelection conversation to have Obama and McCain meet at the earliest possible time and Monday was it. Emanuel and Graham have worked together before on issues on Capitol Hill, and Graham jumped to Emanuel’s defense when Republicans criticized his appointment as Obama’s chief of staff.
Since the election, McCain has had few public appearances. He appeared on the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno on Tuesday and campaigned in Georgia for, who faces a runoff next month.
Obama met in Chicago with Clinton Thursday afternoon, said a Democratic official, who asked not to be publicly identified the information was not authorized for public release.
The motorcade of Clinton, who receives Secret Service protection as a former first lady, was seen leaving the office complex shortly before Obama left for the day. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines would say only that “ had no public schedule yesterday.”
Obama has surrounded himself with several former staffers of Bill Clinton’s presidency. Others are thought to be under consideration for secretary of state, including Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and , R-Neb.