Obama Hails 'Extraordinary' Meeting

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President-elect Barack Obama had quite a fascinating lunch, Wednesday. He gathered with all four living presidents at the White House.

Obama met with President Bush and former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in the Oval Office for a grand opportunity to swap stories, give advice and discuss current events

"All the gentlemen here understand both the pressures and possibilities of this office," Obama said. "For me to have the opportunity to get advice, good counsel and fellowship with these individuals is extraordinary."

The President-elect suggested the idea last month - a point that should not be lost in the translation of what transpired Wednesday.

"Barack Obama, a few weeks before his inauguration, is really trying to set the tone that he's ready for this job," ABC News political editor David Chalian said. "He's ensconcing himself visually with these people who have sat in the oval office."

"He wants to show the country he's ready and he's ready to work on a bipartisan basis," Chalian added.

Earlier in the day, Obama dealt with transition business, naming Nancy Killefer in a newly created role of Chief White House Performance Officer.

"Nancy has built a career out of making major American corporations and public institutions more efficient, effective and transparent," Obama said.

During this transition process, Obama has been pretty vocal on how he'll fix the economy. But he's been virtually silent on the ongoing crisis in Gaza between Hamas and Israel.

Wednesday, he declined once again to stake out a position.

"We can't have two administrations running foreign policy at the same time. We simply can't do it," Obama said. "The silence is not as a consequence of a lack of concern. In fact, it's not silence...I've explained very clearly what institutional constraints I'm under when it comes to this issue."

Obama did say he was "deeply concerned" about the conflict. He also offered assurances that he was being briefed consistently on the issue and his national security team was "up to speed."

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David Brody

David Brody

CBN News Sr. National Correspondent

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