Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barack Obama's Economic Press Conference - 11/26/2008

Another day another news conference by the President-elect. Barack Obama came out this morning and named a board of economic experts from outside the government who will advise him when he is President.

The President-elect tried to reassure Americans that "help is on the way" for the economy. He said during the news conference:

"I was elected with the charge of getting this economy back in shape."
"We are going to implement starting Day One when I come into office."
The announced panel will be called the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and it is intended to help Obama bring stability to the financial markets and create jobs. Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker will be the head of this advisory board, while it's top staff official will be Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist.

Watch the video here:

President-elect Barack Obama also pushed back against criticism that he was recycling former Clinton administration officials as he builds his new economic team. He said his Cabinet would "combine experience with fresh thinking."

CNN’s Ed Henry challenged President-elect Barack Obama on the naming of some recent appointees who have had experience serving in the government. “What do you say to your supporters looking for change?” Henry wondered. Obama noted that there is a “conventional wisdom floating around Washington that ‘well, there’s a recycling of people who were in the Clinton administration.’”

Addressing the criticism directly, Obama explained:
"It would be surprising if I selected a Treasury secretary who had had no connection with the last Democratic administration because that would mean the person had no experience in Washington whatsoever. And I suspect you would be troubled and the American people would be troubled if I selected a Treasury secretary or a chairman of the National Economic Council…who had no experience whatsoever."
Obama said his personnel selections will “combine experience with fresh thinking.” But he underscored that the buck stops with him:
"But understand where the vision for change comes from first and foremost. It comes from me. That’s my job — is to provide a vision in terms of where we are going and to make sure that my team is implementing it."

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