CHICAGO 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 spokesman Stephanie Cutter said in announcing the meeting.
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 Rep. Rahm Emanuel, 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 Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who faces a runoff next month.
Meanwhile, a Democratic official speaking on grounds of anonymity said that Obama met in Chicago with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is under consideration for secretary of state.
The two met on Thursday afternoon, said the official, who asked not to be publicly identified because the official was not authorized to release the information.
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 "Senator Clinton had no public schedule yesterday."
Obama has surrounded himself with several former staffers of Bill Clinton's presidency. Some of them are pushing Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Other senators, including Democrat John Kerry of Massachusetts and Republican Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, also are thought to be under consideration.
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