When Obama tried to muse about what he will miss now that he will be surrounded by the Secret Service and a large service staff, he spoke about being able to take a walk or wash the dishes, which the president-elect said he found "soothing."
"You?" his wife interjected. "Since when was it ever soothing for you to wash the dishes?"
Obama will be needing some soothing because crises are brewing while Obama is still formulating his Cabinet, and at least one may erupt in the days before he takes office.
Congress will take up a bill this week to funnel tens of billions of dollars to General Motors to prevent it from a financial collapse that could take down related companies, along with hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs.
The bill is opposed by the Bush administration as well as many Republicans in Congress. It is also not certain whether GM can survive long enough to get help from an Obama administration.
"Let's see how this thing plays itself out," Obama told "60 Minutes." "For the auto industry to completely collapse would be a disaster in this kind of environment, not just for individual families, but the repercussions across the economy would be dire."
He suggested that the billions should be spent despite the effect it would have on the country's deficit.
"We shouldn't worry about the deficit next year or even the year after. That short term, the most important thing is that we avoid a deepening recession," Obama said.
The president-elect said he has two fiscal priorities, restore confidence in the economy and help homeowners threatened with foreclosure to stay in their homes.
Restoring confidence involves new regulations for big business, Obama said, to "restore a sense of balance."
"There's no doubt that we have not been able yet to reset the confidence in the financial markets and in the consumer markets and among businesses that allow the economy to move forward in a strong way," Obama said. "And my job as president is going to be to make sure that we restore that confidence."
Also pressing is the need to halt the cascading avalanche of foreclosures.
"We've got to set up a negotiation between banks and borrowers, so that people can stay in their homes," Obama said. "That is going to have an impact on the economy as a whole. And, you know, one thing I'm determined is that if we don't have a clear, focused program for homeowners by the time I take office, we will after I take office."
In addition, the president-elect said he would carry out his promise to close the prison for terrorists in Guantanamo Bay and issue an order that would end any grounds for torture.
"I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that," he told CBS. "I have said repeatedly that America doesn't torture. And I'm going to make sure that we don't torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America's moral stature in the world."
Over the weekend, Obama also released a letter to his former Illinois constituents on his resignation from the Senate.
In the letter, Obama , another former Illinois senator on his way to the White House, quoted Lincoln:
"To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything," Obama wrote. "Today, I feel the same, and like Lincoln, I ask for your support, your prayers and for us to 'confidently hope that all will yet be well.'"