With two years left on his term -- why wouldn't he want to be a player? And the choice of wingmen for Monday's meeting -- new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel for Obama, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. -- for McCain -- says that both men are serious about a potential partnership.
"Graham said that McCain and Obama are philosophically alike on budget reform, Social Security changes, earmark reform and immigration," per The Washington Post's Michael Shear. "One thing not expected to be on the agenda: a rehash of the sometimes not-so-nice things said on the campaign trail. Those close to both men say they have moved on and are focused on the future."
"There is no agenda for the meeting, Graham said. McCain wants to learn how Obama plans to proceed and 'where we can fit in,' Graham said, citing work on climate change as a potential area of common ground," USA Today's David Jackson reports.
From the Obama-Biden transition office: "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." (No staffing announcements expected Monday.)
This week could see the first Obama Cabinet selections (though that's less likely than it appeared a week ago) -- but there's really only one job seeker that can be talked about, until or unless it's resolved.
"All my reporting tells me that Barack Obama wants Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State, and that Clinton wants the job too," ABC's George Stephanopoulos writes. "But there's one significant complication: how to make sure that former President Clinton's foreign speeches, business dealings and foundation work don't present conflicts of interest."
"One major sticking point -- the complex web of international business relationships of former president Bill Clinton and the top-secret funding of his charitable foundation," ABC's Jake Tapper reported on "Good Morning America" Monday. "A definite line of questioning in any confirmation hearing -- and a potential roadblock for any Obama-Hillary Clinton deal."
A hint? Steve Kroft asked about the Lincoln thing in his "60 Minutes" interview -- referencing Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals": "Well, I tell you what, I find him a very wise man," said Obama, who also said he'll include at least one Republican in his Cabinet.
(Newsweek etches Obama's onto the penny, and turns to the biographer herself for an assessment: "I think he's got a temperamental set of qualities that have some resemblance to Lincoln's emotional intelligence," says Goodwin.)
Also from "60 Minutes": "Obama refused to be pinned down about when he would make his first Cabinet appointments, responding 'soon.' He also said there would be Republicans in the Cabinet but declined to say whether he would appoint more than one," The Chicago Tribune's John McCormick writes.
Here comes the dicey part: "President-elect Barack Obama's advisers have begun reviewing former President Bill Clinton's finances and activities to see whether they would preclude the appointment of his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as secretary of state," The New York Times' Peter Baker and Helene Cooper report. "A team of lawyers trying to facilitate the potential nomination spent the weekend looking into Mr. Clinton's philanthropic organization, interactions with foreign governments and ties to pharmaceutical companies, a Democrat close to both camps said."