Obama and McCain Bury Hatchet in Chicago Sitdown

Obama speaks with McCain today for the first time since election night.

ByABC News via GMA logo
November 17, 2008, 9:15 AM

Nov. 17, 2008 — -- President-elect Obama sat down today for a "productive conversation" with Sen. John McCain, the man he defeated in a long political brawl to win the White House.

The Arizona senator, who graciously conceded defeat on election night, traveled to Obama's Chicago transition headquarters today, the latest former opponent to make the trip to Chicago.

The one-time rivals were joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, whom Obama has named to be his White House chief of staff.

During a brief moment when the men allowed the press into the private meeting for photographs, Obama said he and McCain intended to work together to "fix up the country."

The president-elect also said he wanted to "offer thanks to Sen. McCain for the outstanding service he's already rendered."

The two men sat in chairs next to each other with U.S. flags behind them, and McCain remained quiet except when he was asked whether he planned to help the Obama administration. "Obviously," McCain said.

They later issued a joint statement saying, "At this defining moment in history, we believe that Americans of all parties want and need their leaders to come together and change the bad habits of Washington."

The statement said they had a "productive conversation" about controlling government waste and putting an end to "bitter partisanship" in Washington.

"We hope to work together in the days and months ahead," the joint statement said.

Last week Sen. Hillary Clinton, who waged a long and losing battle against Obama for the Democratic nomination, flew to a Chicago meeting with Obama. Clinton is under consideration to be Obama's secretary of state.

One of the reported sticking points for Clinton is the concern that her husband's globe-trotting and international dealings could complicate her potential role as the nation's chief diplomat.