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Obama, Bush to Confer; Top Aides, Too

The meeting Monday between President Bush and President-elect Obama will likely feature a side meeting between White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and Obama transition supervisor John Podesta, White House press secretary Dana Perino said today. Perino said the two aides would try to meet separately while Bush and Obama confer in the Oval Office.

Podesta, who does not plan to take a position in the Obama administration, will be viewing his old digs, having been the final chief of staff under former President Clinton.

Perino was mostly silent on what Bush and Obama will discuss, saying the meeting will be private. But she noted Bush will want to talk about handing off to the president-elect control of the economy and responsibility for protecting the country.

“The transition of power, this time around, is so critically important, one, in regards to the economy, and two, in regards to … the threat of attack that we currently live under,” Perino said.

Perino indicated that Bush and Obama were cooperating well in the transfer of power. “I’d say the president and the president-elect have both set a tone of cooperation, one of a spirit of partnership, to be able to move forward,” she said.

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