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Watching Obama sell his economic stimulus plan

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After standing in a garage to have their possessions sniffed by Secret Service dogs, some 100 reporters and photographers crammed into a basement auditorium in downtown Washington Wednesday morning to question -- briefly -- President-elect Barack Obama.

Sitting in their pre-assigned seats, the press heard Mr. Obama deliver a simple message. The new administration will have to shell out massive amounts of money to kick-start an economy in deep trouble, but the Obama team promises to be careful dispensing the extra cash

To drive home his point, Mr. Obama announced he was naming the country’s first "chief performance officer" to boost efficiency and eliminate waste in federal spending. She is Nancy Killefer, a director at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company and a former Assistant Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration.

The Obama team has lost none of the tight message discipline for which its campaign was well known. Mr. Obama skillfully ducked a question about violence in Gaza noting that it “is not safe” for the American people to have more than one person speaking for the nation on foreign affairs. After two questions (from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News), Robert Gibbs, who will be Obama’s White House Press Secretary, shouted out “last question” which went to ABC News.


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