In efforts to ensure a smooth transition of power, President Obama and President-elect Trump sat down on Thursday morning for a 90-minute discussion. Trump and Obama's handshake after meeting for the first time says it all; The tone of the debrief remained respectful, albeit terse, and focused on the betterment of America rather than personal or party politics. "I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds," Obama assured him.
"We discussed a lot of different situations, some wonderful and some difficulties. I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel," Trump explained. Trump's language through out remained positive and respectful, and his demeanor was quiet—not bombastic or unruly as he was behaved in the past, both at his rallies and on Twitter. Calling Obama "a very good man," Trump told him: "I look forward to being with you many, many more times."
Indicating that he thought the meeting would last 10 to 15 minutes, the hour and a half long endeavor greatly outlasted Trump's prior estimations. "As far as I'm concerned, it could have lasted a lot longer," Trump informed. Still, if their final debrief in front of the press is any indication, the former and future leader intend on promoting continuous dialogue in the couple of months before the inauguration.
Twitter had plenty to say about the ever-so-symbolic handshake that sealed the meeting:
Trump's meeting with Obama wasn't his only D.C. engagement of the day: Trump, along with his wife Melania and Vice Presidential-elect Mike Pence, met with House Speaker Paul Ryan at the Capitol where, according to The Washington Post, "Trump pledged to work closely with Republican congressional leaders." "We're going to lower taxes," Trump explained, telling reporters: "We're going to fix health care and make it affordable and better." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also joined Trump and Ryan later in the day.
This civil exchange between Trump and Obama runs counter to the behavior that might have been expected from the President-elect who has called Obama the worst president in history. Perhaps it indicates a newly (and almost instantaneously) developed sense of respect as the actual magnitude of presidential responsibility has revealed itself. "I have great respect," Trump even said of Obama. A cordial relationship or even partnership between them could be comforting. The stability may help put Americans' minds at ease at the end of an election season that's been anything but grounded.