Obama, McCain Face Most Pressure Since FDR to Speed Transition





On the night of Nov. 4, either Barack Obama or John McCain will be celebrating his election as president. It may be a short party.

Whoever wins will come under intense, immediate pressure -- unmatched since Franklin D. Roosevelt's election in 1932 -- to begin participating in policy making over which he'll have no formal control for 2 1/2 months. Within days, the winner's economic advisers may be heading to the U.S. Treasury to help tackle the nation's worst financial crisis in more than seven decades.

``The situation is so serious that he has to be involved,'' says James Thurber, director of the center for congressional and presidential studies at American University in Washington. ``But he has to be very careful because he's not the president and won't be the president until he's sworn in.''

President George W. Bush's Treasury officials are encouraging the candidates to waste no time getting a grasp of the $700 billion financial-rescue effort, even saying their aides can work out of the department, according to people who have spoken with the department.

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