November 25th, 2008
04:03 PM ET

Mistake for Obama to take "ownership" of financial crisis now?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/25/art.obama.podium.gi.jpg caption="Obama has held two news conferences in two days and unveiled his dream team of economic advisers."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama is looking downright presidential these days. He's held two news conferences in two days and unveiled his dream team of economic advisers. He's acting presidential too.

As our Gloria Borger writes on CNN.com, "Not only is there a team, but there's also a plan." She says that Barack Obama is taking ownership of the financial crisis. He is ready to tackle it even though he has about two more months to wait until he becomes president. Obama is placing high priority on passing a second stimulus package, which will probably be much larger than the first one, to jump start the economy.

It's interesting to recall that during the Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton derided Barack Obama as not being ready for the job of president. She claimed that while she had years of experience that qualified her to be ready "on day one," Obama had only "a speech" to bring to the office of the president. After Obama whipped her and won the nomination, his Republican opponent, John McCain, picked up Clinton's mantra, saying Obama had no experience and couldn't possibly be ready to assume the highest office in the land.

With about 8 weeks to go, Barack Obama is making both of them look rather silly.

Here’s my question to you: Is it a mistake for Barack Obama to take "ownership" of the financial crisis more than two months before he becomes president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Beverly from New York City writes:
Someone has to show leadership. God knows it's has been lacking for 8 years. Congress is on another break, Bush is on his third world goodbye tour. Since this mess will be inherited by Obama, why shouldn't he act to instill market confidence? Who knows where we will be in 56 days if someone does not get the economy in hand?

Rian writes:
The history books tell us that Hoover did nothing while a lame duck. Bush is very similar to Hoover. If Obama acting now helps us out of the mess, good.

Larry writes:
I am a big Obama fan, but I was surprised at how he is portraying himself in the media lately. He is speaking as though he is already president. There is a danger here. What if the economy does not improve by the time he becomes president despite his plans? Will he be starting out a loser?

April from Hoboken, New Jersey writes:
He might as well. Bush certainly isn't.

David from San Diego, California writes:
The American people need to begin regaining confidence. A soon-to-be-President who actively works to improve the economy is an important step in that direction, no matter what the political risk.

Bruce from St. Paul, Minnesota writes:
He may not have had the keys handed to him yet, but he owns it already. It's in his own interest to do what he can to stop the slide. If things get worse by January 20, he can't just say "no thanks" and go back to the Senate.

J.D. from New Hampshire writes:
It's a shame Obama can't be sworn in this afternoon. The current occupant of the White House is permanently out to lunch and has left us up the you-know-what creek without a paddle.

Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (461 Responses)
  1. Jan from NW Iowa

    President Bush doesn't seem to want to. The Congress can't seem to agree. Hopefully Obama can help. I don't think he can make it worse.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  2. Jenna Wade

    Is it a mistake for Barack Obama to take “ownership” of the economy more than two months before he becomes president?

    Well it's not like GW Bush is taking any "ownership" for the economy and he's not even bothering to show any leadership either!

    At least Obama is showing the nation that HE'S not asleep at the wheel!

    Roseville CA

    November 25, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  3. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    No it is not a mistake, the markets are extremely volitale right now and we need to show investors some continuity. During this transition Obama's action to take ownership offers that which we need most, calm, steady leadership.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  4. NANCY M.- Colorado

    In "normal times" maybe a mistake. In these times, a necessity for the people to know that there is much being done and by responsible people. It is something to grasp onto when things are looking bleak and long term solutions are needed, and quickly!

    November 25, 2008 at 1:15 pm |
  5. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    I think he’s smart enough to start working on reversing the bus from running full speed toward the cliff immediately and not suffer politically. I think there is a slight majority that understands that we are in so deep that he will need every second, in or out of office, to try to turn it around. I feel sorry for the morons who still think Bush is God’s gift.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  6. Barb B Mpls

    He has no choice. Someone has to lead. When Bush stated several years ago that he wanted an "Ownership Society" little did we know that he meant that we would lose everything we own!

    November 25, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    I don't think it's a mistake at all. SOMEONE has to.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  8. Cori from Colorado

    He may not have a choice! Bush keeps handing bail-out money out like it's candy!

    November 25, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  9. Dave

    The world, the markets, and the American people, need a booster in these challenging times...the President elect is presenting a strong image of confidence and "ownership" to provide that boost. Anything else would be perceived as indecision and weakness.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  10. Michelle

    Hey, someone needs to get a handle on this mess. I just wish someone could explain to me why the "fix" to this crisis is getting banks lending again. I mean isn't this the reason we are in the mess we are in now...too much debt. How can more credit fix a debt problem? Our country is in so much debt now that it's going to take a century to dig out of this hole. Why not let the whole thing collapse and just start over with living within our means. All the money being thrown at the banks could be used to actually create or build something useful for this limping nation.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  11. Sherrol in Canada

    I don't see it as him taking 'ownership' per se. I see it more as the Pres-elect showing the american people and the world that he will be ready to face the economic challenges day one of his taking office on Jan 20th.

    He's also smart enough to realize that the masses needed to hear from him. That tone of voice, his sense of calm and the trustworthy, humble demeanor he displays go a long way in restoring confidence.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  12. Karen - Nashville

    He wouldn't have taken "ownership" of this mess if the present administration hadn't been trying to get rid of it, and he was bound to get it eventually. Why wait for things to get worse?

    November 25, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  13. Coady - Winter Springs, FL

    Jack, You'd have to define mistake... to step up to a challenge when the easy way out would be let it fall with the old Administration can't be smart politically but I have the feeling this guys for real. Let's hope.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  14. Tom - Las Vegas, Nevada

    Someone has to, the current president doesn't look like he wants any part of cleaning up his own mess.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  15. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    stand up and take responsibility is what we should all be doing its all our fault we in this mess. i am standing behind Obama i take responsibility you should too

    November 25, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  16. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The answer is NO. Time is of essence with the economy, and the sooner Obama is able to get his arms around this troubling economic bear; the better. Obama must move efficiently and swift if he is going to minimize the troubling effects of America's economy. He can't wait, because the worst is yet to come.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  17. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    Jack, after 8 years of the Bush administration it's refreshing to see someone take an active role in actual leadership. The country is facing some serious problems and it's good to see the next President already at work.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  18. David, Tampa, Fl

    The economic outlook for an increasing number of Americans is very bleak. Since the current occupant of the White House has done nothing nor is willing to do anything, it is well that the Obama team appear it is taking charge and at least making some plans. More importantly, they are communicating those plans to the people. It remains to be seen if any of this planning bears positive benefit to us but it seems as if he is trying.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  19. perry jones

    he has to he has been part of the economy sence he became a member of cnogress he and his coharts have had the chances to make it better or not but this problem belongs to all those in the white house and congress

    perry jones
    council bluffs iowa

    November 25, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  20. Mark in OKC

    He might as well, if things turn around quickly, he will be seen as a hero. On the other hand, if things don't get better, he can always say the economy was allowed to get too bad under Bush before he could make any changes. It's a win-win situation for him and besides, didn't we elect him to CHANGE this country for the better?

    November 25, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  21. Len of Colfax, WI

    I am not sure he is truly trying to take “ownership”. I think he is attempting to walk a fine line between taking control and taking some leadership in the presence of a leadership vacuum. I think he is attempting to present his leadership by activating his team to be prepared to help in the background if needed and to be prepared to act quickly when he takes over. I guess I wish he could take "ownership" in the very near future.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  22. Charles, Lansing, MI

    Obama should do all he can to be a part of the bailout program immediately because of the ability of Bush and his cohorts to continue to make a worse mess of this economy. He has good ideas and capable people helping him. President Bush could lock him out but it would only make him look worse than he does now so he might give Obama more insight than he ordianarily would.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  23. David Gerstenfeld, Las Vegas

    At least the president-elect is doing something. The elected president

    November 25, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  24. Bodo, Ann Arbor

    Geithner's appointment was Obama's key decision. Since Geithner is already assisting Paulson in fighting the credit crisis, a smooth transition is now assured.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  25. Karl from SF, CA

    Well, somebody has to before it's too late. It's a ship adrift with no one at the helm right now. God forbid George Bush "own" anything and if he did he would only make it worse then he has by ignoring it.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  26. John

    Jack: Obama is just getting his transition down before January 20th, and George W. still gets all the blame for this economy. President Bush will take the blame for the present day economy for at least the first year of Obama's Administration. George W. Bush will take the blame for alot more than just the economy we are now experiencing.


    November 25, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  27. dennis north carolina

    He is more like a watch dog. ownership comes in January but you do not want a surprise

    November 25, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  28. sully,,,,, forest park ga

    well jack it doesn't matter if its now or 2 months from now we are still in it deep, in fact i think its a good way of showing to the american people that HE MEAN BUSINESS.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  29. Liberal in Los Angeles, CA

    If he doesn't who will. Our lame duck President is doing his same ole thing as he did in the previous eight years. He's trying to sprint to the finish line and leave this parting gift to Obama. It's a shame because folks fail to remember who got us here. When things get better, it'll be great to hear the naysayers.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  30. Ray in Nashville


    He has to. No one has confidence in our current president, so Obama is doing what he needs to do. The problem is, when he takes up residence in the White House, this crisis will be the proverbial burning sack of well, you know, on the doorstep and he's liable to get covered in it trying to put out the fire.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  31. RJ - Ohio

    Just because Obama takes "ownership" of the economy doesn't make this mess his fault. Someone's got to do it and right now he seems like the only one working on it. America made the right choice!

    November 25, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  32. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Did not realize he is, unfortunately, as someone needs to make
    credible efforts and decisions. Bush/Paulson etc have been
    How long has it been when someone was sincere about
    cutting costs, budgets of the the governrnent? How long has
    it been when a politican wants to put middle class first?
    Right now I just see it going from bad to worse, which it
    will, but at least, with Barack Obama and team there will
    be efforts to resolve.
    It frightens me that Bush and company are allowed to make
    any decisions concerning the future of our country.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  33. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I don't he has a choice in the matter. Obama needs all the extra time that he can get to stop this economy from going over the cliff. Every minute they wait the closer it gets to the cliff. By the time he is sworn into office they should be up to speed and already have some plans implemented.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  34. Bob D of Morristown, NJ

    Yes, it would be a mistake.

    Taking responsibility without autority to take action is a perilous course, doomed to failure by the capricious whims of the current administration. We have already seen a number of costly false starts by Paulson, who has yet to open the credit markets after spending over $500 billion purportedly to that end. If Obama supports such actions only to have the execution screwed up, he risks his credibility which is the strongest asset he will have when he does have the authority. His key task will be to restore confidence to the shaken psychies of consumers, lenders and investors. Credibility will be the key to accomplishing this.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:39 pm |

    Well at least President Elect Obama is doing something, unlike Lame duck George Bush. I say Bush step aside and Let Obama do his thing and save this Economy from the Busheconmics Disaster!

    November 25, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  36. Kel in Auburn, AL

    It's the right thing to do. He's doing everything within his symbolic power to get a plan ready to start to fix the mistakes bush has made lo these 8 years. You folks need to give our man O some credit - he's been working hard and hasn't even started his job!

    November 25, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  37. Sandi AZ

    It appears to be a "partnership" right now, but true "ownership " won't be his until he is sworn in. Granted Bush is doing absolutely nothing which is to be expected. I have great faith in the people of this country who voted Obama in and he will do whatever it takes to pull us out of this God Awful Republican Mess!

    November 25, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  38. Scott - Kansas

    Of course not. If the economy continues to fall, it'll be Bush's fault, and if it goes back up, then Obama will be seen as our savior. It's the usual Catch 22 that goes with politics. By getting involved early, if the economy manages to stablize before Bush leaves, Obama can still take credit!

    November 25, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  39. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    With most of the world ignoring GWB at this point– it's good to know somebody is trying to pay attention to where our billions are heading to. Paulsen and Bernake sure don't have a clue.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  40. Brett Milam

    It is a mistake for Obama to take ownership of the economy at any time. Why? Because the President isn't supposed to micro-manage the economy. They are supposed to stand back and let the free market work because it does!

    Cincinnati, OH

    November 25, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  41. Greg in Cabot AR

    If Obama doesn’t take “ownership” of the economy NOW and help guide its oversight, it would be like waiting two months to contact the credit card companies after your wallet is stolen. As president, Obama will have to figure out how to pay the bill for the 700 billion dollar spending spree of the Bush administration in its final months in power and limit further damage to us taxpayers. Otherwise, efforts to save Wall Street will be futile because if Main Street shuts down and companies go broke, there won’t be any stocks left for them to trade.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  42. Robert W. Brooks


    No, it's not a mistake, it's called leadership. It's a quality we haven't seen for eight years.

    Forest, VA

    November 25, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  43. Rene, Chicago

    Barack is playing his cards wisely. He is using this time to keep the people informed of his plans while not stepping on toes of current administration. We have to remember there's a lot of issues in addition to the economy being handed to the next administration. I think the American people would be better served giving Barack the time to coordinate his entire staff now so they can help with all the problems at hand and he can be allowed due diligence in his preparations to focus on the economy.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  44. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    Some may believe that it is inapporpriate for him do so as the President-Elect as it could give the perception that the current President is not in control of the situation. But,..George Bush is not in control of the situation so I think it is reassuring to the American public that some one is finally going to take charge.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  45. Bruce

    He has taken ownership of the office of President-elect, which I did not know was a elected office (Please explain how) Just more smoke and mirrors to hide that he has no clue on anything. So let him take the economy now and in 4 years he well crash and burn.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  46. Frank from Peterborough

    The Republican talking heads are already blaming Obama for the current economic mess and if there isn't significant improvement the fickle electorate will likely blame him regardless of the facts.

    In other words it is more than likely half the public will be convinced he already has ownership of the economy with the other half hoping he takes ownership so he might just as well do it now.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  47. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    The ownership you speak of is not enacting policy, as he does not have the authority, but rather calming nerves, instilling confidence, giving hope through viewing new possibilities, in this Obama has full ownership and thank God.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  48. Charlie


    What exactly is he doing to take ownership other than filling out his leadership team? Any other president elect would be doing the exact same thing. If things go right over the next two months he'll get the credit. If things go wrong, the Bush administration will get blamed. Seems like he has it pretty good.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  49. Molly B

    Yes Jack, I think so. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
    I don't see how he can hurt – only help the situation. Is Bush going
    to let him in? Does he just (ha-ha) nudge the legislature to make
    some definite moves? I'm so glad we voted such a smart man
    into office – just wish he could be in drivers seat right now.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  50. Al Neal from Phoenix, Az

    Is it a mistake no, but it also really isnt a choice either, as President-Elect Obama gets ready to take office, he must come to the realization that he will be left with the unresolved issues of the last administration, it is great that he is taking an active role at the moment, but how he owns up to the situation will matter more once he is sworn into office I belive.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  51. Sarah

    No it's not a mistake, it's possibly the shrewdest thing he can do. Not only does it demonstrate how much more competent he is than Bush but, more importantly, he is limiting additional damage being done to the economy between now and his inauguration. If he doesn't take ownership now there might not be much 'economy' left come 20th January.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  52. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: No. It would appears that no one is in charge of the economy now nor has been for the last eight years.....Obama needs to "grab the economic bull" by the horns.....now.....the last "bull rider" was thrown off.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  53. Jessica

    Usually I would want the president elect to wait until he actually held the presidential post; but given the state of the economy and our country as a whole, I think there's no time to waste. Obama is showing not only that politicians can take action but they should take action. Thank God America made a good choice.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  54. Anne from Vero Beach, FL

    Absolutely not! It's refreshing and reassuring to see someone finally take a strong leadership stance. I don't see why the nation doesn't simply declare an emergency, kick Bush out of the White House and have an early inauguration. We've let Bush and company lollygag around and ruin this country long enough. I already consider Obama the president and I'm glad he's stepping in.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  55. Nick B from Watertown SD

    NO! It's time to have a leader, someone who takes responsibility for our mistakes, unlike Bush, who seems to be hiding with Dick right now.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  56. odessa

    it isn't his fault for this economic mess that bush has created..bush bailout all the banks and wall street cronies to help them get more richer before he leaves office..bush is trying to used up all the funds to help out more banks before obama gets in..obama predicted a year ago that the finanical markets are ruined by excessive greed for the ceos not the workers..everyone is putting too much expectations or having doubts about obama but i believe when he gets in office, he may do more good for the country..i wish that people stop doubting obama's success and learn to be patience for once....obama will do fine..

    November 25, 2008 at 1:54 pm |

    I don't think Mr. Obama has a choice. Bush isn't going to tackle it.
    He doesn't want to take the blame if he is wrong the upteenth time.
    His administration has sure got us in a BIG mess.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  58. Ken in Seattle

    I am not sure Obama is actually taking ownership but he certainly needed to weigh in on the economy. There has been a phenomenal leadership vacuum regarding the economy with no one else offering credible reassurance that the problem is understood and real solutions are being sought. President Bush has shown little or no genuine interest in the problems his administration largely created. Paulson comes across as confused, unsure and incompetent. Obama was right to step up and offer what reassurance and leadership he can, given that he is not yet the president. He appears to be the only adult in the room.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  59. John, Long Beach CA

    No! Shrub is not doing anything. I'm more impressed with Obama everyday. He's already showing what a great President he will be.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  60. lynnej

    When has President Bush taken the lead on anything that isn't going to line the pockets of his oil connected family and his oil buddies? Never. And with Congress in a lame duck session, who else is there?

    November 25, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  61. Andrew

    this idea of ownership is crazy. He should start now since we have had so many years of an absentee president.

    Let him build his team and start the process. Imagine how great it would be to have someone actually working in Washington.... in his case off the clock for now...

    November 25, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  62. Chris, Thousand Oaks Ca

    It's not a mistake. Obama is showing the leadership he should and that the electorate so desperately wants. He will have his proposals in place for the day he takes office.

    W, as my father would have said, could "screw up a one car funeral".

    November 25, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  63. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I don't think he should take "ownership" of the economy right now. He may regret it later. There are many market closings and too much can happen in the next 55 days. Bush and Cheney and their greedy buddies own this mess. Let them acccept responsibility. President Elect Obama has every right to put his thoughts forward and alert the country about the current crisis and tell us what he has planned. Give the American people some hope and reassurance. Keep in mind though, Bush is going to do exactly as he pleases (or Cheney tells him to do) until 11:59 am on January 20,2009.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  64. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    Obama said there can only be one president at a time and George Bush keeps fading further and further away, so somebody has to step up before this crisis becomes even worse. I think it can only help if Obama is innvolved now.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  65. Laurie in Lawrence, KS

    Someone has to do it! If not Obama, then who?

    November 25, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  66. Art Milbuta

    He's not taking 'ownership' but, showing the people he's preparing to hit the ground running... He also has to keep an eye on the store with Bush minding the cash register. Also I keep hearing the word 'bailout' and blame on the banks and borrowers. I don't hear anything about the people who could afford thier home when they bought it but have lost their job and are now in a bind.. These people can't get loans even if the credit market opens up.. Where is their help? Sorry, I keep forgetting Bush is still in office!

    November 25, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  67. David in San Diego

    During this interregnum, the American people need to begin regaining confidence. A soon-to-be-President who actively works to improve the economy is an important step in that direction, no matter what the political risk.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  68. john,winter haven florida

    Repeat after me.Only one president at a time.Only one president at a time.
    You get the idea?

    November 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  69. Glenn in California

    Jack, it's not a mistake. This mess is going to get dumped in his lap anyway in less than 2 months. Anything he can do right now to stop the bleeding is a great step in the right direction. Standing on the sidelines doing nothing will just make a bad situation worse. This is part of the Change We Believe In.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  70. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    No, it's not a mistake. Someone had to step up to the plate and take ownership, as the "leadership" of the Bush Administration has been lacking, at best.
    The risk now is that some will start to blame the Obama Administration for the continuing decline of the economy.
    A President just can't catch a break these days.

    November 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  71. Bret from Utah

    NO! He is a NATURAL BORN leader...

    Someone has to step up and he has the skill set to do it.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  72. David in San Diego

    We only have one President at a time. By abdication, that needs to be Obama, or else we won't have any President for the next two months.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  73. John, Marlborough MA

    It's important that he has begun to show the markets, and we citizens, that he has a quality team in-place and a plan to address this dreadful situation.

    Isn't it great to have an intelligent and articulate President-elect coming into office.

    It give one hope.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  74. Darren

    By doing so, he has taken more responsibility for the financial crisis than George W. Bush has.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  75. Bill Davis

    Although I wasn't aware Mr. Obama had taken "ownership" (which sounds more like a republican talking point than reality), I think investors need to know someone is working on the problem. Even though Obama is not in office yet and is not to blame for the mess, his actions might provide some emotional stability to the markets and the economy overall.

    Bill D.
    Champaign, IL

    November 25, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  76. Jack in DC

    President -elect Obama has to take ownership of this situation since congress and dubya doesn't seem to know which end is up. When congress is giving grief to the auto industry for requesting $25 billion while at the same time pumping hundreds of billions into banks without questions, someone has to step in and REEEEEALLY shake things up.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  77. TeriM

    I don't know Jack, it doesn't seem as though our newly elected President has much of a choice. Today Paulsen's tells us about his new scheme, and the current President seems not to give a rats behind about America at all! He seems to want to run fast away from the problems he has created. But if our new President is able to right this economy he will be a hero and the new FDR. That is a pretty nifty legacy.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  78. Rob , NYC

    No–everyone knows its Bush's fault . Its great that we finally have a President that really wants to work.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  79. Peter, Fern Park, Fla.

    He can't "take onwership". He's not yet President. What he can do is artriculate his plans, show us and the world who he's puting in place to impliment those plans and pray we don't go over the clift before he has the authority to actually do something. When the market started it's collaspe we saw a lot of scrambling around attemping a quick fix. None of which has appeared worked.

    One hugh luxury he has now is he has some time to formulate a cohearent plan and adjust it as needed before taking action.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  80. Annie, Atlanta

    Since our current president is MIA, someone has to do it, Jack, and since he's already being blamed for the economic downturn, why not.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  81. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    It's not important if Obama "takes ownership'" now . It is more important for all of our government to get off of their lame duck and holiday recessed butts and take intelligent and non partisan action

    November 25, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  82. Mike S.,New Orleans

    It is outstanding leadership to take responsibility for a problem no matter who is to blame. Obama is a refreshing change from denial and arrogant dismissal of major problems. You can only succeed if you step up to the plate, and not just fire someone on your staff and say you chose the wrong person.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  83. jdapdx

    I think we all have to take ownership of this economy. It's health or lack of it is, in the end, all of our doing. We are the ones who have used our credit unwisely, have pushed for more government services and benefits in one breath and tax cuts in the next. We're the ones who understand so little about economics and how our capitalist system functions. We pushed the banks to make loans to people with low incomes so they could buy houses they couldn't afford. We are the ones who thought real estate could only go up in price. Honestly, I don't want either Bush or Obama to "own" the economic situation. If we don't all realize that we are at the root of the problem, we will have learned nothing and will make the same mistakes again.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  84. Jason - NJ

    NO because the current administration gave up on the American people long ago.

    Yes because the last thing we need is more confusion and bickering in the government. Giving ammunition for political posturing is far from productive.

    Overall, I cant see how increasing the number of intelligent people working on the problem is a bad thing. The current administration would do well to accept any and all comers for assistance and ideas. This is a time where standard party ideals wont cut it, on either side.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  85. Jerome Almon

    It is one big mistake with the same idiots that got us into this mess still calling all the shots and he will end up getting the blame. Let's face it it doesn't take a PHD- it doesn't take a GED to figure out that letting the Bush administration has NO idea what it is doing and is moving to put as much bailout money into the hands of its buddies on Wall Street and give Obama a nice Christmas and New Year's present of a hole that is so deep it stretches all the way to China-no pun intended.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  86. Rich Mckinney, Texas

    If Obama had been smart he would have waited 4 more years before he ran for president. Like it or not he is stuck with what he was elected for. Personally I think he should have let the Clinton's win. We have the same people running the country in his cabinet so what difference has it made. Obama will just become the token Martyr when the depression hits. It is coming jack and no amount of money that the treasury pours into bad lending institutions or poorly managed big business will modify their behavior. Greed is a very evil and nasty thing. It is all over but the crying. Obama's picture will be right next to George Bush under the failed presidents list in the encyclopedia. They both are victims of the same United States ignorant Congress. Face it Jack. You can not be a great leader with incompetent politicians making decisions for the country.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  87. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, President Elect Obama needs to take ownership of this disaster right now because it is painfully obvious the Bush Administration is simply running out the clock and counting the minutes until they can leave. President Bush checked out months ago and Hank Paulson effectively punted to President Elect Obama during Congressional Hearings. The lame duck Congress just wants to go home and open Christmas gifts and come back next year refreshed and ready with a new majority. It is not gridlock in Washington; we are now officially ‘dumb-locked’. Although President Obama does not have the authority, he needs to step in because no one else is willing at this point.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  88. Arlene, Illinois

    Why can't we just terminate George Bush's job and give him
    an early buyout like we do for bad CEO'S.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  89. Mark Luster

    Can't really blame Obama for trying to get this lame (duck) Congress to at least get something going before he takes over the problem. He's going to have to deal with the mess left behind. So far, none of the money they're throwing around seems to be helping the folks who really need it. The banks just sat on it, Paulson has ignored his directive, and Bush continues to be unhelpful. At least someone's poking at the problem.
    Tempe, AZ

    November 25, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  90. AndyZag Fairfax, VA

    I can understand the president-elect's desire to get the ball rolling but what's the sense? He can not impact anything. In his own words, "There is only one president." Conversely, he could have the cabinet level folks meet, create an abatement, and be ready to go on January 20. 2009.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  91. karen-phoenix

    Watching Bush this AM or was it yesterday with Paulsen, the man can not even form a proper sentence!!! Obama is not taking "ownership", he is being a brilliant leader and trying NOT to let Bush screw things up any worse than they already are!!! After watch Obama this AM it is amazing what a brilliant, well educated leader sounds like again!!! America, you did good!!!! God Bless Obama and his team–they will need ALL of our prayers for a long time and we the American middle class will be very thankful!!!

    November 25, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  92. Lee in TN

    This is like asking if it would be a mistake to call the fire department if your house were burning.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  93. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    No. I think he's doing the right thing by doing what he can as soon as he can.

    Of course, the ironic thing is that Hillary said she'd be ready on day one.

    That's about 60 days LATER than Barack Obama!

    November 25, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  94. Patty From Elko

    You know the saying (Got to do what you got to do).Good for Obama even since it is not his mistake,he is willing to step up and take it on.And I believe he will do a good job

    November 25, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  95. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    It would be a mistake "not" to take ownership. He needs to have his team and his plan of attack ready to go at the moment he takes the oath of office. Bush is just counting down the days until he can slink out of town. He can't be counted on to do anything of substance before leaving office. It's all on Obama and he knows it.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  96. Burt, Sun Lakes, Az

    The answer is NO. Bush and his cronies are so out of touch with the regular people and could care less about their problems. Someone has to lead this country out of this mess the current administration has caused. Too bad he can't take office today.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  97. Rod from Allentown PA

    It is absolutely amazing Jack how most of the people commenting on your articles and questions are totaly ignorant. Bush is not handing out bail money, he is the current puppet of the Congress and House (democratic control I believe). They started this mess with the bailouts, and they will not rest until we are so far in debt that we will never dig out. Obama will not make any huge changes. I remeber a campaign based on real change, and what does he do? He names old time politicians to important posts. Some change. Don't expect any other type of real change with the economy either other than counting how much more in debt you are.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  98. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    john,winter haven florida November 25th, 2008 1:59 pm ET

    Repeat after me.Only one president at a time.Only one president at a time.
    You get the idea?
    I agree.
    The only problem is that George Bush is not acting as president, so if Obama steps in, then there truly is one president at a time!

    November 25, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  99. glen parks

    No. It is a good idea since he can learn more at this time than after he has taken office and the legislative process gets involved.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  100. David in Granville, Ohio

    It is not a mistake it is typical extremely smart politics by Obama.

    The markets were collapsing by the day and George W. Bush was AWOL. Had he done nothing the situation could have got so out of control by Jan 20 that his presidency was doomed before it had even started.

    By taking "control" – but not actually giving any realy details or substance – he has successfully stemmed the tide while leaving himself plenty of room after Jan 20.

    Just brilliant – again!

    November 25, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  101. Moses from Lake City, Florida

    Mistake? More like a disaster in my opinion! It's like being a quarterback having to replace the one that got benched for poor performance in a game you're losing 30-0. Sure, you'd like to play, but you'd really rather come in to start the game rather than mop up. No one ever remembers who made the mess, just who tried and/or failed to clean it. Mr. President-Elect, my advice to you would be to stand on the sidelines, hold the clipboard and wait for this game to mercifully end.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  102. Tracey, NYC

    No, its not a mistake!
    The current President seems, to me, to be handling this financial crisis with "kiddie gloves". Time and money waits for NO ONE! The global markets will not stop because we are in a transitional moment. So, if Bush will not take the helm, then he should step aside and let the President-Elect take the helm now!

    November 25, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  103. Marie Ontario

    With the Bush gang currently driving the economy they appear to be simply saying "Let the Lord take the wheel", so someone has to try and keep some stability until 2009.

    The best the world can hope for right now is Dubbya will take the next couple of months off and go on a vacation or back to Texas.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  104. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Imagine that Barack Obama is able to get legislation passed soon after January 20.

    That's more likely to happen if he starts now, behind the scenes.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  105. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    By law he has no "ownership untill Janurary 20th 2009. He can put people and policies in place to take effect at that time. That alone will give the confidence to get us to that point. It 's going to be a long, hard road before we are "back on our feet". The next two months will have to pass before we can start the journey.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  106. Art - Spring Hill Fl

    Obama is not taking ownership, but he is showing the kind of president he will be.. He showing leadership already, just think of what great things he'll do when he's in office. Oh yes, Obama made one mistake, the phrase is not 'One president at a time' the more accurate phrase is 'No president at this time!'..

    November 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  107. Terry "the hillbilly Hooser"

    This maybe 2 months before he becomes president, but if he expects to make things better in the next 48 months,he"s already way behind. Head start isn't only for pre-schoolers.

    May God be with him

    November 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  108. Liz in Towson, MD

    Who else is going to take ownership of it?

    November 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  109. Thomas AbileneTx

    He has to do what he can .Nero (AKA Bush) seems to be fiddling while Rome burns-as usual.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  110. Tina (Ft Worth)

    Are you kidding? They need some one with some brains up there now since there are a load of incompent idiots running the show.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  111. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Since Obama's transistion team in already "on duty" much more than Bush's team has been for the past 7 or 8 years, it makes sense for him to be ready officially on day one doesn't it? Still with one President still "in charge" Obama doesn't have any real authority to do anything but keep preparing.....I for one am getting tired of people still trying to "get some proof of Obama's birth records" released or "unsealed" as they say because they think he is not a native born citizen.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  112. lenny

    Yes he should the automotive industry needs this government loan
    as soon as possible and hopefully save it i am so tired of listening
    to these so called experts on your shows that this industries problem
    is its legacy costs,but never mention that countries like Japan pays for
    their citizens heath care costs i wonder why that is never brought up
    by the main media.why do you think these foreign auto companies
    come here so they dont have to pay for health care.where is that level
    playing field. In my opinion the current administration doesn,t give a
    darn about the blue collar worker.
    lenny, murray ,ky

    November 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  113. Joe, Wurtsboro,New York.

    No threr is only one President at a time, even if he isn't the best we have to offer. For a Constitutional law scholar he is being very arrogant about this issue. He should stick to the promises he made, as I am starting not to beleive in him anymore. Let Bush decide what to do untill January 20th like the law requires. I don't even like G.W. Bush .

    November 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  114. Mark B. Detroit, MI.

    I taught George Bush is still the President. I guess he don't care about the people who put him in office. That's ashame.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  115. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Bush still has his adminstration working and Obama would be accused of interference or working at cross purposes. Obama should use his position as a Senator to rally the leadership in congress, and be ready when he is sworn in.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  116. E=Mc2 , West Coast

    We have but " One President At A Time ".......
    This is Geo. W.`s mess , and the country knows it ......
    If the republicrooks think we`re stupid enough to let them turn this financial crisis into something it`s not , ( melt down happened on Obama`s watch ) well , they`ve really missed the boat . We are not going to let them use that same old shell game , .....
    The GOP , seems to be missing the point , and the outcomes of the 2006 , and 2008 elections . WE the people are fed up with their sloganeering , Joe the plumbers , hockey moms , nascar dads , Joe six-packs , and yes , Sarah , dumb as a rock Palin too......
    So , Jack the answer is " NO ".......

    November 25, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  117. JD in NH

    It's a shame Obama can't be sworn in this afternoon. The current occupant of the White House is permanently out to lunch and has left us up the you-know-what creek without a paddle.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  118. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    Things are changing so fast, I don't see how he can.

    Ron San Diego

    November 25, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  119. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    I don't think Obama has taken control or responsibility for the economy. The media in an effort to fill their 24/7 coverage is trying to force that responsibility on Obama now. The media wants something to report and write about.

    Obama has merely set up his team so that they will be ready when the time comes. This prep is so that his administration will not be a shock to the current system.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  120. Dave from Orlando

    Bush is wasting no time doing as much damage as he can in the remaining days of his failed administration. I guess he thinks he’s putting icing on the cake, completing his legacy. Sadly, he has no idea what his legacy is and probably still thinks he’s the greatest leader of the free world. He is; if you define it as leading us into the chasm.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  121. Jason, Koloa, HI

    No, it shows that Obama has more back bone than W. who has never taken ownership of anything.
    Finally the buck has stopped after going and going and going and going.........

    November 25, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  122. Connie from "BLUE" Indiana

    Jack , It's kind of like when you are to senile or you do not have the capacity to make the right decision's you have to have a power of attorney.Well Barack Obama is Bushs power of attorney.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  123. Cy in Montreal

    Obama has to take the reins.

    Bush is staying on the sidelines, regardless, Obama will inherit the good or the bad.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  124. Tom Bulger

    Our Dear Jack,

    It shows the character of the man. He is sticking his neck out to give the nation and world confidence. The reality is George Bush can screw up a heck of a lot in the next two months and there isn't anything Obama can do to stop him.

    Pelosi is the only legal authority to rid us of George Bush and she is apparently ignorant of the duty.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  125. Venia PA

    Barack seems to be not taking ownership but outlining his strategy to fix the economy and thank God someone is because bush is doing his best to ruin the economy and enviornment as much as he can before he leaves office.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  126. Robert Ammon

    I agree with the "Only one president at a time" idea. But since we haven't had a real president for the last eight years it's time for Obama to take the reins from that idiot as soon as possible. Bush needs to get out of the kitchen now before he adds to the mess.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  127. Burt, Sun Lakes, Az

    No. Someone has to take charge. All Bush and his cronies are concerned about is how much they can loot from the from the tax payers before they leave office.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  128. James in NYC

    Since our current President and elected leaders collectively threw their hands up on NOV 5th. I say that President-Elect Obama is correct in trying to set the tone and attack the problem head on. Even as a President Elect he makes history!

    November 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  129. Michelle, Florida

    Someone has to take responsibility for the mess we're in; it may as well be someone who has an idea of how to get the situation resolved. At least he's not standing by scratching his head in wonderment. I admire and applaud his go get 'em attitude.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  130. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    The sooner the better! Bush is obviously out of his element when it comes to responsible leadership, and Obama already weilds more influence than the President-in-absentia. It's like we're the victims of a car crash, and we have to wait for the union EMTs to show up before we get attention.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  131. arlene in iowa

    Someone has to step up cause as far as bush is concerned he can't get out of there fast enough..There is still enough time for him to screw up more stuff before his departure from the white house..Can't get called much worse than a lame duck..

    November 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  132. Pugas-AZ

    He will have true "ownership" when the baton is handed off to him in January. In the meantime he needs to keep "warming up" for the handoff and setting the stage for a smoth track ahead. Stay off of the track until it's his time. However, he must give the impression that he will be ready to meet the mess head-on.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  133. toni boutwell, myrtle beach, sc

    It may not be smart,but since Bush has mentally checked out someone has to do it. He's in a terrible position, but he has the courage to step up, for thisd he has earned my respect.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  134. Sam from arizona

    What Obama needs to do is state his position but not take ownership till he is president right now obama should be focused on his cabinet. Then again if he dose everybody will know what he will do from day one.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  135. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Of course it is! Bush has totally checked out and is hoping that by the time of the inauguration he will be forgotten and Obama will have assumed the blame. Obama needs to stay as far away from Bush and his mess as possible.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  136. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    If we had a competent person leading the government I would say no. But we don't and we need someone to show leadership. He can't actually enact anything but he can give us all something to look forward to and maybe that will be enough to get us to January 20th. It's a comfort to listen to someone who cares and appears to really want to fix this for everyone – not just Wall Street.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  137. Billy G in Las Vegas

    according to the right wing bloggers and yackers, Obama already HAS "ownership" of the recession so he may as well try to take command of the situation and start to turn things around.

    to hear those ideolog squirrels, it's been "George who?" in the White House the last 8 years. it's all all been the Democrates fault.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  138. Nuwan

    It is not a mistake if done with the right tone. Obama has to take charge and be on top of what is happening in our economy and get ready for action the day one. So he needs an economic team to watch everything happening now and device strategies to be implemented when they get the authority. That will send a clear signal of his comittement and his readiness to handle this gigantic task or recovering American economy.

    – Nuwan from Houston, TX

    November 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  139. Joe

    Let's get real. If he did nothing, the press would be all over him for doing nothing. The problem is, he can make no impact until he is the guy in charge. King Bush will not let it be known that Obama is the one leading us out of this mess that King Bush put us in......Remember, Clinton got us out of the first Bush mess ( thank God it was only a 4 year mess) and Obama needs to get us out of this 8 year 2nd Bush mess

    November 25, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  140. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Bush was in Kentucky today wooing the troops and smurking while he said it was the right decision to invade Iraq when he did it and it's still the right decision and we will come home with victory while the man that isn't President yet is at least concerned about what's going on in our country and with the economy. The mistake was made 8 years ago when the Florida Sec of State gave the election to Bush.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  141. Jim/NC

    He should take ownership. Although it is not his problem, Obama has got to do something positive to get some redemption for the the miserable actions of his congress (Frank,Dodd, Pelosi and Reid). Since Obama will get credit if our economy improves, he should shoulder the blame if it doesn't. Americans are in for a terrible ride in the coming months and years, with zero relief in sight.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  142. Ken from Canada

    Jack ....... there is a vacuum of leadership in the White House. It takes insight, leadership & confidence to know when to take action. Obama is displaying a keen understanding of the situation.
    Like the "Gambler" said .... know when to hold them, know when to fold them & know when to play them.
    Thank God the U.S.A. now has a leader with intellect & judgement.
    Ken from Canada

    November 25, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  143. Bob from Illinois

    Jack, good question!!

    In a word, "Absolutely!!"

    This is a HUGE problem the country is in and one that, regardless of party or personal, still has plenty of downward pressure and time to run.

    The smart thing for him to do, and he does appear to be smart, is to gather his team, watch, listen, plan in semi silence, get sworn in and THEN come out with all feet on the ground.

    Things are still developing (bad things) and while someone ELSE is STILL responsible, allow them to do what they can, IF they can and take the heat for any continued falls in the market. Because I DO think there are falls ahead!!

    Oh, and Jack . . . . WOW, do you have lots of liberal responces to your subjects!! I'm dead center and STILL almost afraid to post here. But thanks for the opportunity. Have a nice Thanksgiving.


    November 25, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  144. Tracey, NYC

    Obama is the one who is showing leadership. Where is Bush?

    November 25, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  145. ajks

    Somebody has to take control. He is trying to do what he can, nobody believes anything that comes out of the Bush administration.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  146. Harold from Anchorage,AK

    It's called "leadership," a quality sadly lacking from the current administration for the last 8 years; which seems to have confused rhetoric, mixed metaphors and gibberish with reality and lucid speech.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  147. Joe in MO

    Should Obama stand on the shore and watch the people drown? Who "owns" the financial crisis doesn't matter now. What matters is who can do something to help all the hurting people. If anyone can do it, he can.

    Joe in MO

    November 25, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  148. Simpliticus

    No mistake at all! Here is a guy who takes ownership of some serious stuff that George W. left in his wake. Notice that W. isn't doing much of anything to accommodate the changeover which is good but revealing. Obama is the new FDR and the economic swamp left to the new president is just as compelling as the Great Depression for FDR. Note also that Obama isn't blaming Bush even though plenty could be heaped in W.'s direction! The man is a true leader who will figure out a way out of this mess! The buck stops with Obama as it never did with Bush but the lower hapless workers got the blame with Bush, in everything!

    November 25, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  149. David from Vancouver, Canada

    He is not taking ownership of this problem. But as a refreshing change to the current administration, the President-elect is being proactive, delegating a strong and experienced economic team to analyze this crisis, talking with the current administration to make sure that the crisis is relatively contained, then going behind the scenes to get Congress on board so that a comprehensive and far-reaching economic stimulus package can be passed into law shortly after Jan 21st, 2009. He has very little time to waste...

    November 25, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  150. Kate Idaho

    Yes, very much a mistake. He would have all the marbles, but no control over them. the current admistration would see to that.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  151. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Obama should get enormous credit for stepping up to the current crisis and begin working the solution. While we wait for our currrent president to take action, he heads for Peru and proclaims progress in Iraq. We should give Obama huge praise for managing with dignity and determination while respecting the delusional man currently residing in the White House. Hats off to Obama: brillant!

    November 25, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  152. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    No. Somebody has to at this point, and since he will inherit it anyway, it might as well be now. In case you didn't notice Paulson standing next to Bush this morning, I would have to say that he has about had it. He looked like a squirrel trapped by a cat, a nervous breakdown due yesterday.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  153. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    I do not think Obama enjoys sitting on the sidelines while the lame ducks throw money at Wall Street in an attempt to solve the financial crisis. Who can blame him for exercising some sort of attempt at control? Personally I really admire his ability to resist the temptation to say what he thinks and to try to do what is logical. After all, political correctness is much more important than our economy, our security, and our future.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  154. Ray [Maryland]

    I don't feel He's taking ownership at this time. I do think a defensive posture with a agressive offensive team in place, and aware with the facts ready to go on day one. He's also aware that Bush is doing nothing, and making adjustments as he goes. We will have to wait till January 20.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  155. Ann from Newton, New Jersey

    Better to be safe than sorry. At least he will be ahead of the game and handle the situation right away.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  156. Bob from Illinois

    Oops, I should have added this also.

    Does any President-elect have the right and athority to "take charge" BEFORE he's sworn in.

    Seems to me that the Consitution, which so many like to stomp on, might be a wee bit of a problem there unless we just plan to ignore it once again.

    Myself, I always get nervous when two people are driving the car . . . even if it IS heading over a cliff.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  157. Mike in UT


    TPTB, through Paulsen, are just about done with sucking the life out of us.

    I don't believe there's anything President-elect Obama or his economic team can do at this point. The economic collapse has been planned for some time and is coming to fruition.

    There is no money left. Only huge amounts of debt that we, our children, our childrens' children, their children ..... will never recover from.



    November 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  158. Nancy K.- Jackson, GA

    I don't think he is taking "ownership" of the economic disaster. I think he is displaying strength and leadership by addressing the matter in a way that keeps folk from jumping from buildings. Mr. Bush will own this disaster until January 20 when he will say "See Ya" and head back to Texas.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  159. Jane (Minnesota)

    No it's not a mistake, Jack. If Obama doesn't take ownership in the economy now; the mess could be worse than it already is.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  160. Beartrack Truckee,CA

    Somebody better before Bush and his gang give all the "bailout" money to their Wall Street buddies. Obama needs to have lawyers all over everything that Bush, Poulson, and Kashkari are doing as they again loot the national treasury.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  161. Mary - California

    Obama is limited as to what he can do until he is sworn in as President. But, how much more damage is the Bush Administration going to do on the economy, before Obama takes over? I guess we should not be surprised that Bush and his followers don't have a clue and could care less about the American people.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  162. Gina in Racine, Wi

    Obama should not take ownership of our financial crisis yet.

    What he is doing, he is doing correctly.....he is gathering all the information and opinions that he needs......bringing the Best of the Best into his Administration.....

    and he is developing a game plan so that after he is sworn in to office and inherits this disaster....he is prepared to hit the ground running.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  163. Ray, Florida

    Bush broke it, Bush own's it Jack!
    Obama won't take onership until the first bill is signed by his hand.
    We only have one president!

    November 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  164. Gene in Mo

    I really don't know if he should "take ownership" but America needs a leader who will step up and not be afraid to say his mind.... We have been needing this for the past 7 1/2 yrs. So far, all his finiancial cabinet looks great, too bad Pres. Bush didn't ask some of them for their opinion.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  165. Al from Prince Edward Island

    The United States has elected the right man. He is not interested in playing political games but is going to place the good of your country first. This is being made more and more obvious with each passing day. He will need the help of the Republicans to get thigs going in the right direction. I just hope that he can inspire the whole country to pull together. This includes the GOP.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  166. Domenic from Montreal, Canada

    Jack, no it's not a mistake. The real mistake was electing George W. Bush on a second term. If Gore was the president, the USA was going to be in a much better position to weather this financial storm.

    I predict that Obama should get this all fixed by the first year in office. Obama is the best thing that could have happened to my friends south of the boarder.

    God bless the USA.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  167. Patricia

    No, it's not a mistake for President-Elect Obama to take ownership for the serious financial problems we have in this country.

    First, whether he does so or not, the right wing will blame him for what's going on. They're already calling it the "Obama Economy".

    Second, he's ready. His team is about put together, he has the energy and the wisdom to do the job. No, he can't wave a wand, but he can get to work and give it his best shot.


    November 25, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  168. Mike, Syracuse NY

    If his solutions are knee jerk reactions like the first bailout package, then no. Acting fast only works if you are right. so far no one seems to have a comprehensive solution that works. He needs to assess the situation before acting.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  169. Dee in Florida

    No matter what his course, he can't win, it seems.

    He is being criticized for stepping up to the plate before he is actually sworn in. Yet one major "fears" of his opposition was that he would not be able and ready to take over.

    So, what the devil do the American People want? A President who can hit the ground running? Or one who walks into the White House without a clue? (Uh, haven't we had that?)

    And besides, SOMEONE has to take charge! The current President seems to be spending all his time pardoning felons!

    November 25, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  170. Dave from Ohio

    Obama has no other choice but to step up and take ownership of this financial crisis, the other guy has bailed out on us. The mistake was re-electing that idiot in the first place.

    January 20th can’t come soon enough; it will be a celebration not just for Obama, but an end to the Bush disaster.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  171. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    He has to take charge now. The stock has run out of the barn and waiting for the barn to burn before closing the doors won't do any good. Let him toss out people and ideas now, before he takes office, and get the feedback and hopefully some good suggestions on how to help the economy get back on its feet..

    November 25, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  172. Bruce St Paul MN

    He may not have had the keys handed to him yet, but he owns it already. It's in his own interest to do what he can to stop the slide. If things get worse by January 20, he can't just say "no thanks" and go back to the senate.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  173. Mickie

    No, because everyone is looking for somebody to step up to the plate and we know Bush is just trying to slip out quietly after he made this mess. Somebody has to show some initiative and that is why Pres. Elect Obama is so popular - he shows initiative and intelligence, which Bush lacks on both counts.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  174. Conor in Chicago

    It was a mistake for Obama to take the job. Don't get me wrong. I prefered him over McCain. But no matter who's in charge this country is doomed and it's too bad that the first non-white President is going to get all of the blame for the disintagration of the US. It's sad.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  175. Linda in Florida

    Jack, I don't think it is a mistake for Barack to take ownership now. During these troubled times, I think it is very important for every American to know that unlike George Bush, Barack Obama is not asleep at the wheel. He should also be applauded for taking the ownership while still being respectuful to the current President.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  176. April - Hoboken, NJ

    He might as well. Bush certainly isn't.

    November 25, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  177. Don in Phoenix

    It would be big mistake for him to take "responsiblity" of the mess he will be inheriting, however, in my opinion, he needs to take charge of the situation as much as the U.S. Consititution will allow. If he waits until he is in office the momentum will "steamroll" the next admin. Things are happening at a pace which will overwhelm him if he waits 'til January 20th. He is surrounding himself with intelligent people and I have confidence they will do what they can to make the situation more managable when he takes offiice.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  178. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    it is not a mistake at all! I expected him to take over even before the January date because of this unprecedent crisis which requires a persona that shows confidence and a vision for the long term for the american people. In fact, it is too bad they cannot be in office now but somehow it feels that they are which greatly helps reduce mental depression!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  179. Larry Johnson

    I am a big Obama fan, but I was surprised at how he is portraying himself in the media lately. He is speaking as though he is already President. There is a danger here. What if the economy does not improve by the time he becomes President despite his plans? Will he be starting out a loser? Also, despite his lack of popularity, we still have a President and as Harry Truman implied, one may dislike the President but one must respect the Presidency. I want Obama to aggressively pursue his plans but with respect for the Presidency in mind.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  180. Karen McCullough

    He isn't taking "ownership", he is doing "damage control". The sooner he sets his economic plan into motion, the better off we will be. It's too bad we can eject George Bush early and have the inauguration of the new President right now.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  181. Beverly -NYC


    Someone has to show leadership, God knows it's has been lacking for 8 yrs. Congress is on another break, Bush is on his third world goodbye tour. Since this mess will be inherited by Obama why shouldn't he act to instill market confidence, who knows where we will be in 56 days if someone does not get the economy in hand.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  182. Anna, Missouri

    Let's see, The Fed and the Treasury just announced another $1.3 TRILLION be spent plus use the rest of the $700 Billion before Jan. 20th. I don't think any of us are against Bush and Cheney resigning immediately and then Pelosy being signed in, then immediately appointing Obama as her VP. Then she can immediately resign and Barack Obama would be President. This could all happen in about one hour of time. God only knows what else could happen in that hour. At the rate we are going now, there will be nothing left for him to take ownership of, if we have to wait until January 20th.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  183. Meg Ulmes

    I knew that I made the right decision voting for Barak Obama. He wants the job, he's willing to come to work early, he's appointing people who are knowledgeable and experienced. It is obvioius that Bush has washed his hands of the situation. He is truly modeling what "lame duck president" means, emphasis on the "lame." I admire Obama for getting a head start on all of these problems. He obviously was the right man for the job.

    Troy, Ohio

    November 25, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  184. dan in Tucson

    Lame duck certainly fits the bill, so no, it is not a mistake. Someone has to take command, finally.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  185. Pete, Fla.

    I think it shows arrogance quite frankly. This guy's got too much power right now, and I don't like it.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  186. Pat in NM

    With the Bush administration only concerned about bailing out the financial industry and with making more credit available to an already to indebted populace, Obama's plan of creating jobs is the only real long-term fix for the ailing economy. Better that he start now to have something in place, rather than let George's crew be the ones to only watch after big business's interests.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  187. Wyna Grippando

    I think Obama is doing exactly the right thing. The country is in a horrible condition and it will take more than 4 years to get us back to where we can feel financially strong again. Bush just continues to get us further in debt, so Obama needs to be in charge NOW. Bush has ruined the US and he doesn't have a clue –even now

    November 25, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  188. Billy G in Las Vegas

    (I shall try again)

    according to the Republicans, Barack Obama already HAS "ownership" of the current financial crisis.

    George W WHO?

    November 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  189. PC from Atlanta

    Obama might as well take ownership because the current president seems to have a case of senioritis and looking forward to his last day in office.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  190. Nancy from Indiana

    It is nice that somebody is doing it! He is just letting the voters know that he is on top of everything and that is a good feeling! I mean Bush doesn't really want to get his hands into anything much now on his way out. I think Bush is tired and Obama is full of energy and loves a challenge!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  191. Doris/St. Louis, MO

    I am thrilled that Obama and his team are putting together a "well thought-out plan", that will give our poor economy the JOLT that is needed. This poor economy is what we get when we elect a"D" student into the presidency, such as Bush and his Gang!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  192. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    It's not a mistake at all, and he's not really taking control. He's putting his team in place and making plans so he can take control and hit the ground running on January 20. I see a big difference there.

    Bush certainly seems to have conceded any ownership for the issue, or any other issues for that matter.

    I welcome Obama's aggressiveness in making himself and his administration ready to govern well from day 1. What a breath of fresh air!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  193. Len in Washington

    For Obama to take ownership "of" this crisis would certainly be a mistake. For him to take ownership of a plan to help get us "out" of this crisis would not only be correct but is obviously what he's doing. Bush has abandoned his "Legacy" and left it at Obama's doorstep.
    Fortunately, Bush left it at the right address.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  194. docb

    Yes, Jack, it is the work of the current Admin to link Obama to the meltdown! Paulsen?Bush are attempting to draw them in.

    Think it wise that Obama talks about stimulus and reminds all that there is only one President at a time!

    CiTi's sweetheart deal is a sham that Congress has gone along with at the behest of Paulsens scare tactics...They should get rid of the Board and Paulsen et al has not pushed or been pushed to gain regultory control over the process....
    Get Rubin – Paulsen and the Board OUT NOW!!!!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  195. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    Yes - This is a Bush problem but the problem is one that Obama has to face. If he continues to let Bush screw it up – he will be in worse shape down the road. It is clearly a no win situation. Bush has done it to us again. Hopefully he will go to Texas and never been seen or heard from again. It will bring back too many bad memories.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  196. Chryssa

    It's his whether he wants it or not – so I'd rather he own it. It's not like we're going to look back and say "Gee, remember that horrible recession Obama got us into?" This is the icing on the cake that is 8 years of Republican leadership (or lack thereof), and history will not be kind.

    Boise, ID

    November 25, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  197. Howard

    NO, times have changed Jack when you were young action the government took to fix Great Depression took months to years to see if actions worked or failed, now when the actions are taken it days to weeks to see if the action would work or fail. Obama action or essential to fixing the economy, working with President Bush to take “ownership” of fixing the economy, strengths the argument some are using to change the names of schools, roads and parks.

    JOshua Tree

    November 25, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  198. Lesley, Lighthouse Point

    He doesn't take ownership of anything until the inauguration. George Bush will continue to be ineffective while Obama puts together a dream team of economic minds so that when Bush finally gets the hell out of Washington we can start the long process of restoring this country. Jack, you called this one two years ago. Don't know if you remember it.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  199. Nathan Klintworth from Seward,Nebraska

    Yeah because his party the democrats started this deregulation mess.He needs to tear up NAFTA that Clinton and get this country back on track.He needs to FIX IT.He needs to clamp it down and FIX IT! Tomorrow morning the paper better read "ITS BEEN FIXED!".

    November 25, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  200. Doug - Dallas

    Well at least he has the courage to step up to the plate and try and take action. Until he's sworn in, there's little he can do, at least overtly, except to reassure the public that he has a strong team in place to take over on January 20th.

    I find it interesting that during the election the Republicans tried to show Obama as a tax and spend liberal. As a result of their mis-management policies, they're going to give away an extra trillion or two or three of our money before Obama can get into office. Washington is so out of touch with the rest of the country, it's scary.

    As a main street American, I find it interesting that billions and trillions are being given to companies that completely mismanaged their business, screwing main street in the process. Main street gets NOTHING, but we're being told the program is good for us. There's a disconnect here!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  201. carol in Oregon

    No, it is not proper...but does anyone in the US do the proper thing. There would be wealthy men/women in jail today if the right thing was done. This is what happens in a choatic goverment. And the hardships falls on the people.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  202. Tripp, Mechanicsburg, PA

    We did a good thing in electing Obama as our President. He has not yet been sworn in and already he has shown us that he has the wherewithal to be perhaps the most capable political leader that this nation has seen since its founding. Let us not burry President Bush, though. With all his faults, he is still our President. And it is with his cooperation that this transition between administrations may be the smoothest ever.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  203. Gigi in Alabama

    Mistake or not, someone needs to. . . George Bush has screwed everything up royally.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  204. Sandi, Chicago

    Pete in Florida thinks Obama is showing arrogance...
    Pete – did you say anything while George W. was showing his stupidity???

    Thank God Obama has the intelligence to put this country on the right track. As I have said before, it took W. 8 years to get us in this mess, and the right-wing Republicans are going to want the mess cleared up within Obama's first 100 days!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  205. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, it's not too early for President-Elect Obama to claim ownership of the economic crisis now. He needs to act fast to hit the ground running come January. We as a nation have a long road ahead to recover from being mismanaged by the Bush Administration. I would like to see President Bush and President-Elect Obama come to some type of agreement on a economic stymulus package for the middle class before Bush leaves office. President Bush's policies have hurt a lot of people. At the very least, Bush should be willing to clean up some of his mess before he leaves office. It will also send a clear signal to the world that America is united in confronting our problems regardless of party affilliation, in the end, we are all Americans.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  206. Rian McMurtry

    The history books tell us that Hoover did nothing while a lame duck. Bush is very similar to Hoover. If Obama acting now helps out of the mess, good.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  207. Carroll

    No and Yes... Because President Bush has zoned-out, President-Elect Barack Obama has to convey to the Public that he is on top of the issues. Barack Obama wants too show he is ready to hit the ground when he is sworn in on January 20, 2009 at 12pm EST. Barack Obama is showing who he will be as the next President of the United States. He knows that his words and actions are followed over the World. It's nice to have someone who shows he's smart and confident. Barack Obama is not taking ownership of President Bush's Economy, He is just laying out how it will be after he takes office...

    What do you expect him too do, just sit there until? That is how we got into this problem now.... Under "Bush".

    Washington, D.C.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  208. Eileen Peabody MA

    I don't think so. We are in such a delicate state the market seems to react to someone sneezing.

    He is going to have to take it on in January...I believe the nation feels better just seeing that he is working even before he reports to the job.

    GO OBAMA!!!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  209. Bob Field Toronto

    Yes. Bush can do more damage to the U.S. in the remainder of his term than he has done in the last eight years.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  210. Anna

    Obama needs to reverse the course of bail outs. He needs to pour some money at the main street. How is pouring money on the Wall street Help main street. We should be happy that Wall street is rich and we should go shopping and spend money we do not have?

    November 25, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  211. Linda Smith

    no, not ownership, but leadership. America is in desperate need of a leader – someone who can provide vision, envision solutions, be willing to say, "not on my watch," and roll up his sleeves and work alongside the management team (cabinet, congress, senate, whoever). A leader inspires; an owner seeks blame. – Linda Smith, Livermore, CA

    November 25, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  212. Dan, Chantilly VA

    Personally, I wouldn't want to own anything that George Bush has control over.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  213. Dave in Saint Louis

    Bush and Obama are already working close together. This will be one of the smoothest transitions in history. All financial decisions being made right now Obama is involved in. All people want to do is say Bush is bad and Obama is good. Let's give them both some credit for working together.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  214. Steve in Milford,MA

    Mr Obama is absolutely correct that there is only one President at a time in this country. He was wrong, however, as to who the current president actually is. He has been more presidential in the last 3 weeks than Bush has been in 8 years.

    One of the problems in this country is no one is willing to step up and take responsibility. This problem lately has started at the top with a president who is unwilling or unable to be a leader and take responsibility for anything. If Bush won't step up, somebody needs to. Obama is showing he has the right stuff to lead before he's even in office.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  215. Alan, Buxton Maine

    The sooner a functioning mind enters the equation the better. This problem will soon become Obama's in any event and the more preparation he can make the better off we will all be.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  216. susan from Idaho

    No, it’s like preparing to be a parent. Why not know and do all you can before the birth. When you fail to plan you plan to fail.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  217. Angela, Kentucky

    If anything, President Elect Obama is acting like a leader, which is something our country hasn't had for a loooooooooong time!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  218. Jerry from Jacksonville

    No and I think most people realize that the idiots in the White House don't have enough knowledge and wisdom to handle the situation. I agree with Forbes that Paulson is almost as smart as his boss and is not capable of getting us out of this mess.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  219. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    no not a mistake, the way i see it , this president in power now is doing nothing helpful, should pres elect Obama just sit back and watch the barn burn to the ground? i think not!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  220. Ken M . Millington MI

    Hello Jack. Well sometimes in life battles/crissis are thrust upon you. Pres-elect Obama has shown more leadership and has communicated more effectively in this short time then our current President ever has, remember when this started it was Pres Bush who said the fundamentals of our economy is strong. I just hope that we can keep paulson and this current administration from giving the rest of the money to the out of touch fianancial tycoons with huge bonus packages that need to be payed to themselves. Will anybody stop this administration from the bodacious plundering of the american people.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  221. Geoffrey in Lowell, MA

    Bush is doing and has done nothing. Somebody has to steer the ship. It will be a happy day when George W. Bush is out of the white house forever. Given this mess, I'm surprised Obama hasn't demanded a recount.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  222. don in naples, florida

    In the end Obama was part of the senate that contributed great sums of money whenever bush rattled the fear monger finger at people. Obama also signed off on the bailout stimulus' for these large companies, and has brought with him an administration that intends to spend massive amounts of money. So far Obama does not appear to be doing anything differently than Bush. Whether Obama takes ownership now of this crisis, or four years from now when we are in a potentially worse off position is neither here nor there.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  223. Shelton

    Since no one else is taking it, why not? This long time between the election and the take over is stupid. If you have a lame duck, why not shoot it and get it out of it's misery. This is a lame duck, its a cooked one.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  224. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    No – He wants to be ready to take action the minute the inauguration is over. He understands the gravity of our situation, and is using good judgment. His team will be briefed and in place, ready to take action. Time is money.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  225. L.M.,Arizona

    If he doesn't take ownership who will anything Bush says will make things worse. We thought the two year campaign was long these next two months will seem like an eternity.


    November 25, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  226. Lenore in Kansas

    What in the world do you mean by "ownership," Jack? Since he has no official power now, he can't possibly own this mess. It seems to me he made it clear that there is only one President at a time– and Bush therefore still owns everything.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  227. Sam in Florida

    No it's not a mistake and it's a shame that our current President is probably one of the reasons why our economy is in the state it is in.
    I think that once Predident Bush is out of office we will all see a lot of mistakes that were made by the Bush administration....

    November 25, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  228. Tim Lakeland Florida

    Well when the current president and his administration whom we are still paying to do their jobs has no interest in doing anything ,the way I look at it is we can use all the help we can get from Obama and his team ,after all aren't they free labor right now ... at least till inaugeration day?

    November 25, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  229. Brett in Oriskany,Va

    I think has the right idea here. He wants to hit the ground running and grab the bull by the horns.Its his first priority , so this way he's beginning by taking ownership and encouraging Congress to have legislature ready to sign on day one. Maybe "noDrama" Obama is learning a little about the art.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  230. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    It's not a mistake!! It's very comforting to know that we will soon have a real President!! And that he actually has a plan and wants to be ready to implement it!!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  231. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    Somebody had to take some responsibility. Thanks to Obama for stepping up to show some leadership as it sure hasn't and isn't coming from our illustrious soon to be EX- president. The only thing that could happen that would be better is if Obama could be sworn in right now. Bush has been asleep at the wheel for the last eight years and isn't about to wake up now.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  232. Keith

    I don't think that it's a mistake but I think that he has to make sure that he and the members of his team have to be on top of this situation from day one or he will be looked at as the person responsible for the mess. He can't fix all the issues in his first 100 days, for that matter his first year or even first his term, but he has to show the country that he has a very strong and successful plan and that we are on the right road to fixing some of the mess.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  233. Kay

    Might as well take ownership...Bush can't wait to get out of town. It is nice to see an intelligent person at the helm and answering the questions. The economy is going to get way worse over the next couple of years...no matter what anyone does. Hopefully Obama will just tell us "the real deal" at all times. Reno, NV

    November 25, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  234. D. R. Texas

    Let him go for it,it can't be be any worst than it .

    November 25, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  235. Joan (Canada)

    President Elect needs to warm up, it is obvious that he will be ready on day one., people need hope right now and just seeing how confident he is really helps .He is being careful not to step on toes. Seeing an intelligent person like him on myTV is all I want for Xmas.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  236. Dennis from Albuquerque

    Far from a mistake Jack. We need leadership and the president has decided to "duck walk" through the next two months. It would be a real coup to have the economic stimulus package ready for Obama's signature on day one.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  237. john from syracuse

    No I think Obama taking steps already will lesson the fear thats already gripped wall street and with the price of gas going down as well, people will start to spend again. I just find it kind of fishy that gas prices rose when Bush took administation and now they begin to fall with Bush heading out. Interesting.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  238. hugh ~ tracy, california

    It would more accurate to call it a Barack Obama "inheritance" rather than describing it as "taking ownership," since this did not happen on his watch. It appears president-elect Obama is doing more than our current president George W. Bush in tackling this economic mess.
    President Bush appears more like a poser than a pragmatist.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  239. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    President Bush has one foot out the door. The economy is getting worse and spiraling down into the abyss. Although President-Elect Obama can't have responsibility without authority, he will best be served by putting people in place now to suggest remedies to the Bush administration and be ready to hit the ground running to enact remedies in January. If he waits until January to take ownership, he will be just that much further behind the curve. He can not wait.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  240. Thomas Bryan

    Pres.-elect Obama is correct in making his economic intentions public. At the same time the public must be reminded that their is still only one president.

    In my opinion, Pres.-elect Obama's policy plans are helping to calm the public's nervousness on the economic future, but he also should be using the current Congress, in a special session, to enact the policies.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  241. Tom Ft Lauderdale


    I agree Obama is off to a very good start . It's been a long time since America has had a leader. The wrong direction is always better than no direction.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  242. Dick Clark


    November 25, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  243. carol in Oregon

    Jack, your last sentence grabed me...don't laugh just yet, his plan just might be silly two years from now.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  244. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    It is the absolute OPPOSITE of a mistake. It is brilliant, it is necessary and proves that Obama and his team(s) WILL be ready on day one.Imagine him waiting any longer to form his staff and make his assignments to them – like he has always said, we cannot afford to wait any longer!

    November 25, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  245. Sean from Atlanta, Ga.

    I think that it is the right thing to do for the President-Elect to take ownership of the financial crisis seeing that our sitting President refuses to take ownership and continuously do nothing to help solve this situation. Just shows what kind of hands on President Barack Obama will be. It is sooooo refreshing to see someone come from nothing and make it to the highest office without selling his soul to the lobbyist.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  246. Michael watching from Canada


    I can test drive a car, but that doesn't mean I own it. Obama cannot take ownership of the financial crisis until he takes office. But he is showing everyone that he is capable of revving up the engine in order to get his financial plan out of the gate once the starting gun has fired on Inauguration Day.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  247. Annie Florida

    No...he seems to be a president with brains, intellect, compassion and most of all he is able to listen to others, unlike the pea brain we have in the White House now.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  248. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    No, we need President Elect Obama to instill confidence in the markets and rightly or wrongly or not, his presidency will hinge on his ability to lift the country out of the mess the last administration has so skillfully placed us into.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  249. Keith - Halifax, Canada

    Even with all the risk, the Obama team are chomping at the bit to take on this juggernaut. They have all the ideas, energy, spunk and can-do while the Bush people look to be as consistent and focused as McCain’s campaign. It is a risk for Obama taking it on early but it would be an even bigger risk for the US and by extension the world if he doesn’t.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  250. Matt Callaway in Omaha, NE

    Of course the real economy is hurting (i.e. jobs) and President Elect Obama can do nothing about that now. What he can do is help to stabilize the stock market where investors/international capital tend to act with a herd-mentality. If he can calm their fears by laying out his plan now, even though he can't implement it yet, he can end the accelerating downward trend. It'll take time to go in the other direction, but at least he's slowing the bleeding now.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  251. Chris

    No, although it is Bush's and the people who use credit cards unwisely fault.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  252. andy

    obama needs to take ownwership now before this idiot passes more great ideas for the economy.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  253. Joe in DE

    Obama dose not have an option to take over until Jan. 20. If he can do anything to encourage measures to hepl te economy, he should certainly persure such a course.

    November 25, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  254. Roland

    No, it's not a mistake. The time between the election and inauguration is crucial, as we have already learned from history with Hoover/FDR (and Congress shortened the time between election/inauguration as a result of that). Even though Obama doesn't have full authority until inauguration, the leadership he displays does now still has a psychological effect. Regardless of what he's able to actually accomplish, waiting 8 more weeks before doing anything at all would just allow things to continue to deteriorate completely unchecked. Things would continue to get worse anyway, and history would undoubtedly judge Obama harshly for not having done more during the interim.

    St. George, UT

    November 25, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  255. Jane

    Well Jack somebody has to step up and get control of our economy and no one in the Bush Administration seems interested or capable of managing this crisis.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  256. Patricia

    Not at all is it a mistake. He's not only appearing presidential, he's showing his understanding of some very complex issues. This indicates that he has surrounded himself with the brightest minds of the financial world. By taking ownership now he's demanding respect from all, W, the congress and the people. He's really showing W up on "How It Should Be Done".

    Pine Plains NY

    November 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  257. Erik from Golden, CO

    It's not a mistake. It's an asset. To me, Obama is already more of a president right now than Bush ever was. GWB is sitting on his hands and refusing to do anything other than pardon people, so Barack Obama is assuming the role and guiding the country—even though it isn't his job yet. This is what true leadership is and this is what our country so desperately needs.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  258. Frank - Des Moines, IA

    Time is of the essence! Although Obama doesn't have any executive power yet I think it's important he continues to do what he is doing. He is showing us that he is already working and getting ready to be a leader and try to take care of this mess!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  259. Tracey, NYC

    I'm so sick of these "Right-Wing" Nuts saying Obama is going to turn this economy into a Socialist country.......and gov't involvement with captialism will triple under Obama's watch. You idiots, if it wasn't for dubya policies, we wouldn't need more government intervention.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  260. mithra5

    Yes it will prove to be a very bad mistake because he will have to pay for all of this for 4 or as much as 8 years. Already the conservatives are begining to second guess him and blame him for a recession

    November 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  261. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    SOMEBODY has to do it! The country knows it's the Bush administration that got us into this mess. Obama is the "Bizarro Bush" in every way, including stepping up to try to fix something that isn't even his responsibility yet. It's refreshing to see such a competent person who WANTS to take on our country's problems.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm |

    The idea that the GOP nay sayers are calling this the Obama Recession or even the Obama Depression just makes me so mad. Why not blame the current administration??? Why are they blaming someone who is not even sworn in yet? How CAN they be so stupid?
    So with that said, even though things are scary financially, I have more hope and faith than over the last 8 years. I am so pleased we have a smart leader with integrity who is picking the best and the brightest for these important jobs. This is exciting and energizing.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  263. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    SOMEBODY has to do it!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  264. Tommy in KENTUCKY

    I hope that this does not come as a BIG surprise to you that Obama has assumed ownership of the financial crisis. Just a few days earlier in on of his President ELECT news conference he proclaimed that there was only "ONE PRESIDENT AT A TIME". WHICH IS IT Jack? I think he has enough to worry about with the United Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the December 5, 2008 docket hearing about his eligibility as a citizen.
    "TAGUE DAT, Meesta Preseedent!"

    November 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  265. Veronica in California

    I totally agree with Gloria. Imagine that, a plan instead of knee-jerk reaction to wall street. Even with the bail-out Bush is snakebit. To millions of americans it a bitter symbol of Bush's willingness to aid financial institutions while showing total indifference to the middle class.
    President-elect Obama, his team with the support of the American people will carry us out this crisis. I am glad he is tackling the economy now and not waiting.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  266. Janice Illinois

    It matters not if he takes ownership or not, unfortunately he has inherited this mess , and besides that if George Bush owns it nothing will ever get done right. Justice takes a kick in the rear the day the cowpoke rides off into the sunset . Unscathed.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  267. F in SC

    Mistake to take ownership of the money-mess? Not at all. Someone has to - an Bush seems to be asleep on the job.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  268. Janet, American in Canada

    We have waited this long, we can wait for noon on January 20, 2009!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  269. Mary From Colorado

    Anyone with a brain knows who "Owns" the financial crisis. It isn't Obama!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  270. Silroy, MD.

    Jack, At this point there is no doubt that the people have lost ALL confidence in the current administration. The more people hear Pres. Bush the worse it gets. If anyone can inspire and encourage positive trading again, its the Messiah, oops, Pres. elect Barrack. People feel much more at ease listening to someone who has a plan. On the other hand, it just a guessing game game for Mr. Paulson with his current economic strategy. I think Pres. Bush is itching to hand over the keys.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  271. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    If Obama hadn't taken ownership of our financial crisis big business was taking ownership of the $700 billion dollars of taxpayers money.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  272. ingrid, new york

    if you are thinking that taking ownership of the crisis and taking responsibility for developing a solid plan are the same, then i would have to say yes. otherwise i am not sure ownership is the right word here. semantics i know, but ownership implies that he is also somehow responsible for the problem as well as for developing the solution.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  273. james

    No. By bolstering the economic picture, he is keeping the market from tanking. He is wise enough to know that there is currently a leadership vacuum that has been ongoing for 8 years.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  274. Ken Michigan

    Hey it's great! He's getting his duck's in order. Then at the Inauguration as he raises his right hand, he can sign the fixes for all our problems with his left. That way, before he leaves the podium, ALL our problems will be fixed.
    I believe it's great that he's showing interest and getting on board, but the way it's playing int he media, on 20 Jan 2009, we will experience the 2nd coming of FDR and Honest Abe.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  275. roman nakonechny, corbin, KY

    Somebody better take control. I saw Paulson earlier today and he looks like "a man treading water but not getting closer to shore".
    Does anyone in DC know what they are doing?

    November 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  276. Matt

    heck no, he really puts country first and steps in where the current administration is dragging their feet accepting the risk that he will be tight to the disaster.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  277. Barbara FROM NEW ORLEANS

    no it's not a mistake because it shows leadership,confidence and most of all courage

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  278. Mike

    Jack, Bush doesn't seem to be taking part in the crisis so it would be a good idea that the President-elect should take over. President-elect Obama must take over now inorder to avoid total econmic failure which was caused by the ignorance of the Bush adminestration

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  279. Jeff from Minnesota

    Let's see ... He can hit the ground running, or he can just hit the ground. I'd prefer him to be running rather than hit the ground flat footed and we end up in a bigger mess while his administration figures things out. Granted, he needs to mind the fact that he's not President yet, but I think President Bush would take all the help he can get at this point.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  280. James

    no, he has the right idea in order for the new administration to be able to act effectively they have to put in the ground work to be able to take over this crisis that we are in.

    So he needed to assemble his team and announce them.
    He also needs to do something really big economically during his first week.

    So far he is on track.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  281. Marsha

    The only mistake is the one sitting in the oval office now

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  282. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    Seeing how the (lame) duck flew the coop, you know what's his name? It is time for someone to step up.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  283. Shannon Wadding, St. Paul, MN


    Obama should not take any involvement in Bush's mistakes while he is still the president. Bush still has two months left to really screw this country worse into the ground.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  284. Lorin

    President-elect Obama is doing what needs to be done. Since our current president is not taking any action its nice to see the president-elect cares enough to step out and bring some confidence and assurance to the consumers. He has made it clear that there is only one president at a time, theres nothing wrong with Obama having press conferences to assure America that HE has a plan.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  285. Wendy in NC

    NO!! it's not a mistake. All I've seen Bush do this week is pose in a poncho. I know Obama is sensitive to 'one president at a time' but when the current one is AWOL, then he's showing us that he knows how to behave as a REAL president should.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  286. Hajah in Kansas City

    Well Jack I think there is a reason he is called President Elect Obama, it is not yet his responsibility. He can put a team together but until he is sworn in Bush still has some work HE has to do. Bush made the mess so why can't he stress about it until he is no longer in office?!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  287. Kevin

    Of course not! Its his problem dumped in his lap! Wouldnt any decent minded person want to get a jumpstart on this giant problem? you guys overanalyze things too much........

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  288. Lois Camp

    Jack -
    No, it's not too early. We hired him; let him go to work.
    Birmingham, Al

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  289. Cynthia Nolen

    No, it is perfectly correct for President-Elect Obama to take ownership of the ecomonic crisis 2 months before taking office. Someone needs to be in charged. And, it should be a responsible adult.

    President-Elect Obama is the best person to handle this crisis. We need his great decision making and intelligence during this time.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  290. Jeanne

    "Mistake"? To care enough about your country to put posturing and rules aside and jump in to provide the cxonfidence that's desperately needed to at least give us hope that there's light at the end of the Bush tunnel? I would stongly support a Constitutional amendment to throw Bush and Co. out tomorrow and let Obama have the reins.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  291. PBhouston

    No, he is steering the path he wants to pursue.
    He is very smart to not just wait and let Bushie make another major mistake for him to fix after.
    besides he will have 2 months of dealing with this crisis.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  292. Elliot in California

    Essentially Obama is the only one who can take ownership of this crisis. The sitting President is a lame-duck and almost completely without influence. This has caused a leadership vacuum that will only make the situation worse. In my opinion it is good that the President-elect is starting to step up to try and figure out a solution.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  293. Mark Allen

    No, it's not a mistake for Obama to take ownership. The world is waiting to see what the U.S. does to correct the mistake that was instigated by the Bush administration for the past 8 years. We need someone to let the world know that help (and change) is on the way.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  294. Ken in NC

    Leadership is being forced upon him now by all who want W. to leave early. Even world markets want him early. They are responding more to his input that that of this guy commonly referred to as W.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  295. Ralph Nelson

    No. The mistake is President Bush not helping and not caring about the people. President Bush looks and acts like a fool. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  296. Rick - San Diego

    We need the leadership more than the need to blame anyone. Beside history will determine who really owns the problem.

    Take ownership of the solution not the problem.

    San Diego

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  297. Alison

    Not at all. If anything, it shows he's concerned about getting us out of this mess as soon as possible.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  298. Gary Speer

    No, it isn't a mistake for him to take such ownership, as evidenced by the nice bump upward in the stock market in recent days. Nervous investors and the nation as a whole appreciate seeing Obama on top of things. Strange behavior, I know, for a president in recent years.

    My fear is that too many people long for Obama to be Savior-elect instead of President-elect. He'd have to walk across the waters at the National Mall on Inauguration Day to fulfill their desires. But walking on water or not, he's still going to face this financial crisis he's taking ownership of. That's going to demand a serious amount of realism and patience on the part of us all.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  299. Michael from Peachtree City

    Jack – what flavor was the kool aid? The same fools who think Obama can right the ship anytime soon are the same ones who bought into the 30 day 1/4 point introductory mortgage rate

    I would respect him more if he got up there and said "it's (the economy) is cyclical stupid" . . . and the American consumer habits is going to make these a real painful downturn.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  300. Jeanne

    It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it. Under normal circumstances, he'd wait, smart guy that he is, but these aren't normal times.

    Boise, Idaho

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  301. Brett from California

    Why should it come as a surprise that the incoming president wants to tackle the most important and pressing issues right away rather than going off on unrelated tangents and creation of problems that didn't exist before?

    Have the last 8 years jaded you and the press to the extent that this surprises you?

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  302. Dan Payne, Yankton, SD

    It's great for Obama to take ownership right now. I would be worried if he dismissed these issues because he isn't required to care for 2 more months. It shows leadership. I'm doubtfull anyone can fix this mess, but he seems well intentioned, and I wish him the best of luck.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  303. Mark Luster

    Jack, that Russian comment may not be far off. A few years ago a book came out called "The Nine Nations of North America", predicting this very sort of thing. One can only hope (?) that our current dire straits will bring us to a closer union, rather than breaking us apart.
    Tempe, AZ

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  304. Frank from NYC

    He's going to own it no matter what, he may as well start trying to steer it in the direction he wants it to go now rather than just inherit a deeper hole. Talk about being ready to lead on day one, Obama was ready on day one after the election.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  305. john papp

    he's gonna own it in two months so why not get a head start. its called being an effective leader. notice that bush doesn't seem to be taking ownership of it.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  306. Andrew Calkins

    It is perfectly fine for Obama to take "ownership" of the economic crisis. Paul Krugman's allusion to the 'leadership vacuum' in America is very true. Obama's initiative to take hold of the crisis and announce a plan has seen the stock market react, on friday when Geithner was announced, and yesterday when he announced most of his economic team. The response to Obama is huge, compared to the response when Paulson announces plans to inject billions more into the market.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  307. Thom Richer

    "Ownership?" Yes. He should not position himself in any way that this fiasco of the Bush administration falls upon him. He does, however, need to plan and prepare the way to assuming the role of repairing damage already done and facing the fact that he ran for this position on his own accord, knowing full well what he woud have to face. I am one who believes Bush should step down now and not cause further economic failing by his inability to govern for 2 more months. It is clear that Bush is the lamest duck this country has ever seen and there is no rehabilitation in his future He is nothing more than a decoy at this point and to say he is lame is being kind.

    Negaunee, MI

    November 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  308. just me

    Absoultely not. Since bush seems to have checked out and Paulson doesn't seem to have a clue someone needs to take charge!!!!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  309. Jose Hoboken, NJ


    I do hope he does, because between George W and Paulson temples there is not a clue of what to do, those two should be Patriotic for once and just resign; making sure Cheney resigns first.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  310. Brandon

    No, the american people have spoken and they want change. Obama is the next president and has the right to act as one, wether its official or not.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  311. Vic

    Weird question Mr.Cafferty....I'd like to know what type of person is arguing that it's actually a bad thing that our next president has a plan and is an actual leader. I like where that Russian guy is going though...

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  312. Jamila

    I think that Obama is doing just what he should given the current circumstances. We are in multiple unprecedented crises in unprecedented times. For this, he must take action. It is unfortunate for us, fellow tax payers, that we must wait until January before he can really do anything. That also is to our detriment.

    I wish that in our "book of rules" so to speak, we allowed for exceptions or early inauguration due to the country's level of economic severity.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  313. avalondelx

    Obama is doing a great job taking control of the financial situation. Bush is certainly to busy pardoning his cronies and finding permanent positions of the other unqualified cronies he pals around with.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  314. Sue

    It is a relief for the man on the street to know that Obama is taking ownership of the economic crisis! We have had enough hand-waving to national problems - Obama's behaviour is indeed very promising, and hopefully, we can again start sleeping at night.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  315. Mike D, Dallas, TX

    Obama can't take ownership yet but he must be working closely with the Bush admin. on an aggressive and thorough transition. During this process, Obama should make his views, agreements/disagreements, well-known to Bush. This should be done privately unless Bush is going forward on something that Obama has a strong disagreement with.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  316. E B. Atlanta

    Well Jack,

    As someone told me a long time ago, when you find yourself in a bad situation.
    You just have to be a man about, Jim.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  317. Brent

    It is not a mistake for Obama to take responsibility of the economic mess we are in. Bush hasn't cared for eight years and we have experienced so many problems since he stepped foot in the Oval Office. It is time we had a leader to be upfront, honest, and forth coming with what we are experiencing as a nation. This is the type of leadership that Washington has lacked. If I were Bush, I would start packing now and hand the reigns over to Obama because his couch is ready for his underside in Crawford, Texas.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  318. Jay

    It is absolutely NOT a mistake for Obama to own the problem.
    Why? Because in no way shape or form, is this problem going to be solved by January 20, 2009. It could actually get a LOT WORSE in that short period of time.

    By owning the problem now, he can try to slow the bleeding: with solid information about he is going to do, showing the people that are going to assist him solve this problem, and showing more moxi and confidence then those that got us here.

    Stability, knowing that things are GOING to change and possible how they are going to change. That is going to help significiantly more, then lame-duck officials trying to slip in last minute patches to try to take some of the blame, and snag some of hte credit for the work ahead for President Obama.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  319. Devin

    I believe the President elect actions are helping the U.S. realize that he was the best person for the job. He has taken ownership in order to let the American people understand that he is not just standing or sitting by until he takes over completely.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  320. Richard L. Shultis, New York State

    There is no question about ownership of this crisis. The "lamest of the duck Presidents", Presdient Bush, has owned this from the get-go. President Elect Obama is smart to get his Administration up and going now and be ready to move in on January 20th. I have faith that he'll soar like an eagle. Better than a broken duck administration.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  321. Marge

    I think Barack is showing the american people he is willing and more than ready to hold the highest office. By talking on the economic situation now (2 months before his anguration) is brave and bold. What the heck no one else has done anything until now and thats because the next president is already doing something. George W. Bush ought to be ashamed at was he has let happen to our nation.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  322. Sam from Washington DC

    No one else seems to be doing anything about it. By taking responsibility, he is making things get a little better by the time he gets into office so that it will be easier to fix our problem and people will stop being so impatient.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  323. Mark Zuckerman

    The present administration is responsible for the mess we are in. One would have to be an idiot to think they have the well being of the average american on their mind to fix the mess they created.Let the new team in now.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  324. Richard Maabadi

    The critics might have said, that Obama is not ready, but the financial situation is ready to be handled the Obama way...so let the young boy do his job!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  325. Jim (Colorado Springs, CO)

    Somebody has to take ownership. Bush sure isn't doing anything. But that's probably good. Every time he does something, it's bad for the country.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  326. Lynn, Boise, Idaho

    Are you kidding? The current president isn't doing anything but biding his time. Without a leader over the last few weeks, we lost something like a gazillion dollars in the stock market from the lack of confidence. Whether it's a good idea or not, someone had to take the reigns or we were going down in a ball of flames. I don't care who owns it. I'm just glad the president-elect was willing to step up and do something.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  327. Ginger H -- West Melbourne, FL

    Since someone needs to deal with this crisis, and Bush is more than just a lame duck, who else but the President-elect would do this? Anyhow, we would all rant later if he waits too long to take "ownership" and the situation became hopeless. You go President Obama....BE Presidential~!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  328. Bert, San Juan PR

    Its going to be his problem eventually, might as well start delving into it as early as possible. In any case, I think it would have been irresponsible, and Im sure everybody even you would have complained if he had started out saying and doing nothing about the economic crisis. Come on, a "mistake" to try to tackle the biggest problem of the times? Its obviously the best thing he could have done.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  329. Marie Min Munster, IN

    Absolutely!! Start the show!!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  330. Jim

    That's a silly question, I think it arises from people not seeing a president do what he says he's going to do, his job.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  331. Diane

    No, absolutely not.
    In fact, if he could do it, I'd prefer he take over the Presidency now and let the Bush Administration fade into dust.

    He's a common sense man, with common sense solutions and we'll be in good hands when he takes over. The sooner the better.
    When he speaks, I'm assured all will be well.

    Mr. Bush and Mr. Paulson look like lost deer in car headlights.

    I'm ready for the change and the good guidance to begin.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  332. Covin FL

    I would like to see Congress make legislation to move the inauguration from Jan. 20 to November 20. Obama will be able to save more homes, businesses, jobs and peoples lively hood.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  333. sberlowitz

    absolutely not! its about time someone took the bull by the horns to do whats needed instead of tiptoeing around the politics until nothing gets done. we elected him, now let him do what he and his advisors deem necessary to fix the economy.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  334. Jim Green, Seguin, TX, www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack......not in the slightest! We hired Obama on the promise of his leadership to did us out of the unconscionable hole Bush dug for America–he is doing what leaders always do......take ownerhsip of the propblem......roll up their sleeve.....and go to work! OBAMA IS RIGHT ON TARGET!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  335. Patrick (Denver)


    Absolutely Not.

    Our current President is nowhere to be found during this entire mess that he is entirely responsible for. Obama is showing that he will be a responsible leader, unlike Bush.

    I wonder what the going rate is for a moving service to move the Bush's out of the White House a few months early?

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  336. Absentloki

    Yes. Truthfully we all should. It's just nice to see a President-Elect do the right thing. Now if only the current president would.


    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  337. susan connelly

    I am relieved that SOMEONE is willing to take charge. We seem to have an absentee president! Feels like we are on a ship that does not have a captain. Who is steering?
    Go for it,Obama!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  338. Kawsar

    Jack does Obama has any choice left. Our Beloved President Bush already checkout and missing in action. Bush had no interest in Economy except giving tax break to rich and going to war. I think in this crititcal time of our country Obama doing to the right thing and taking charge of this horrible economy. God Save America from this meltdown.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  339. Mark Walters (Palmdale, CA)

    It's almost a silly question.

    Someone has to take ownership. Bush isn't doing it.

    America has endured 7+ years of bad-to-no leadership from George Bush, and it looks like we might not make it to January 20th unless we get a real leader.

    America can only take so much.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  340. Matt Smithers, Jacksonville, FL

    Absolutely not! It shows a face (as planned by Obama's team) of confidence, & that he's eager to fix things. I think it will give the pres-elect a good look at what he's got to do to actually make a positive change, when the day comes that he's actually at the helm.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  341. Robin

    Jack, he damn well better assume responsibility. Never before has the term "lame duck president" meant more. I do not believe ANYONE, republicans included, have any faith in anything that the Bush Administration puts forth. I feel we are heading down a slippery economic slope and the longer this LAME DUCK stays in charge the more slippery and longer the slope becomes.

    Hyde Park, New York

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  342. Nancy

    No...It's not wrong for President-Elect Obama to begin taking ownership of the economic crisis. SOMEONE has to, and it sure isn't the current "invisible" President!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  343. Pam

    All of us "own" the financial crisis, and that includes the current administration as well as the upcoming administration. Obama cannot put his head in the sand and pretend there is no crisis until January 21st. Right now, the American people and the market need a plan to fix the economy, to give us hope for the future. I would rather see Obama stepping up and "owning" the crisis now than wasting time by blaming the crisis on the previous administration or ignoring it.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  344. Claudette

    No, it is not a mistake for President-Elect Obama to take owndership for the financial crisis. I really feel that we all need to take ownership in this crisis. The problem belongs to us all. President-Elect Obama is quite aware that there are individuals out there who did not vote for him, who have no confidence in him, and who expect him to fail. By taking ownership now, he will be able to reassure them that the right man is in charge of this mess, even though it was not initially his mess. Regardles of who caused the problem, he has to help solve the problem.

    When the stimulus package is established, we as consumers have to do the right thing and use the money properly. The problem I forsee is that after this mess, people will be afraid to be consumers again. Many people will take the stimulus funds, put them up for the upcoming rainy day and then the funds have not helped our economy again. Then what? Hopefully someone will address this posibility.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  345. Erma in Eldon, Missouri

    No one wants to grab the bull by the horns, so why not the president elect. He certainly can't do anything worse than has already been done and it appears he has the intelligence to ask qualified advisors for help. Maybe he can get this mess resolved.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  346. Pat in Hampstead, Maryland

    Mistake? After 8 years of the dumb and dumber administration he better take charge. Its not a mistake. The question is how long is he going to allow Paulson to continue making the mess even worse.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  347. Chuck

    After nearly 8 years of the present administration refusing to take
    responsibility for any of the monumental messes they've created,
    Barrack's taking ownership of this economic fiasco is as welcome
    as that first breath of fresh clean air upon getting away from a pig farm.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  348. Mike MaKieve

    Nature abhors a vacuum. Someone needs to take command. I'm glad Obama is not waiting.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  349. Frances Raymond

    Our economy, a proverbial house, is burning. He can't afford to wait if he wants to salvage the situation.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  350. Avis K. Stringer

    We all know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is NOT his fault, but he is an excellent leader and as such IS taking the ownership of this mess because he is at the wheel, so to speak. I think that is one more thing that clearly shows the caliber of the man the WE elected as President. Those that didn't vote for him and thought that he wasn't ready, grossly underestimated him. It's not too late for them to jump aboard this winning team....we're always taking on nay sayers!!! Obama was destined for this position at this time in history. I don't think that anyone (or at least anyone that ran for the office) is more qualified and ready for the challenges that lay ahead...GO OBAMA/BIDEN...,I have much luv and respect for the both of you! 🙂

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  351. Deborah, Los Angeles

    Jack...what you are asking is a POLITICAL question. I am certain that President-Elect Obama would rather not have his name attached to this Bush-led financial meltdown, but our new President is obviously a man of integrity and purpose who is more invested in staunching the bleeding than steering clear of any toxic 'cooties.' That is why we elected this honorable man. We can breathe easier knowing that Mr. Obama is taking charge now.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  352. Peggy Howard

    I think it is ok for Obama to try to get ready or fix the economy before he is actually the president. But the sad thing is that he is usurping the real president President Bush. We need to at least recognize that Bush is still is the Presdent and have some respect for him in his last days. I am so sick of the disrespect for Pres Bush and Mrs. Bush.
    They are really nice wholesome people. Everyone is not a leader and a communicator. Bush had his own strengths. As for Obama, he should pick his people, do his planning, but not take over the presidency before Jan 20, it just looks tacky and is wrong.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  353. Jeff in Washington state

    I would say no time like the present President elect Obama has alot of work ahead of him to try and turn the economic crisis that we are in around, and at this time President Bush has done little to turn it around just make it worse .Somebody has to take ownership and I think Obama is doing this.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  354. bonnie

    I think anything to give the people of the country some optimism at this horrible economy is a good thing.
    I do not think the media is giving the proper statistics on the effect of
    the entire country if the bailout does not help the auto industry. It is astronomical how many people are directly and indirectly effected by the auto industry. All the way down to small suppliers that might make just one tiny part for a vehicle. Lets get more true information on how to make this all work to help everyone.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  355. Tarus

    Barrack Obama cannot step up fast enough. Cheney may declair war on Iran and Paulson may banrupt the nation before we can oust George W. Bush. The war in Iraq and the GOP along with big banking with the help of Wall Street have bankrupted the nation. It may just not recover because of a bought and paid for congress the is total culture of corruption

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  356. Paul in Ohio

    Not only does it prove that Obama is ready "before" day one, it shows that Hillary and McCain's judgement was way off the mark. Hillary and McCain both thought they "deserved" the Presidency in spite of Barack's undeniable intellect and competence, so its not surpising that they'd embellish the truth to get what they thought they deserved.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  357. Rolando

    Jack, I think that is what Americans are looking for at this time, they are needing to know where this country stands on a daily basis and the way Obama is trying to take charge says alot for our long term status and how we feel about him running the country for the next four years.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  358. Ryan in Ann Arbor

    Somebody has to take ownership. Bush has been AWOL (again) since the days following 911. Is that loser still drawing a paycheck?

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  359. Pam from Fort Myers, FL

    Its not a mistake for Obama to take ownership of this financial crisis when our current administration has already hung the "gone fishing" sign. Bush's non-reaction is another pathetic exhibit of his incompetence. President-elect Obama is acting now-as someone should- giving the American people confidence in his capacity to get the fix on track and rolling toward a solution that both parties will embrace and work on together.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  360. Jacques, Snellville GA

    Okay...Who wants to take ownership at this time? Anyone?... Dems?.... GOP?.....Bush?... Going once, twice, gone to the tall, thin presidential gentleman in the dark suit!

    There's no guarantee he'll fix it, but at least he's trying!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  361. Justin Merrill

    No i don't feel that president elect obama is making a mistake, in fact he is making every effort he can to get this crisis resolved which is going to take years. He is making the right step unlike our current president.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  362. Carl In SC

    Yes it is. Bush is trying to mess up as much as he can in order to give the new president as many problems as Bush can. That way it might help the republicans in 2012.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  363. Don Lamprecht

    Too late. Geithner has been working on everything that has been done in the last 12 months from within the Federal Reserve. Every deal that has been made including Fed bailouts and TARP, has Mr Geithner's fingerprints on it. If you want a seamless transition, Mr Geithner is the proper selection.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  364. Denis Duffy

    Why not Jack? Look at the idiot who is supposed to be the president. Bush is so corrupt that the only thing he cares about is his rich friends. Bush should have been impeached years ago.

    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  365. Ava Jordan

    Is it foolish? I can only say it gives me confidence that someone is working other than me. Clearly, Bush has thrown in the towel, and I for one am delighted to know someone grabbed the steering wheel before we ran off the road again.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  366. Vanessa - Puyallup, Wa

    Does he have any choice? Everytime Bush or the treasury secretary open their mouths the stock market goes down. The real question is can we wait two more months to swear him in. The do nothing, pathetic, Bush administration should go home they've done enough damage to last us a lifetime.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  367. sene

    Someone's gotta do it ...if not the our lame duck president then why not our intelligent, responsible president-elect.

    Hallelujah for Obama.

    Falls chruch, VA

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  368. T.J. Ledoux

    Somebody has to do something ! The Bush administration seems to be at a loss to do anything. i guess the V.P. hasn't told G.W. what to do.
    Reassuring the finacial and public community can at least help to stabalize this finacial slaughter. Yes someone has to do something before the dreaded D word becomes a reality...

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  369. Bill Hastings

    Yes, he should take ownership because the stock market has dropped almost 2000 points since his election. His position on taxes and the general anti-business mantra of the Democratic Party are scaring the markets.

    Also, how about giving the stimulus directly to the people. One Trillion would be almost $5K for each adult. Some would be saved, increasing bank liquidity. Some would be spent, increasing business activity. It is a win win, if we pay it back later.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  370. Daniel McCarthy

    Barak Obama, 2 months before he takes the job, has done more things, and acted more, Presidential than Dubbya could manage in 8 years.
    He's not taking on too much. I think it's his style to attack crises head-on. I just hope he's successful.

    Dan, New York

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  371. Teri in St. Augustine FL

    Pres-Elect Obama will get blamed no matter what he does – he might as well have some say in which way we'll go. I wouldn't be surprised if Bush isn't doing everything in his power to make it worse. Obama isn't a miracle worker, it's going to get worse before it gets better anyway.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  372. Mandy

    I think it is great that President Elect Obama is taking charge of the economy – no one else seems to be. This also shows those who doubted him that he truley is serious about what he has been elected to do.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  373. Susan Gregg, Lodi, CA

    Our President Elect is doing exactly the right thing. The first action we have seen in years, with no balogna. It is nice to hear the bad and that there is a real plan to fix it. Not only plan A but a willingness to say if it doesnt work we will have a plan B, etc. This is real life. I think he has great judgement and I am very optimistic.

    I also hope he starts 'billing' Iraq for security since they want us there for another 2 years. They can afford it.
    Also to tell the Auto CEO's to have a garage sale for their jets, take a cut in pay and go to "Uncle Oil' for a loan to restructure. He can afford it too.

    Obama rocks!!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  374. Richard Bernstein

    No, of course not. He is doing what he should do since he knows that it will ultimately be his responsibility to solve the crisis. He couldn't get started soon enough in my opinion and now it is our responsibility to support his effort.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  375. Pat Vailliencourt

    Thank goodness Obama is taking the lead on this financial mess. Obviously the current administration, who has been the leader in making this mess, has no idea how to lead us out of it.

    Obama seems to be the only one that understands that people need jobs. It doesn't matter how much you give the banks people can't pay their obligations or spend money to spur the economy into a recovery with a paycheck.

    As for me, I say "YOU GO OBAMA!"

    Pat from Manchester, MI

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |

    Obama understands the need to hit the ground running on the economy and other important issues.
    The Bush administration has essentially "checked out" of its responsibilities, leaving a void in leadership at this most critical of times. Obama is demonstrating strong, intelligent leadership.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  377. Arnetta

    No. It's not a mistake for Obama to take charge, as long as some of the fickle public remembers that this crisis didn't happen on his watch. Uh, do you have someone else who is currently engaged and in charge of doing something concrete and possibly workable in this mess?
    I thought not.

    Arnetta, Flossmoor, IL

    November 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  378. Merle Johnson

    Personally, I find it refreshing that we have a leader that is actually taking charge of a problem, not passing the buck and not calling out names. He actually acts like an adult instead of a spoiled child.

    His economic team choices have reflected the kind of administration that he promised us and his call for a reality check is exactly what the country needed.

    Once he stops the bleeding maybe he can dole out a proper punishment for the greedy citizens that got us into this mix to begin with...both corporate and private.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  379. Aaron Chenault Rochester, MI

    A mistake would be to ignore the growing crisis and pawn it off as another product of the current administration. This economic problem does not belong to one person, it is a crisis in which unfortunately we must all share. President elect Obabma is working hard now and preparing his administration to be ready to work "on day one."

    November 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  380. Emeka New Jersey

    Obama is taking the "bull by the horn" because he cares about the American people,Assuming ownership for the financial crisis depicts he is competent and confident that all will be well,that what it takes to be a president.He has a good strategy.This is to show all American that you really should not impose judgement on people,its good to believe in people until they give you cause to doubt them.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  381. Mike in Akron, Ohio

    After Bush ran two oil companies into the ground and a baseball team, now it is America. We can't get Bush out of office fast enough. Someone has to be the grown up here and take charge.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  382. Denise

    I feel it would be a mistake because he should take the time he needs to put sucessful plan in order. The dollar amounts should not be discussed before he takes office for this will only cause drama. He just picked his team. Give this man a break he has until Jan 20th 09 to get this plan together. What other president has came in before his term? This is the bush's team mess and they should deal with it to the end.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  383. Sadanie

    A mistake? I don't think so. Someone has to step up to this dangerous and unusual economic situation. George Bush and his cabinet seem to have been reacting day to day, rather than planning and organizing to take real action. The vacuum of power risks to achieve ruining our Country. Luckily, President Elect Obama has the intelligence and the forsight to take the steps and surround himself with people who will deal with the situation at hand, rather than shrink from it. Thank you President Elect Obama.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  384. Jamie P


    No I don't think it’s a mistake, in fact I think that this is the best thing Obama can do.
    Obama has begun to do more for people that is positive then Bush has done in eight years.
    This shows that Obama has the urgency the American people and economy needs.
    A+ for Obama....
    I just want to know who is going to bail me out,
    How do you keep a home without a job???

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  385. Shirley -AK OHIO

    No it is not a mistake, it is just presidential, that is why nothing stuck to Obama when Clinton and McCain threw it at him. There apparently was something in those speechs that he planned to execute. He's going to have to own it in two months so why not get a running start. Very smart man, you gotta love him.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  386. armani

    How can any true American sit and watch this freak show. A leader always emerges when there is vacuum. Now you know who really places the country first. Not those who follow Palin like the lemmings !

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  387. Emmanuel


    Somebody has got to do something. Now that it seems as if Bush and his cronnies cannot wait to get out of town, it is going to be Obama's headache whether he takes over now or in two months.

    Capitol Heights. MD

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  388. Andrew

    No. Barack Obama is taking the necessary steps to prepare himself for when he is persident. He has surrounded himself with some pretty smart folks..so why not use them and get to work! This is one of the worst economic crisis the country has ever seen. I think he can use all the time he can get! He has no authority right now as the president, but people are looking to him for leadership... And he is stepping up to the plate.

    Andrew Thorpe
    Parsippany, NJ

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  389. Pearl, AZ

    YES! YES!YES! Not only is it a mistake it's political suicide. Paulson is determined to leave a financially broke government by the time he leaves office. He is giddy with the knowledge that used government funds to bail out his friends on Wall Street while thousands of Americans join the homeless ranks. If President-Elect Obama gets any closer to this BAIT & SWITCH scheme he might get swallowed up by it.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  390. J

    He has no choice to step up because the current president has not and will not developed a viable financial plan. He's waiting for Obama to bail him out along with the world. Bush should be impeached!!!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  391. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Absolutely no mistake for Obama to get as involved as possible! Bush is just sitting in a corner nodding off while this countries economy is quickly going down the toilet. Obama really has no choice at this point. Of course he's limited in what he can actually do, but his actions show me that he is a take charge kind of man and that's exactly what this country needs right now.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  392. tom gehlsen

    Obama need to take "ownership" of the economic crisis. Now one has owned it over the past eight years. There has been no plan and no concern for the "little" people of America. Obama has a plan and is ready to go. I say let him loose and run the course. The lame duck is stuck in the mud as usual!

    Ankeny, IA

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  393. rob

    Treasonous Bush's impeachment is way overdue, (see Chapter III ,Article III of the US constitution) and get a moral man (Obama) in NOW !!! Fix a collapsing nation before it's too late . Change can't wait two more months!!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  394. Maureen Bieber

    President-elect Obama is standing up and "manning up". Thank goodness. Barack Obama is showing our nation he means business. He cares about us and the nation as a whole. He wants to get the job going and get the job done. Our actual president (isn't his name Bush?) isn't doing on darn thing it seems. He's actually too quiet. Makes one wonder what kind of trouble he is stirring up behind the scenes.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  395. Cheryl

    Prez-elect Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. The one thing he can't do is appease the people that didnt vote for him. He will never win them over. He must do what's right for the country. And that is getting money to main street and take over this housing market problem NOW.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  396. Zak

    No one is taking ownership of this economic crisis, and hiring another FED employee is not going to solve the crisis either. Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson both warned us about the threat that a central banking system would have to our freedom, our liberty and our democracy. Twice in our nations history we have abolished a central banking system that was coorupting our country. But as it has been said, those who forget thier past are bound to repeat it. And here we are agian. I just pray that we can survive it this time.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  397. Micahel, Indiana

    It isnt a mistake for Obama to try to take ownership now because Bush certantly isnt. He is trying to fill the void of lacking leadership in Washington. He is taking the forefront instead of the sideline and is willing to take alot of heat if his plans fail. It is a huge risk, I suspect either he will start his presidency with the people very confident or very scared.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  398. Mike in Colorado

    Until Obama has the authority the ownership belongs with George W Bush actually George W Bush will own this just like Hoover owned the great depression.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  399. Tim

    It is clear Mr. Obama is a man who understands the gravity of the situation. I appreciate that he is being candid about the problems we face. He is showing leadership, which we need at this time. I voted for McCain, but since our current leadership doesn't seem to have a handle on the problem, our future leadership must move forward even if only rhetorically until the transition of power. We need to be able to place our trust somewhere.

    My only hope is that we use this opportunity to reform our economy through domestic energy; commitment to education and a vision of the future.

    Tim from Idaho, former Republican now Independent

    November 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  400. Debbie in San Marcos, CA

    I think the "ownership" of this mess will always lie at Bush's feet. I think Obama is trying to calm fears and the markets. He is trying to keep the crisis from getting any worse before he takes office. He is putting country first. For once, can't we just back him and give him space and time to work? NOTHING could be worse than the last 8 years! I for one totally trust him.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  401. Fran Fountain

    The real question is, why has Bush gone on for eight years without ever taking ownership of the mess he's made. Is there anyone in the current "leadership" who looks like they care if it all goes down the tubes? If so, show me. Why is Obama acting like a President? He's filling a void that has gone on for too long. Kind of feels good having someone who acts presidential again. I'm all for it. Meanwhile, the President is again off with the military confirming how proud he is to be commander in chief. Good grief.
    Belle Mead, NJ

    November 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  402. qv210

    It's not a mistake for Obama to want to get a head start. It is very smart of him. In fact, I love how intelligent he is being about the whole situation. I wouldn't want the current administration to leave him with a deeper hole than what we are in right now, and in order for that to happen, the president-elect must make a move NOW!!!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  403. Jerry in Dayton, Ohio

    While it's important for Obama to show that he has the nation's economy at the center of his radar screen and is preparing to address things, he should not take complete ownership yet. He is not yet the President, and it could send dangerous mixed signals to the market and the world if Obama and Bush appear to be at odds in any way right now. Plus, Bush needs to shoulder the responsibility for the mess that he and his administration largely created; Bush needs to figure out how to fix the mess he created. Further, Obama needs time to get all of his team in place (not just the economic team) and develop a cohesive strategy and approach. While I voted for Obama, I take issue with your comments that he has proven he is able to lead us through such serious situations just yet. So far, all we have seen and heard are press conferences with him naming some of his economic team, but with little detail on his plans and any assumption of responsibility for those plans. Campaigning is much different than governing. It remains to be seen whether his political opponents were correct in their assessments of his abilities to lead our country through such serious times. Only time will tell. Obama is a very intelligent, thoughtful and creative man. I hope and pray for the best from him as President.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  404. Mike Dean

    Yes he should.The style of leadership we can expect from a new President can be revealed in his approach to our nation's problems.So far so good .I just hope for the sake of the country that the right wing nitwits don't become obstacles to any of the new Presiden'rs programs just for the sake of being obstacles.Elected political officials no matter what party should remember that old fashioned concept of public service to the nation as a whole and try to get us out of this economic mess.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  405. Dan

    Silly senators and silly questions. Heck no! He absolutely should be using what political influence he has now to affect the decisions that will hose his term; this is ground zero of the financial crisis. Good for him to have the sense to generate confidence.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  406. Seemi Hassan

    President Obama should not take resposibilty for some one else's mistake. He is however responsible from 21st January,2009 onwards.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  407. Ben, Rexburg ID

    If he ever wanted to prove that he is gonna be ready for day one then this is his chance. If you think the way President Elect Obama is acting now is making Clinton and McCain look silly now what will they look like if Obama starts popping out some real concrete plans and solutions because he got an early start on controling this crisis? American can't survive with Obama 'waiting his turn'.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  408. Jeff Aman

    I didn't vote for Obama, but I like the way he's taking ownership of the situation. Someone in Wahington needed to. It show guts and it may prove Hillary and McCain wrong. Regardless of whether I voted for him or not, he is going to be MY President. I'll support him anyway I can as he serves all of the American people.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  409. Vick

    Jack, Obama is not taking "ownership" of this crisis, as you suggest. He simply HAS to let people know that he is not spending the time before inaugration gloating on victory and spacing out his brain in the comfort of fawningly deferential (his equivalent of Crawford TX) while our kids starve.

    So once again, when will you guys at CNN stop discussing the comfort level of the deck chairs on the titanic? The more relevant issue may be the size, extent and location of the gash that is letting in gazillions of tons of water and sinking the ship itself.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  410. Jonathan in Los Angeles, CA


    The mistake is anyone having to question Obama for taking the responsibility for this economic crisis. The problems are right here, right now. Visit a bank and hope the doors are still open with cashiers smiling with our hard earned money in hand. No deposit. No return. I have just enough for hand sanitizer. Things might get a little dirty.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  411. Samuel, FL

    Jack, of cousre. he is the next president so why not.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  412. carol, pittsburgh, pa

    Nobody in the current administration is leading. It's better that President Elect Obama fill the void. (I'm not sure why President Bush has already mentally checked out.) Obama wants to "hit the ground running" in January. That's very impressive. I watched his 2 press conferences realizing that there's finally an extremely intelligent grown-up heading Washington! Wow, what a shock! 'seems like good cinematic fiction not real life.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  413. Linda Yung

    No. If he doesn't, who will? Not only does this show to the American people that Obama truly cares about the biggest issue facing our country today, but he is also bearing that burden for the American people. He is a leader, and that's what we need.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  414. PoliticoMike

    Let's get serious, if there's anything we learned from the campaigning is no matter what Obama does or says he's dammed either way. There's just too many haters out there, just waiting to pounce on his every move.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  415. Jackie Lindsey

    It's great that Obama is stepping up to the plate because "W" isn't.
    The reality is Obama realize that this country can't stay a float without
    immediate ACTION. While “W” sit back and give pardons, this country is in desperate need of financial stimulation.

    I pray ALL parties support Obama so we can get the change we need as a country.

    I couldn't be happier with my vote for Barack Obama.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  416. Krishh

    no, not really! George Bush isn't taking "ownership", so he should personally kick Bush of the seat and and get to work. He possibly can't make it worse.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  417. mitchell ,arkansaw

    someone has to. unfortunately, he's picking an economic team that resembles the folks responsible for the mess its in. i'm all for 'best and brightest' ,but, if they got us in a lot of this mess, and opened the doors for bush and the republicans to loot the nation's wealth, then i'm beginning to question his judgement. hillary and his nat. sec. team are a disaster ,too.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  418. Bill Tallahassee

    If not Obama..... who? IF not now...... when? We cant afford to wait for things to slide downhill on greased rails while the chief bumbler continues staring wide-eyed. Lets just ignore him, and move on starting now.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  419. dave walker,n. dartmouth,ma.

    Absolutely not. The buffoon in the White House all of a sudden can't find the front door so someone has to take the bull by the horns. He is aware of the mess he is inheriting,so the sooner he acts,the better. People may say he is showing up Bush,too bad someone wasn't able to sooner.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  420. carrel Barlow

    I think that the people in this country have lived in a political vaccuum for 8 years. There was little if any confidence in our current adminstration.. so for Barack Obama to step up his efforts to right our sinking ship is the right thing to do. I personally feel that if he didn't step in a total collapse would be assured. I think his nomination and subseqent action has helped somewhat stabilize a teetering financial calamity. He has said many times it will be a l;ong drawn out process to rectify what ails us but we feel that there is finally someone in charge that can and will make a difference.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  421. Phil from La Jolla, CA.

    Bush certainly won't, so I'm glad Obama is stepping up.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  422. Felly, Euless, TX

    A leader takes the bull by the horns; and Barak is just showing that. Job well done so far.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  423. Brandon


    Congress is on vacation and bush is acting like he his. If Obama doesn't do anything, no one will, or at least in time to save the auto and housing markets. Whats worse is that i'm only fourteen and I can see the damage.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  424. Ashley

    Obama needs to since the other guy( meaning Bush) is less likely to once again show leadership .

    November 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  425. Jennifer, Minnesota

    Great leaders take ownership, whether the results are pretty or not, whether the task is enormous or simple. Bottom line, SOMEONE has to take some responsibility to lead this country, and Bush clearly isn't-and never has. I think the President-Elect is setting the tone in the right way, should he chose to sit idly by while we destruct, he will do down in history as being as rotten a President as Bush.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  426. chris

    He will be president... it is his problem one way or the other. Besides Bush has been missing in action, Paulson seems way over his head, grasping at straws and only willing to help Wall Street as opposed to the homeowners who are getting foreclosed. Someone needs to show some leadership.... why not Obama.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  427. Jeff from Payson Az


    This catastrophe has been brewing for close to two decades. Most sensible people know George W. Bush is a loser and a corporate shill his entire life. Bush and his administration have been in charge for 8 years, 6 years Bush has the Congress in his hip pocket, and he and his administration did not act. Now we've his the proverbial iceberg and our ship is sinking. George and his administration are bailing out the corporate elitist who made him the failure he is today.

    We have very serious problems in our country and we need a leader who is serious, who has an administration and brain trust who can work together and with others to plug the leak and bail out the ship. Since George and his administration have never assumed ownership over anything, Thank GOODNESS President Elect Barack Obama is ready to lead this country. George W. Bush never has.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  428. Ron Connal

    No, with all the obstacles he had to overcome, it was obvious to many of us that here was an individual who was willing to listen, learn quickly and take charge ... that's exactly what he is doing.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  429. Greg from Texas

    Jack, I agree with you. Obama's aggressiveness to assimilate a economic team first demonstrates he was well worth my vote. I wonder as well how those people feel today that swore if Obama was elected, he would surround himself with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton types. He's not acting like a terrorist Moslem is he? He seems genuinely concerned about the economic welfare of most Americans at least early on.

    Hope folks are reminded in the next few elections by the REP's negative character attacking campaigns that otherwise might have yielded someone less capable than Obama.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  430. Bill Gordon

    I hope he does take control. the situation now is loke watching the three stooges at their best!!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  431. Wayne Smith, USCG(Ret) Yorktown, VA


    November 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  432. Rebecca Anderson

    It might get the Bubble popped sooner, but then if there is a safety net, we would have less time to prepare, right?

    November 25, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  433. Ty from MI

    Let's see, Bush & Cheney's attack on our country and then fear mongering got us into 2 wars chasing someone that the CIA is protecting, then they sold Americans out by giving ridiculous deals to US manufacturing companies who moved their business out of the country, all the while giving no-bid contracts to buddies, Haliburton and Blackwater (Cheney is now 6x wealthier than he was before becoming VP), then because Americans didn't want the Amero they decided it would be a good idea to pilfer the taxpayers one last time and gave a bunch of money to wall st/banks/insurance companies. Then because they couldn't show any improvement for main st. they thought it would be a good excuse to give MORE money to their friends and blamed mortgages again, which brings us to today. 6 Trillion (or 1/2 the U.S. economy) has been given to their banker buddies and yet main st is on a sharp decline – getting worse by the minute yet the talking heads on TV don't want to talk about the Depression that has hit America.

    Obama is the ONLY one even attempting to act like an adult. Book will be written and our grandchildren's children will ask what was wrong with us that we LET our media become censored and let our Government run amuck! Americans are too fearful to take their Government back – and that's just wrong.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  434. Ed in East Canaan, CT

    Jack: Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum so Obama really has little choice unless he wants to merely observe the ship of state continue sailing blithely through the minefield toward disaster. And lord knows we have a vacuum in the White House – had it since the '06 elections.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  435. Sasha P.

    I'm happy with what he has communicated and done so far. I would be worried if I didn't hear anything from him. I think he is showing incredible wisdom and intelligence by preparing to work on the economic issues now rather than 50 days from now. He is demonstrating a cool hand even now as President-elect and that is incredibly comforting.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  436. Chuck V, Hawthorn Woods, IL

    As President Elect Obama previously stated, there is only one President in charge at any given time. Although the President Elect is approximately two months away from taking the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States of America, his visible signs of involvement have been a welcome breath of fresh air to our depressed economy, just take a look at what the DOW has done in the past three trading days! I will be the first one to admit, we are are not out of the woods and most likely we will not see any consistent growth in our economy for the next 18-24 months. Although not yet the President, the President Elect has jumped into the trenches with all of us and feels our pain. That's more then we can say for President Bush who has been MIA.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  437. David, Fort Smith, AR

    I am so tired of people blaming the current president for failures in the economy, Iraq, etc. Just how many presidents had the kind of historic events happen in there presidency. I can only name a few. Barack is being very smart with taking control and understanding the situation his beloved country is in.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  438. Skater Joe

    I think it would be a mistake for him to keep in seclusion and not do anything. Most cowards (and probably any other person who found themselves in the president-elect's shoes right now) would probably wait until they were sworn in. They would probably sit back, let GWB take the heat, and then come into office saying "none of this is my fault."

    Our new president is not a coward! He is a leader. He has a swagger and an air of confidence that is very convincing of his abilities. It would have been against his grain to not take charge. As a youth in this country (17 years old) I was starting to get worried about everything. I haven't heard a word from President Bush. Thank God Obama is giving daily press conferences and letting us know that he is working on a plan to get us out of this mess.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  439. Tracy

    Barack Obama is not taking ownership of the financial crisis, he's taking ownership of helping to solve it. There is a big difference.
    While George Bush and Hank Paulson try to finish the job of bankrupting the Nation, President-Elect Obama is building a team that will be ready from Day One with a plan to begin the process of rebuilding our infrastructure and our economy. He recognizes that it will take time to dig out of the mess left by Bush, Paulson and Bernanke.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  440. Bob Hartman

    No, it is not a mistake for Obama to take charge of this decaying financial system. Someone has to. I would not call it ownership, Jack, because the ownership belongs to George W. Bush and his cronies.
    Bob in West Jordan, UT.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  441. Erica Greer

    Now or two months from now, it's the mess he's been left to fix. I think he shows his commitment to the American people by coming forward so quickly to address our current economic headaches. The current administration needed this type of babysitter a long long time ago if you ask me.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  442. Julie in LA

    Obama is very courageous to roll out his economic team so early, but he wants to provide needed reassurance (and he is).

    As far as the "Trillion Dollar Giveaway", Obama should stay far, far away from Paulsen-Bush Ponzi scheme..

    November 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  443. Kathy Schleicher

    In with the NEW and out with the OLD – and it is soooo desperately needed right now...!! Why wait?! If Obama is so willing (and everybody else is sitting on their thumbs anyway!), and no one else wants to stick their heads out, WHY NOT?! He's gonna get blamed for anything and everything – no matter what – ANYWAY! So he might as well get the opportunity to try something – ANYTHING! to help stabilize this crumbling mess he's "inherited!!"

    Loves Park, IL

    November 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  444. Jack Pine

    As an American, a voter of 45 years and a Veteran of the Vietnam War, I want to say I am proud to have a president elect that is getting started to get the Country in better shape than it has been in the last 8 years. How can anyone in their right mind differ with that?

    Jack Pine
    Dunlap Tn

    November 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  445. Janice from SC

    It's not a mistake, as long as people remember that the Obama administration did not create this economic situation...They inherited it! Obama has created a team of experienced, pragmatic people to guide the country through these extraordinarily difficult times. I just hope that everyone appreciates the judgment, the determination, and the commitment of our President-elect!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  446. Charles from NJ

    Not sure I understand your question. Obama is not president yet so all he can do is prepare for his time in office. This economy will improve (it always does) and it would do so whether Obama got elected or not. The seeds of recovery are already planted. Let them grow.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  447. Nancy

    Nancy in Denver, CO

    Obama's doing what he has to to get a team in place that's ready to roll on Day 1 of his presidential term. He hasn't even been officially certified by the Electoral College, so he can't 'take ownership' of anything just yet.

    However, with Bush, Paulson & Bernanke asleep at the money machine, it's good that Obama has stepped forward – just to let the country see how pathetic this current 'do nothing' team is and how his team will bring immediate change on Day 1.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jack!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  448. Linda in Arizona

    Jack, what choice does he have? If he did nothing, everyone would say he's not showing leadership. Every time he speaks, he calms the markets. Shrubby Weed isn't going to do anything because he doesn't have a clue, and he's drunk all the time. I think Obama is doing just the right things.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  449. Daniel, Indiana

    I think that it is proof that Obama will be ready to run this country on January 20, 2009. Do people think that he should wait until after the inaguation to take "ownership" of this crisis. That would be very late and a major mistake.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  450. Jeanine

    I think Obama jumping on our nations "issues" should be commended. We all cried about needing a president who would work for everyone ! Obama has shown us that he is serious about getting onwith the business at hand !

    I cant wait to see what has been addressed and accomplish during that first 100 days !!

    Jeanine Slidell, Louisiana

    November 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  451. Jim, South Carolina

    Jack; Obama had better learn that in order to take ownership, he should also have the Title. Otherwise he will likely end up where some of the Homeowners are now, in foreclosure with the American Electorate If he owns it, then he could make Wall Street come up with clear plan, the same as Big Three Auto, before Paulson gives away the store. I say we have an early Inaugration, maybe December 1, 2008

    November 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  452. Darrell in Wayne Illinois

    Finders Keepers Jack – It's not as if GWB was doing anything with it.

    Think of it as a humane issue.

    The problem is; Taking the responsibility without having the authority to do much about it might let GWB and friends off the historical hook.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  453. Davonne

    I honestly think it's a mistake for him to take responsibility for it so early because he's not in charge yet. However, him gathering a team and formulating a plan is very wise in order for him to begin his administration immediately.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  454. Keith from LA

    Bush is a COWARD-resign in SHAME now and let's get this country moving again!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  455. Dennis, Ama.,TX


    I believe that the President Elect is using a great deal of sense in taking charge of the financial situation. He is going to get things done, although I believe that things will probably get worse before getting better. The Republicans and Democrats had better plan nice with each other because the voters ARE WATCHING and I think they won't put up with partisanship.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  456. Steve Peach - Indiana

    Absolutely not Jack. The American people need to know that the new President has a firm grip on this financial crisis and that from day one recovery will begin. The only way to do that is to ACT NOW, not January 20th. A lot can happen in a little less thatn 2 months, and this country and the world needs to know that recovery in the US economy is on the way!!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  457. Susan

    No, wouldn't you take steps if you saw someone headed off of a cliff?

    November 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  458. Kathryn Musial

    Why not? It would be ridiculous for Obama to sit idly on "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" until Jan. 20 and then stick his finger on his chin and say "Gee, what should I do?" We finally have a working brain headed to the White House and you know what they say....a brain is a terrible thing to waste!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  459. TPHM

    Bush is not a "lame duck" he is worse he is a "dead duck". Bush isn't even attempting to help, he has done nothing other than ask for money, no plan, no goals. He is riding out the clock and hoping America doesn't collapse in the next 45 days.

    Obama is on track– this is what America has hired him to do. If it was my choice, we would immediately impeach Bush to get him out of office and install Obama. At least Obama is working!!!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  460. Sadanie

    President Elect Obama is demonstrating that he is a world leader, who is willing to take calculated risk to get us out of a dangerous and precarious situation.
    He could have sat back and let the situation deteriorate even further under the LACK of leadership of the current administration, but his integity and intelligence allowed him to move into the vacuum in leadership left by President Bush and his cabinet. President Bush is already gone. . .he just hasn't realized it yet!
    Whether officially or not, it is now President Obama's administration. Thank God!

    November 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  461. GM from Mankato MN

    The far right will put the blame on him any way.

    Heck from some of the blogs they blame the whole crisis on him being elected.

    At least Obama is acting in a much more presidential way than the current president. Pretty sad.

    November 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |