Obama holds first news conference as president-elect

Barack Obama, as US President-elect, speaking during first post-election press conference after meeting with his economic advisory team, behind him are (l-r): Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and newly appointed Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Chicago, Illinois.

President-elect Obama says his transition team will be closely monitoring developments in the reeling economy.

Obama told a news conference Friday that the hardships many Americans are suffering economically are an "urgent reminder" that the nation's leaders must act swiftly to stabilize the financial industry.

But at the same time, Obama said he respects that the decisions are President Bush's to make until inauguration day next Jan. 20.

Surrounded by a large group of economic advisers, he said he has asked his transition team, specifically, to work on some ideas to help the staggering auto industry.

Obama, who soundly defeated John McCain in Tuesday's elections, also said he wasn't ready to announce any selections for his Cabinet.

He said, "When we have an announcement about Cabinet appointments, we will make them." He also said he understands that "people want to know who's going to make up our team."

In a light-hearted moment, Obama says getting a dog for his two daughters when the family moves into the White House in January is "a major issue."

Obama told reporters that his mention on election night of getting a puppy for Sasha and Malia had "generated more interest" on his Web site than any other topic.

He said, "We have two criteria that have to be reconciled. One is that Malia is allergic so it has to be hypoallergenic."

Obama also said there were a number of breeds that were hypoallergenic, but that the family's preference is to adopt a dog from a shelter.

Obama added: "But obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me. So whether we're going to be able to balance those two things, I think, is a pressing issue on the Obama household."

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Obama's newly chosen White House chief of staff, was among those who stood at his side, along with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.