Thank you again for this great honor. Today I want to outline for you the steps I will be taking to prepare for the Presidency. Of course I will be assembling a staff to help me choose the members of my administration. But I also intend to take an active role in the process by meeting with former holders of the offices of Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and Attorney General as well as selected former heads of other departments. As I said during my campaign, I believe our nation needs a period of healing. To help bring this about, I intend to appoint cabinet members from both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as men and women who are liberals and conservatives. In considering important issues, I am not afraid to listen to the ideas of both sides, as well as those of Americans who consider themselves neither liberal nor conservative.
This morning I spoke with President Bush and he was gracious enough to offer me the use of Camp David to hold these meetings. My family, my closest staff and I will be flying there next week.
Before I hold these meetings, I will visit all of the living ex-Presidents. I hope that they will give me advice not just on policy, but on the practical side of being President, such as handling staff, knowing when to delegate authority and when not to.
The American people deserve to know what their president is doing, so I intend to release regular descriptions of how I spent my week. Without endangering national security or infringing on the privacy of the people with whom I meet, I hope to give you an idea of what it is really like to be President of the United States.