World News America

Page last updated at 22:03 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Notes to Obama: Tom Korologos

A new president cannot have too much good advice, so BBC World News America is asking personalities from various walks of life to tell president-elect Barack Obama what they think he should do when he takes up his new job on 20 January.

TOM KOROLOGOS
Tom Korologos
Top Republican lobbyist
Served Presidents Ford and Nixon
Former US ambassador to Belgium
Here, Washington insider and Republican lobbyist Tom Korologos shares his wisdom.

I've been poking around this town for 40, 50 years and I've seen them all come and go.

You come into this job at a very sensitive time in this country's history. A president and a leader has to show confidence, has to show optimism - a person who will get us through these difficult times.

Remember that you are a caretaker of the White House - leave it as good as you found it because you are off to a good start.

My gosh, even the most partisan Republicans are saying the list of people you have put together, both in the economic arena and the international arena are excellent choices.

Use your cabinet - those people were selected because of the brilliance of their experience and their backgrounds.

Many times Congress will take you on - that's fine if they win one, you move on to the next one. Congress is never going to be satisfied with everything that you send up and expect that.

One of the fun things about being president is the spontaneity of what you can do
Tom Korologos

In golf we say, don't over-swing - well, it's all right to over-swing once in a while on a policy that you feel strong about.

The other thing they tell you in golf is keep your head down because there are a lot of people around here that want to take it off. There's nothing wrong with cutting a deal.

One of the fun things about being president is the spontaneity of what you can do. Take off one afternoon and go up and sit in [Senate majority leader] Harry Reid's office up on Capitol Hill - pay a surprise visit, tell him to bring in a bunch of Senators for a coke or tea some afternoon.

Take off and do something unusual and let the people see you - that's one of your strengths - let the people talk to you, let the people be able to come and talk to you and your staff and others.

I've said many times you don't have to work in the White House - you get to work in the White House and if you go in with that kind of an attitude you are a lot better off.

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Notes to Obama: Tom Korologos

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