London Guardian 
Monday, Nov 17, 2008
Just two weeks after his historic election, US president-elect Barack Obama yesterday confirmed he would have Republicans in his administration and admitted there were times when he did not know where to begin in trying to deal with the enormous challenges awaiting him in the White House.
In his first interview since the election, Obama acknowledged the daunting nature of assuming office at a time of war and global economic crisis.
“The challenges that we are confronting are enormous and they are multiple. And so there are times during the course of a given day where you think: ‘Where do I start in terms of moving – moving things forward?’,” the president-elect told CBS television’s 60 Minutes programme.
He said conversations with past presidents had persuaded him there was a “certain loneliness” to being in the White House.
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“You’ll get advice, and you’ll get counsel,” he said. “Ultimately, you’re the person who’s going to be making decisions. And – and I think that – even now, you know, I … you can already feel that fact.”
The interview, which also featured Obama’s wife, Michelle, was a mixture of the personal as well as the political. The couple, who had some good-natured sparring, also said the fact that he was president-elect had not yet entirely sunk in.
However, Obama said he began to gain a sense of what his victory meant for many Americans on election night when his mother-in-law reached over to squeeze his hand.
“You had this sense of, well, what’s she thinking? For a black woman who grew up in the 50s, in a segregated Chicago, to watch her daughter become first lady of the United States,” he said. “There was that sense across the country.”