US DIARIES

Out-Trumped Obama gives president-elect a grand tour of 1600 Penn Ave

USA-ELECTION/OBAMA-TRUMP U.S. President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump (left) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington | Reuters

“At least I will go down as a president,” Barack Obama had responded, just days before, to a taunt by Donald Trump that the former would go down in history as the worst commander-in-chief.

On Thursday, Obama must have regretted his ready wit as he played host to Trump -- now president-elect.

Trump's first engagement in his official capacity was to visit his future home, a bungalow much more modest than the palatial residences he's used to. But White House exudes power, something that must have overwhelmed even Trump. He will be the oldest man to become president of the United States.

According to commentators, wife Melania accompanying him was a deviation from past practice. The future first lady had a conversation with Michelle Obama. Perhaps they were discussing the finer points of delivering speeches. Their meeting, like the Obama-Trump meeting, was off-bounds for staff and press.

The Trumps, accompanied by son-in-law Jared Kushner and a tight core group, later toured the Capitol. Trump has shed his campaign persona with surprising ease and behaved 'presidential' as he'd promised to, once elected. He spoke grandly of Obama and later tweeted about it, adding that his wife had a good interaction with “Mrs O”.

The next weeks will witness many more meetings as the outgoing administration hands over power to the new one. Obama has promised to be co-operative to ensure a smooth transition.

The country is taking baby steps, learning to live with the new reality. Even as people continue to protest in cities across the country, the market is on a high. Analysts are breaking their heads trying to decode the voting trend, which ushered in a completely unexpected result.

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