Obama Talks Iraq, Education And Dog Cleanup W/ Kids

A bunch of Chicago school kids got President-elect Obama to go beyond talking points and expound on his plans for Iraq, diplomacy and doggy doo.

Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday talked with about a dozen students at Dodge Academy, where he had earlier held a news conference to announce Arne Duncan as his Education secretary. The lucky students were from the first through fourth grades.

When a kid asked about Iraq, Obama said he planned to have U.S. troops home within a year and a half, according to the press pool report. When asked by another student what he plans to do as president, he said he'll "make sure all kids get a good education."

He confirmed to one student that he's indeed going to the White House in 2009 and that he is getting a dog for his two daughters. He then added: "I want to make sure my daughters take care of this dog, and if they do their business, and you've got some poop, you don't just leave it there."

When a student asked him if he'll go to other countries, he said he would and that he expected to meet some kings and queens. But Obama seemed to disappoint the kids when he said he's thinking about longer school days.

The president-elect even got in a little teasing of Biden. Hearing that one student was studying decimals, Obama joked, "Decimals! Wow, Joe doesn't even know his decimals!"

Obama took more than double the number of questions from the kids than he usually takes at news conferences, the pool report noted. Obama has taken three questions at most news conferences.