Presidential dogs have served as distractions for the press, image enhancers, and even tools of foreign policy.
An auto bailout, a second stimulus package, and foreclosure help are on hold as Washington awaits the new administration.
A period of reestablishing relations with Iran's partners seems likely. Also expect contacts with lower-tier Iranian officials.
In what terrorism analysts say is an attempt to show that the president-elect may not meet Muslims' expectations for change in the Middle East, Ayman al-Zawahiri called Obama 'dishonorable.'