By Julianna Goldman
July 27 (Bloomberg) -- Democrat Barack Obama said he is convening a meeting on the economy tomorrow that will include former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and billionaire investor Warren Buffett as he pivots to the U.S. economy after a nine-day trip abroad.
``I expect some further fine-tuning of short-term policies based on what's happened over the last several months,'' Obama said in an interview last night aboard his presidential campaign plane returning to Chicago from London.
The meeting in Washington will also include former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Anna Burger, secretary- treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, said David Axelrod, Obama's chief strategist.
Rubin advised New York Senator Hillary Clinton during her primary campaign against Obama. Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., plans to phone in to the meeting, Axelrod said.
Obama, 46, an Illinois senator, said he wants to ``really work through in detail some of the immediate steps that may need to be taken both between now and the end of the year and after inauguration'' to strengthen the housing and financial markets and to talk more about long-term economic strategies.
`Do Business With Me'
Obama expressed satisfaction with his foreign trip.
``I think voters can take a look at this trip and say to themselves that this guy can function effectively on the world stage,'' Obama said.
He stopped in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, where he visited troops, conferred with military commanders and met with dozens of foreign leaders. The trip allowed Obama to make his case that he's ready to be commander-in-chief as John McCain, 71, the presumptive Republican nominee, casts him as a neophyte on foreign affairs and national security.
``The reports of the heads of state that I met with were that they could do business with me and that obviously is what we wanted to make clear,'' Obama said.
The threat of a nuclear Iran dominated discussions in Jordan, Germany, France, Britain and especially in Israel, where Obama's stated willingness to meet with adversaries has raised concern. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly threatened Israel and questioned its right to exist.
Obama said Israeli leaders he met with, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Likud Party Leader Benjamin Netanyahu, didn't express those concerns, and he praised Olmert for engaging in diplomacy with Syria and Hamas through intermediaries.
``They recognize that we have to have a very hard-headed, non-ideological approach about how do we move our strategic interest forward,'' Obama said.
``I think they have confidence that my interest in diplomacy does not preclude all other approaches to potential American power, including military power,'' Obama said.
The U.S. and its European allies accuse Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program; Iran insists its activities are peaceful and legal under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Obama, whose stops in Afghanistan and Iraq came during the first leg of his trip, also said he's ``not yet'' confident that the recently elected Pakistani government will provide the necessary cooperation with U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization efforts to root out al-Qaeda and Taliban base camps in the tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
``What we've seen so far has been inadequate,'' Obama said. ``There is no doubt that we have to have a greater cooperation with Pakistan.''
Obama, who has said the U.S. must refocus on Afghanistan, has called for a phased 16-month withdrawal of troops from Iraq to redeploy two or three more brigades to Afghanistan. He said, however, that the extra brigades are a ``necessary but not sufficient requirement for us to solve the problem.''
Obama said he's ``hoping that I have a chance to meet him and have discussions with him,'' though he didn't say any meeting has been arranged.
When it comes to asking for more cooperation from European allies in the NATO effort in Afghanistan, Obama said, ``we need to make sure that we are helping to make clear what's at stake.''
``Hopefully to the extent that we are showing an interest in their top agenda items like climate change, that strengthens cooperation and gives them more political room to put more resources and more efforts in Afghanistan,'' he said.
In one month, Obama will accept his party's nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He refused to comment on his vice presidential search.
He said he's focusing on making the convention ``more open and inclusive,'' and that he's been thinking ``thematically'' about his acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Aug. 28.
Obama said he has been ``spending a lot of time figuring out how can we refresh the format so it's not only an interesting TV show but also it builds on grassroots organization.''
Obama said in his meeting with advisers he expects to ``get their read on where the economy is going,'' and fashion some ``additional steps'' to address the short-term economic and financial and housing issues.
After the foreign trip, he is expected over the next week to spend most of his time talking about domestic issues with a special focus on the economy.