"Both men made campaign finance reform an issue in their presidential campaigns and they are also both concerned about ethics reform and the size of the US budget deficit.

"Anything they can reach on these areas will aid Obama when he reaches office," she said.

Fierce clashes

"[We spoke about] taking on government waste and bitter partisanship in Washington in order to restore trust in government and bring back prosperity and opportunity for every hard-working American family," a brief statement issued after the meeting read.

The pair also posed briefly for pictures alongside Rahm Emanuel, Obama's incoming White House chief of staff, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator for the state of South Carolina and friend of McCain's.

The talks were in contrast to the men's presidential campaign which was often marked by fierce clashes over the financial crisis, healthcare and the war in Iraq.

Obama, who resigned his Illinois senate seat on Sunday, has recently been interviewing some of his former political opponents, including Hillary Clinton, his former rival for the Democratic nomination, as a possible candidate for the secretary of state post in his administration.

Advisers in both camps to the former candidates have said they do not expect Obama to consider McCain for an administration job when his takes office on January 20.