RICHMOND, Virginia, (AFP) - Democrat Barack Obama Wednesday warned the next US president faced a tough initiation whoever he is, rejecting Republican claims his relative inexperience would leave him exposed on the world stage. The Illinois Senator sought to bolster his national security credentials by meeting a group of top foreign policy advisors a day after Republican rival John McCain said he would be found lacking in a global foreign policy crisis. "Whoever is the next president is going to have to deal with a whole host of challenges internationally, and that a period of transition in a new administration is always one in which we have to be vigilant," Obama told reporters. "We have to be careful, we have to be mindful that as we pass the baton in this democracy, that others don't take advantage of it." "That is true whether it's myself or Senator McCain and it has been throughout our history."