By his own admission, Barack Obama's first post-election wisecrack wasn't the wisest of cracks.

At his first news conference as president-elect Friday, Obama was asked whether he had spoken to ex-presidents to prepare for the transition. The Illinois Democrat said he had "spoken to all of them—that are living." He added: "I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances."

Within minutes, the conservative blogosphere was rippling with outrage over Obama's unfortunate attempt at humor.

"Obama mocks Nancy Reagan in first press conference," declared the conservative Free Republic Web site.

Obama later called the former first lady "to apologize for the careless and off-handed remark," a spokeswoman said.

Reagan consulted astrologers when she was in the White House. The 87-year-old widow of former President Ronald Reagan is currently recuperating after a fall at her home.