Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Herculean Task for a New President

Just sitting here thinking about the incredibly long laundry list of challenges facing Barack Obama about 36 hours out from his inauguration as America's 44th president. Other than Abraham Lincoln facing the prospect of the nation going to war against itself, I cannot think of a more challenging time for any individual about to ascend to the presidency.

The picture at left was originally taken by Kyle Kutuchief at the Chief Source in early 2007 at a Cleveland, Ohio campaign rally. My how the world and country have changed since that photo was taken. I hope and pray that the American public is patient because it's going to take a good long while to turn this ship around.

Below are just some of the issues in no particular order (if you can think of others, please feel free to comment).

Domestic Challenges

Rising health care costs
Crumbling infrastructure
Rising education costs
Rising energy costs

Economic Challenges

A record deficit ($1+ trillion) and debt ($10+ trillion)
A plummeting stock market and economic downturn, complete with sharply rising unemployment
Crashing real estate markets

Environmental Challenges

Global warming/climate change
Conservation
Endangered species

International Challenges

War on terror
Iraq War
Afghanistan War
A resurgent Russia
China and India on the rise
Iran's nuclear ambitions
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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