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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    What To Expect?

    Now that all the pomp and circumstance is over, the time has come to really start realizing what the Obama administration’s first year in office will be like. There are a slew of monumental issues on the table that demand immediate action by the incoming president. An economic crisis, two wars, a planet in peril — we all know the stump speech pledges. Bush is out and Obama is in. So how exacty will his campaign promises unfold?

    Some say that Obama has dug himself a hole. Many of his proposals were originally outlined prior to the deep economic downturn seen in the early fall months of last year. He has tried to take this financial disaster in stride but even he admits that some of his bolder plans will have to be deferred until the current crisis is alleviated.

    The truth of the matter is that not everyone is going to be happy. Some liberals, especially within the gay community, have already grown soured by Obama’s choice of Rick Warren, who delivered the invocation at the inauguration. For those who saw this pick of an anti-gay pastor as alienating, others believe it to be Obama simply fulfilling his loudest touted campaign commitment of ending bipartisanship and working with those who he ardently disagrees with.

    With Obama now in the Oval Office it will be interesting to see how his first 100 days unfold. From his inauguration speech all the way through the 10 balls he attended later that night, he never hesitated to reaffirm that his fresh approach and broad perspective were going to bring Washington together to get things done. So what can we expect to see actually change in his first few months?

    He has already ordered that Guantanamo cases be halted for 120 days. This is just one of his campaign promises that people are expecting him to follow through on. The fact that he is acting so early on such a deeply divisive national security issue does not make his job any easier, it only complicates his agenda. But this is the type of change people voted for however, and as of now, it looks like they are going to get what they wanted.

    Spending will increase during Obama’s first fiscal year as it has in the past. Some of his more aggressive aims in education and alternative energy funding might have to be cut back, possibly until his possible second term, and definitely until whenever the current financial crisis is “solved”. The main goal on the table now is to revamp the American economy. How and if he can do this is a whole other debate, but it will be a focal point of his policies and leadership early on this year.

    Whatever happens, Obama is savvy enough to know that action is often more popular than inaction, and in these times, the one thing people are demanding more than anything is for the government to get them help now.

    His biggest challenge lies in getting others aboard the Obama Express. He needs to get other politicians to understand is that people do not really care about ideologies and political philosophies as much as they think they do. At the end of the day, the average American just wants to know that their job is secure and their family is safe.

    Obama’s hopeful attitude brings a good deal of positive energy to the scene, but it only goes so far. It is time for him to show us, the American people, what he can really change about this country. Will he truly unite us to get work done? Or will the reality of bitter bickering and partisan politics come crashing down?

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