President Obama's first one hundred days
Previously published on December 5, 2008
A leader can only be great when there is a need for great leaders while troubled times tend to turn even the most mundane individuals into powerful historic figures. With crisis after crisis looming, the American people have called upon Barack Obama to serve as our world's most powerful political leader. Often the first one hundred days of a Presidency define the character and capacity of the latest Administration, but the failures of the Bush Administration make Obama's first one hundred days ever more critical to the economic, military, and political power of the United States.
In his first one hundred days, President Obama must instill confidence in his capacity to shift the Country's momentum away from the unhealthy policies of the last eight years toward a new golden age.
With the brewing economic crisis erupting into a massive world catastrophe, the Obama Administration must immediately rally investors to believe in the security of the US dollar and US markets once again, so Wall Street can finally stabilize. Because this Democrat's administration focuses on Main Street and the economic impact on the American citizen, the new government can only inspire confidence by demonstrating it can keep unemployment down, spur new job growth, and generate new consumer spending.
Therefore, the first one hundred days must produce an economic plan that prevents large employment segments of the economy, such as the auto industry, from collapsing, keeps more people in their homes, recruits new home owners to soak up supply, unfreezes the credit crunch by ensuring confidence in the financial sector, and provides opportunity for businesses to create good paying jobs.
Although these goals are necessary to halt the economic crisis, the Obama Administration must also consider long term goals in order to be favored by history and to avoid future catastrophic failures. With or without a filibuster proof majority, a Democratic President can accomplish a great deal when his party controls a wide majority in both Houses.
Meanwhile, the current generations of Democrats have learned from the mistakes of the past, unlike Republicans, so fiscal responsibility, national security, and reasonable taxes are concerns of our leaders.
Looking at the Big Three, for example, Democrats have not simply tried to push legislation for loans, but rather, tied money to a better business model and superior, energy efficient, environmentally friendly cars. For the long term, Obama must retool our economic institutes so there is greater transparency while protecting corporate secrets and adding regulation where it is essential. With a stimulus package of around a trillion dollars, the Obama Administration has a great opportunity to address these goals.
The fundamentals of national economy must be rock solid for the Nation and the American people to prosper; however, the fundamental building blocks of the economy are often neglected. To maximize a massive stimulus package, the Obama Administration must do more than generate new consumer spending and job creation; he must invest in our society. As a few example, strong education, quality health care, and a healthy environment are key elements in the long term success of the US and its economy.
In education, he must use funds to open greater access to loans and grants while brining together a cross section of educators to reform the cost and quality of primary and secondary education. In health care, his immediate goals must start by expanding state sponsored health care for children and the poor while improving coverage and decreasing costs by pushing for electronic medical records as well as a coverage reforms. For the environment, using money to spur a new "greener" industry is the best possible way of creating jobs and decreasing energy costs.
Furthermore, in the first months of his Presidency, Obama must review and improve all national security programs, as well as emergency response services, while fulfilling his promise to close the Iraq front. In doing so, he risks taking the blame for the Iraq
failure from George W. Bush; therefore, his Administration needs to rally international support to Iraq while priming negotiations with nations like Iran, so Iraq can hope for survival as a US ally.
On the Afghanistan/Pakistan front, he needs to both support the governments and sovereignty of these two fledgling democracies as he sets a policy to crush Al Qaeda. Finally, he must prepare his Administration to deal with emerging crises that have been neglected by the Bush Administration and will unfold as time goes on. Broadly speaking, Obama must spend his first days in office trying to regain the trust and support of our allies by demonstrating he will address the interests of other nations, is willing to work as a partner in the global community, and expects the rest of the work to step up when it comes to global crises.
Overall, the first one hundred days of the Obama Administration will be an extremely busy time for all of our National leaders. As Joe Biden so clumsily pointed out during the end of the 2008 Presidential Campaign, Obama will be tested; the same is true for all our US
Senators and Congressmen as well. Although this time will define the character and limits of our new leaders, it will be a time devoted to starting change. The goals in these first months should be to generate the policies that will evidentially lead the United States
to a healthier, prosperous era.
Meanwhile, the fruits of this laborious process will not be seen in the coming months, but rather, over the next few years. With Barack Obama continuously taking steps to assure and inspire Americans that he understands what needs to be done, it is hopeful the Obama Government can inspire enough confidence in our economy, the world community, and the American people that change can immediately be seen; however, real change takes time.