Anyone expecting full recovery in 2 years is heartily invited to get a head start on the next real estate boom by purchasing this lovely bridge at a special depression price.
War may well be forced on Obama, but I will adopt the standard of no "pre-emptive" wars and also no solo wars. If it's important, we have to be able to persuade at least 2 of the big 3 in Europe, plus a few other heavies, to join.
Economy stabilized by 2012 (not fully recovered, just stabilized with decent bull periods for people to cash out what they had the balls to buy when the market was down).
Some new technology boosted seriously by federal investment (with a few strings so the taxpayer can make his money back here) close towards actually making money (I's thinking nano here, but people who know tell me that's about 10 years away. I can hope, though).
75% of our troops out of Iraq by end of 2010 (as in, by the midterms...). The rest mostly in friendly Kurdistan. Iraq, of course, has to remain stable after our leaving for this to be reckoned a success.
Rollback of many provisions in the PATRIOT act.
Rectifying the FISA mess.
Roll back Bush's war on environmental regulations.
A markedly more transparent white house than Bush's. At least a press conference a month. Regular "fireside chats" would be nice too.
Find a way to harness either Russia or China to pressure Iran.
Decrease the amount of free pass Israel gets for its actions re: the Palestinians.
I'm sure I'm missing something. Oh yeah, close the brig at Gitmo. Or at east specify that only US servicemen can be held there. Don't mind that use so much. Just make it clear the SCOTUS holds sway there.
I will place my bet now and state that I believe that as president, Mr. Obama will do exceedingly well at achieving the bulk of these agendas. His ability to communicate well, forcefully yet compassionately and humbly, will be a greater carrot'n'stick, I think, than all the misquotations and doctored spins and grand-standing loyal oppositionists and disloyal opportunists (we call them Liebermans, I think) will be able to block or misconstrue.
This assessment depends not just on Mr. Obama's proven charisma, verbal grace, inherently unifying ethnic background and literally centrist geopolitical roots as a guy from virtually everywhere who rose to political prominence in the powerhouse heart of the heartland, Chicago. It also depends on my perception that Americans are scared, woebegone, frustrated, angry, discouraged, determined, hopeful, and determined all at once. They are ready to respond to positive ideas that make sense.
In a way it is a blessing that the prevailing electoral mindset for some time has moved predominantly to the right, inciting ensuing policies likewise angled toward plutocratic authoritarianism with theocratic subtones. This makes it easier for Mr. Obama to appease the mad dogs of the Far Left by simply moving to the center and looking their way often enough, a stance that should help diminish conservative backlash.
But mostly, it's the fact that people are scared and hopeful. Such a state of collective mind tends to transcend any given ideology so long as an adequate Moses appears to be at the helm.
The Jews did it in Exodus, abandoning for the most part their many idolatrous gods and settling for Yahweh as King of All Gods and an Ark of the Covenant as surrogate idol.
They were mighty scared, but full of hope.