Friday, January 2, 2009

Not yet in office, Obama has full plate

by: Viviana Hurtado NECN/ABC

The Obama family left Hawaii, ready to face much colder weather in Chicago before heading to Washington this weekend. Beyond the frigid temperatures, the incoming President will face some of the most daunting international and domestic challenges.

On the top of the list, convincing Congress to support what some economists said could be a trillion-dollar stimulus package to shock the economy out of a deepening recession. But that will require a Presidential lobbying campaign of lawmakers, with the first formal approach scheduled for Monday, when the President-elect is expected to meet with Congressional leaders.

"The Congress is ready to spend money," Cokie Roberts said. "And he (Obama) can really do a great big series of economic measures, including he could do some important things on health care."

Other domestic challenges include reforming education and weaning the United States off of its dependence on foreign oil by developing green technologies.

Peace in the Middle East has skyrocketed to the top of the President-elect's agenda, as the fighting between Israel and Hamas continued to escalate. Not to be forgotten is the need to stamp out the seeds of extremism with roots in Pakistan, and the continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"He's got the Bush people that put the, were in the war at the end of the administration," ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd said. "He's got to get us out in some lengthy timetable that probably has to be 18 months or less."

Political watchers said the scope of the economic problems may require the President-elect to break some campaign promises right away, like raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year.

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Visit the NEW Obama Leadership Store!

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