President Obama

By EDITORIAL  |  January 21, 2009

There is no doubt that in the coming months and years Obama will need every ounce of vigor he can muster. The economic deterioration is fast outpacing Washington's ability to cope with it. A very vague end might be in the making for the Iraq War some time in the next two or three years. There is no end in sight for the war in Afghanistan, which seems destined to end up as an Iraq-like quagmire — that is, if it is not one already. And the huge, multi-billion dollar costs of caring for those wounded service men and women will not only pack a budgetary wallop that has until now been taboo, it will strain the resilience of a health-care system that is already out of whack.

As Obama unabashedly acknowledged, the nation's mettle will be tested in ways that only our parents and grandparents have been. But this is not the occasion to dwell on the obvious challenges Obama and the nation faces.

This is a time for the nation to regain not only its sense of common purpose, but its sense of collective pride; perhaps each of us can now understand the prescience of Michelle Obama when she said, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country . . . not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment."

Obama has pledged to "lead once more." America — and the world — is ready.

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