What should Obama’s top policy priority be?

There’s no change in the topic you all want to talk about – it’s Obama, Obama, Obama. Your reaction over the past two days to Barack Obama’s election victory has been incredible (our phone system is definitely looking forward to a break over the weekend). You’ve talked about the historical significance of his victory, whether he’s given you new hope in your life, and whether this election has changed the way you see the US.

Today we’re going to get down to the nuts and bolts – when Barack Obama moves into the White House on January 20th, what should be top of his to-do list?

There’s no shortage of things for him to be dealing with … on foreign policy alone we could talk about the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, relations with Pakistan, Russia, Iran and China, the peace process in Israel and Palestine … then throw in the economy, healthcare, the environment and energy policy, and it’s clear the new President Obama is going to have his work cut out.

What do you think should be his top priority – what’s the issue that’s most important to you? And what sorts of policies do you want to see in that area – radical change from the Bush administration, or is that too risky?

Post your thoughts here, and join the conversation on air at 1800 GMT.

And here’s one other decision the new first family is going to have to make.

177 Responses to “What should Obama’s top policy priority be?”

  1. 1 Nelson Isibor
    November 7, 2008 at 14:26

    Obama’s top priority should focus on undoing the mistakes of the out going administration and also to deliver on his campaign promises. The American people voted for change. He should deliver that change to them.

  2. 2 Mandie in Cape Coral, FL
    November 7, 2008 at 14:28

    I honestly believe his top priority will have to be the economy. With his move to already meet with his economic advisors to start the transition he listened to the voters and thats what their cry was, fix the economy. I also think he can start this plan along with another. Possibly go so bold as to begin the framework for a healthcare plan. If Hilliary takes a position with Barack she will already have a general idea, if not a solid one written down, on what to do about health care and that plan could aid the economic plan in so many ways. The offering of “universal” health care coupled with a reduction of costs to the regular citizens would equal more capital to spend or invest, which in turn gives a boost. But, that thought process is very ambitious, and unless one of his advisors says emphaticaly that he can do them at the same time, he will err of the side of conservative beginings, and start one task at a time.

  3. November 7, 2008 at 14:30

    Work towards forging world peace by bringing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to an end as well as making peace between Israel and Palestine, bringing Iran, Syria and North Korea into the international community.

  4. 4 Mandie in Cape Coral, FL
    November 7, 2008 at 14:42

    @ Nelson

    Yes we voted for change, but it will take a while. We can’t expect it all at once and he has to start with one thing.

  5. November 7, 2008 at 14:44

    From my perspective there is absolutely no risk in many radical changes to the Bush administration’s atrocious civil liberties policies. Obama’s actions should in no way be limited to addressing civil liberties. However, I see little reason why these actions cannot be achieved immediately while addressing the economy, wars, and pursuing the myriad promises Obama made during his campaign.

    Day One: Stop Torture, Close Guantanamo, End Extraordinary Renditions

    First 100 Days: End Warrantless spying, Review Terrorist watch lists, rescind the “Ashcroft Doctrine” that limits the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, end government monitoring of political activists, suspend the regulations for the Real ID Act, and restore fundamental religious-liberty protections by halting Bush Administration efforts to permit direct funding of houses of worship, underwrite religious proselytism with taxpayer dollars, and allow government-funded religious discrimination.

    This may seem like a lot to ask for but it is actually a bare bones list that would simply halt the assault on civil liberties that has taken place under the Bush administration.

  6. 6 John in Salem
    November 7, 2008 at 14:50

    Economy first, with a freeze on foreclosures and interest hikes by banks and credit card companies. Also, legislation to abolish the “universal defaults” that allow card companies to raise rates if a card holder is late on a library fine or a utility bill.

    There’s been way too much leeway given to financial institutions to gouge consumers and it has to stop.

  7. November 7, 2008 at 14:54

    Obama was elected on a single day. It’s unlikely that he can solve all the problems in his term as president. There is the legacy of the outgoing administration concerning international conflicts and the financial crisis affecting the major economies.

    In politics, it is hard to predict how the events can turn out as from time to time there are emerging crises. But as the president of the most powerful country on earth, Obama has to balance foreign policies with domestic ones. In other words, he should take popular policies at home and abroad to help the US gain its lost credibility around the world due to the unpopular outgoing Republican administration and to materialize the change for which he has been campaigning.

    Perhaps his priority should be to redress the US economy to help the ordinary American feel secure and not under of the threat of poverty and redundancy. In foreign policy, he should solve the problems in the Middle East as the end of the conflict in this region means less spending on defense and more money in the national economy. In other words, peace in this region means billions of dollar in the US treasury rather than on the battle zones, particularly in Iraq.

  8. 8 CarlosK
    November 7, 2008 at 15:24

    Good day WHYSayers

    President-elect Obama’s top priority is to restore America’s prestige. The world is literally dying because the USA has abdicated its responsibilty and lost its respect and credibility as the leader of the free world.

    Religious leaders especially the head of the Roman Catholic church is trying to fill this void. This is a very dangerous development as church and state should be separated at all time! Failure to do so will result in religious intolerance followed by religious persecution. President-elect Obama should forthwith take the spotlight away from the religious leaders and assume is mandate as the leader of not only America but the free world.

    The second priority is to withdraw from Iraq. The process of healing this blackeye must start now. President Obama must articulate his withdraw strategy forthwith. This should be followed by a summit with muslim leaders even before European leaders. The mandate President Obama got was for change not only change of administration but a change of priorities. There will never be peace in the middle east or the world for that matter when palestinians are perceived to be oppressed by Isrealis. The two states solution must take on added urgent. The chances for success are encouraging as there is a lot of good will coming from muslim world towards President Obama.

  9. 9 CarlosK
    November 7, 2008 at 15:28

    Finally, the USA economy must be revived! The world is suffering because America is poor. Only when Americans feel rich again and start to spend and travel will the world come out of the recession. The Caribbean economies are currently suffering from pneumonia because America is sneezing. We need a vibrant American economy in order for our economy to survive. The tourism sector has been hit badly! The remittances are drying up! We need the American economy to be strong again in order for us to survive!

    My prays are with President-elect Obama. His elevation to the presidency is a divine appointment, if he continues to listen to the people, respect and work with them, his presidency will be of even more historic proportions. If he does what King Solomon did not do, that is always walk with God, the world will never stop talking about him.

  10. 10 Philippa
    November 7, 2008 at 15:28

    1/ climate change, because nothing else really matters compared with that topic

    2/ the Middle East peace process, because justice for Palestinians would cause the same sense of worldwide amazed disbelief Obama’s victory did, and would go a long way towards improving, by sheer osmosis, the situation on many of the other fronts mentioned in your introduction, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, etc.

  11. November 7, 2008 at 15:34

    The number 1 policy priority for Obama is to get rid of all those relatives world over claiming to be related to him because the have initials B & O especially here in KENYA.
    Second he should take time to organise himself coz so many things are getting thrown at his face and in times of pressure an almighty GAFFE can rear its ugly head.He needs to sober up and organize himself.

  12. 12 Vijay
    November 7, 2008 at 15:37

    What should Obamas’ top policy priority be?

    Winning the New Cold War with Russia should be Obamas top policy priority.

    Iraq has been tamed,time to pull out .

    Al Queda are weakened to the point where they are not really too much of a threat,ie time to make friends with Al Queda ,Bin Laden and the Taliban.

    PAKISTAN is turning around to tackle its problems with extremists and India.

    There is dialogue in the middle east,however slow the progress.

    The economic situation can be managed,China and Japan are on the side of the USA,America has the worlds reserve currency,the dollar.

  13. 13 Mandie in Cape Coral, FL
    November 7, 2008 at 15:43

    @ Nathan

    would you please explain more of what you want done in Obama’s first 100 days? I can’t figure out if you are just paranoid or what.
    I agree that religion should in no way be funded by the country, and information should be made available as soon as it is safe to be made so. But why would you just stop watching people like political activists and shut down Guantanamo?
    Wasn’t Ayers, one of the damage points of his campaign, as political activist that blew up institutions? Do you really think he will halt a practice that could lead to that same thing happening again? Political activists around the world commit harsh crimes daily to try and prove points, if those horrible acts can be prevented through survaillance, then why stop? And how many people in GitMo should really be there? I am not an activist of the torture that I am sure is going on there, but that would be like going into your local jail and letting everyone go because you were elected to city council. It doesn’t make sense. People should be released on a case by case basis, not just, hey we’re closed.
    But, I can admit I am not the smartest person by any means, and maybe my thoughts are not provacative enough for you or radical enough, but I feel they exercise good judgment, and my opinion.

  14. 14 Vijay
    November 7, 2008 at 15:47

    If Obama is not up to tackling the Russians,then his top policy priority should be to write a new Bill of Rights, a new Constitution and an updated Declaration of Independence for the United States ofAmerica in the 21st Century and beyond.

  15. 15 Steve
    November 7, 2008 at 15:48

    @ Philippa

    Obama can stop the Palestinians from killing each other and driving the Christian palestinians out?

  16. November 7, 2008 at 15:49

    I hope President Obama’s priorities are our economy and the War in Iraq and Alfganistan. While many issues will take time to tackle, the appointments the President makes for his cabinet and top administrative post in Washington will demonstrate the direction, strength and priority he is putting behind each issue.

    President Obama’s tap of Rahm Emanuel for the Cheif-of-Staff demonstrates his eagerness to get things done in Washington DC. Emmanuel was nicked named Rambo for his ardent approach to issues. With all the buzz around the President’s potential appointments, I am zealously looking forward to reading who gets tapped.

  17. 17 Mandie in Cape Coral, FL
    November 7, 2008 at 15:58

    If Obama met with muslim leaders before anyone else, the people could very well impeach him! The conspiracy theory is deep and to do that would be political suicide if not more dangerous. Obama will have to tread waters lightly and evaluate every move and every 20 past that one in order o make sound decisions. We voted for change in positive ways and to undo the quick jumps that Bush made, not do more of the same.

  18. 18 debbie in Cleveland
    November 7, 2008 at 15:58

    Good Morning
    I believe President-elect Obama’s first priority is to start the healing process here in the US – there are great splits here and some of those splits were in place long before this terribly long election process. He will have to do this at the same time as working on the economy. After that??? it is a toss up……..where to start????? He does come into a real mess.
    I do know that I have to keep him in prayers and all of us have to too. because there is much to be done, has to be done, healing, lots of growing to do and he is just one person. He can’t do it all, he is not the Savior, but like someone said this morning on WCPN, he is a servant leader and we ALL will have to help him and our government officials too. We need to pray too because Pres-elect Obama will be judged much more harshly than anyone else in power and even more than McCain would have been if the election was were reversed. Racism/classism is not going away overnight and I look forward to his election will get the conversation started again – no surface talk, real movement. Racism/classism is not a myth, it is real and we now have to face it. I believe the US and the world is now ready to start moving to really address and correct the past. There is a better tomorrow.
    I am so enjoying the feeling of Obama’s win – smiling and a different feeling out on the streets, not a depressing feeling out there. Change is coming, it is here and we are all part of it. Peace, Peace, Peace

  19. 19 Roy, Washington DC
    November 7, 2008 at 15:59

    Obama’s first priority should be restoring the USA’s reputation in the eyes of the international community. Right now, we are seen as little more than a bully, and if we want to be taken seriously in world affairs, we need to reverse that.

  20. 20 John in Scotland
    November 7, 2008 at 15:59

    universal healthcare , nationalisation of the banking system , prosecution and surcharging of the banking elite .,complete overhaul of energy policy with emphasis on energy conservation and alternative sources .

  21. 21 John in Scotland
    November 7, 2008 at 16:02

    oh and get out of Iraq in some sort of sensible organised way as well as sort oot once and for all the Palestinian question

  22. 22 MERW
    November 7, 2008 at 16:07

    In response to the marines who felt President Elect Obama cannot lead the country, I ask, did you feel that the Republican government and Bush have done a good job in the last 8 years? The horrendous problems Obama will inherit are directly from the actions of Bush. Instead of being negative and pessimistic, encourage your new President to do the very best he can for our country. Before he can actually put his own ideas into action, he will have to spend years cleaning up the disasters created by the Republicans.

  23. 23 Steve
    November 7, 2008 at 16:12

    @ Roy

    What does the reputation of the USA have to do with the economy? That people in France might love americans won’t create jobs in Ohio.

    So Obama’s first appointment was Rahm Emanuel, who worked in the Clinton Administration. I thought this was supposed to be about “change”?

    Oh that’s right, it was just a slogan.

  24. 24 Michel Norman
    November 7, 2008 at 16:16

    Firstly he was elected President of the USA and the welfare of the US people has to be his top priority.

    I beleive that he will pull out of Iraq but make sure that Iran does not take over.

    If he can get the Arab World, with its tremendous oil wealth to take responsibility for its part in the Palestinian problem and can help come up with some creative solutions for the few issues that separate us, then we coudl see a Palestinian state in the enxt few years, but that requires strong actions against the sponsors of terrorism.

    Peace is possible and if the leaders say they are problems that cannot be overcome – we all believe Yes We Can

  25. 25 Alby
    November 7, 2008 at 16:18

    He should reverse the civil liberties compromises against citizens (and the world) and the extraordinary police and presidential powers.

    He should also come up with programs to stabilize the middle class, rising number of job losers, change the rules about borrowing or cashing in 401K plans

    and start the energy programs to create new companies in alternative energy with new jobs all over the country.

    He needs big high visibility symposia from University R&D labs to highlight to potential of all those technologies buried in Universities all these many years

    He needs to make a very public energy policy and development program, that will raise our ‘stock’ as a nation, our consumer confidence, and maybe even the stock markets

    Healthcare can come next, that one is going to be harder cause there are so many special interests in insurance businesses all over the country who don’t want to lose or be nationalized

  26. November 7, 2008 at 16:25

    President elect Obama’s top priority should be fixing the troubled economy over which he got the confidence of the American people. That needs organising strong economic team. He should, therefore, make sure that he has got a team that can tackle the economic crisis without delay. Solving the crisis at home may not be enough hence he should be ready to find solutions to the economic crisis worldwide. That needs cooperation with major economies in Europe and North America and emerging economies in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Cooperation should also be sought from other economies that could positively contribute to the restoration of the economic crisis. On the other hand, the foreign policy should be revisited with a priority to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan; followed by diplomatic dialogue with Pakistan, China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, and the Middle East.
    The foreign policy revision should also consider the human rights crises in many parts of the world, with immediate attention to the crises in Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Darfur and the horn of Africa. Hence, we really need to see some tough decisions from Mr. Obama to restore the confidence of many and meet expectations to some extent. We need to see these changes in the not too distant future. The president elect will also have to deal with the environment and energy that would need rigorous work. I know finding solutions to some of these challenges would need years if not decades; but we should see some signs of change. We need to see a more transparent world where the rule of law, democracy, peace & justice and equal opportunity prevail. It may take time, but I think Mr Obama is ready to pave ways for better place for the future generation of the world. As the Chinese saying goes, “each generation will reap what the former generation has sown.”

  27. 27 Roy, Washington DC
    November 7, 2008 at 16:29

    @ Steve

    It’s a global economy. If we want other countries to care about what happens to us, we need to earn their respect first. No, it won’t directly create (or eliminate) jobs…but it can certainly have an impact on our future.

  28. November 7, 2008 at 16:30

    First Priority has to be the economy. He is meeting with the “world’s greatest experts” on this now.

    My suggestion would be to immediately take 500 billion from the 800 billion already set aside and combine that with the 500 billion in social security funds that are being set aside from all the people who have paid into social security from stolen SSN numbers, (mostly from illegals who will never claim these funds) Then send out checks to every tax filer, federal IRS to the tune of $100,000
    per individual and 200,000 to couples who file joint returns.

    Next suggestion is that all banks that issued variable mortgages be required to revert them back to original interest rates and for the good of the world treat them as fixed mortgages.

    Most people are between 100,000 and 200,000 in debt. The smart folks will pay off their debts and the rest will invest or buy consumer goods to fuel a huge surge in the economy.

    Reduce the federal income tax to a straight 10% for all those earning between 50,000 and 150,000. All corporations operating in the U.S. fall into a 20% rate for all earnings exceeding 150,000 per year. All U.S Companies who operate out of country and all their employees operating off shore pay 30% tax rate.

    Tax code have no deductions just: ……. gross income
    …….. business expenses
    net income

    Pay the tax on the net income…….be prepared to bring in receipts for audits

    Government expands medicare to everyone, all who pay income tax qualify for health insurance. Government pays 70% of medical expenses. Private helath insurance companies pay the balance 30% and if they argue and file suit not to pay. Government fines them tripple stumpage.

    This should begin putting it all together and end up having the government harvest most of the 13 trillion in avoided Corporate and underground economy workings.

    Hense the government pulls in more, much more than ever before by having a simple, fair system loaded with incentives.

    Get this info to our wonderful new President.


    On the Oregon Coast and a really poor guy I might add

  29. 29 CarlosK
    November 7, 2008 at 16:33

    @ Mandie

    I take you point Mandie that meeting first with Muslims leader in the current environment might be inappropriate. This is however very sad as it demonstrates as a people of the world that our first priority is not really about solving problems but instead trying to avoid offending our friends and enemies. The most demonstrable act of that change has come to America would be a summit with Arab and/or Muslim leaders and Jewish leaders in order to try and solve the wars and return peace to the middle east. And I repeat as long as muslims perceive that the Palestinians are being persecuted by Israel, there will neve be peace in the middle east.

    This should not only be a priority for President-elect Obama, but all peace loving peoples of the world.


    @ Steve.

    The appoint of Rahm Emanuel appears to be another typically practical and sensible Obama move. President-elect Obama has a job to be done and he’s not wasting time. He has picked who he considers the right person for the job and we should allow him some wiggle room. He deserves a “honeymoon” even though its going to be short in comparison to all other presidents before him.


  30. 30 John in Salem
    November 7, 2008 at 16:36

    Obama needs someone at point right now who really knows the ropes and Rahm Emanuel is just your basic pit bull (without the lipstick). He’ll be replaced down the road.

  31. November 7, 2008 at 16:38

    Oh ! One more suggestion:

    Follow the money via FBI and target the people who scammed the financial system. Freeze the money in their accounts and then tax it at 90% and put that into the SSN fund. Claim that it is evidence and must be held at bay until all courts have decided whether or not those funds belong to the people ie, tax payers and used to pay off the public debt.

    This is a case of the Private Market Place having a realistic check and balance put on it because it failed miserably to regulate itself. Hense you are free to let the Market Place run free, but if you do things that are dangerous to the public good the Government can and must step in and balance things to ensure the public good.


  32. 32 Anthony
    November 7, 2008 at 16:48

    There’s a tie

    1) getting our troops home
    2) getting our economy back on track

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  33. 33 Mandie in Cape Coral, FL
    November 7, 2008 at 16:54

    @ CarlosK
    I agree it is very sad that Mr. President can not do what he and his advisors will deem most important without first considering how everyone will view them. If Obama wants to last one year much less 8 years in office he will have to because he will be more watched than any other man to every hold this position. He must endure the speculations that the rest of us wont when he talk to foreign leaders that he wants to make them more important. People in the US tried to already illustrate these paranoias during his campaign by screamin he isn’t even a citizen. Obama’s best bet for the first top policy as asked by the initial question must be the economy. I agree talks with all leaders of war torn countries are needed, the economy is quickly invading every country in the world. He can manage not only American perception abroad, crisis with Russia and others, and aid in the global markets rebounds by addressing this one issue.

  34. 34 Steve
    November 7, 2008 at 17:03


    Obama clearly stated that he will not immediately bring the troops home from Iraq, and he stated he will increase troops in Afghanistan. Did you listen to what he said d uring the campaign.

    2. The economy. All estimates that are we will be in severe recession for all of 2009. It’s still 2008 right now.

    So Obama won’t have the magic to do either of the things you want him to.

  35. November 7, 2008 at 17:05

    He will have to focus first on the economy, to get it out of recession and reduce unemployment. If that can be achieved by focusing on alternative energies, then he would at the same time tackle climate change.

    He should sit down with Gen. Patraeus and the government in Iraq to figure out how a pull-out of the troops can be arranged, but imho this can wait until after the first 100 days. After all, there’s no way they can pull out within 3 months.

    Once the economy is up and running again, he can improve health care and education, and take care of a million other things that need his immediate attention.

  36. 36 Isaac Kosgei
    November 7, 2008 at 17:12

    “Leadership is not magnetic personality that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not making friends and influencing people that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” – Peter Drucker

    This is the kind of leadership that Obama is gonna display to the world. I BELEIVE HIS TOP PRIORITY SHOULD BE PROJECTING A GOOD AMERICAN IMAGE TO THE WORLD. Trying to win the confidence of Nations especially the muslim world. His other major agenda should be to help Africa get to where other Nations are in the world in terms of democracy, technology and health. Above all I want him to fight religious extremism in the world. Take for example the girl who was stoned to death in somalia when her father went to report to authorities that the innocent kid had been raped. Instead of helping her the islamist stone her to death so I think Obama will try to fight for the rights of minority groups in the whole world. Thanks and God bless Obama.

  37. 37 Jeff in Cleveland Heights
    November 7, 2008 at 17:12

    I think Obama has three top priorities. First, he has to solve the financial crisis that’s pushed the unemployment rate up to 6.5 percent in the US which is the highest in fourteen years. Second, he needs to figure out how to provide health care to everyone in our country. It’s criminal that we’re so far behind so many other countries in this regard. Finally, we need to develop environmentally friendly alternative energy sources in order to reduce our dependence on the middle east and turn back the effects of global warming. The last might be the most important because if we can’t live on our planet, all the other issues are meaningless.

  38. 38 Lydia Nayo
    November 7, 2008 at 17:13

    I would love it if he would start with public education, but the practical reality is that he must get a grip on th financial crisiswith its worldwide implications and far reaching consequences. The unemployment figures, the ongoing foreclosures and tight credit issues plaguing the US economy are connected to the US finance market collapse/implosion.

  39. 39 jamily5
    November 7, 2008 at 17:13

    Agree with Mandi’s 4:50 PM post.
    In Obama’s speech, he said that it was going to be a long road and that it would take quite a few years.
    I think that we need to talk about appropriate expectations for Obama as president.
    We should also talk about tangible ways to evaluate Barak’s economic policies.
    We all want a change and things to get better.
    I believe that Obama has some great ideas for making this happen.
    But, we need to be realistic about the effects of these policies.
    If we are not careful, we could expect too much from Obama and then be quite disappointed when he does not meet our expectations.
    Yet, we don’t want to be happy with status quoe, either.

  40. 40 Anthony
    November 7, 2008 at 17:16

    @ steve

    I know it will take a while, it would be silly to think he could do it overnight, but thats priority. You tell me what he should do that he can do overnight?


  41. 41 Ramesh Gundapaneni
    November 7, 2008 at 17:17

    President-elect Obama is very clear about his agenda – Revitalizing the Economy, Ending the War in Iraq,
    Providing Health Care for All, Protecting America,
    Renewing American Global Leadership etc. In my opinion priorities don’t matter much because even if Mccain had won, he would have spelt the same as his priorities. The real issue is how Obama is going to approach those critical issue. What I mean is identifying issues is not enough. Out going President also indentifies many issues but failed to provide solution to any of them. Thats where competence matters. The competence of a president does not lie in solving the problems himself but in creating the right teams of experts that could help him solve the problems.

  42. 42 Jennifer
    November 7, 2008 at 17:18

    Things I want Obama to focus on are:

    1. National Security-this includes here first and foremost. Don’t pull the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan overnight. You will undo all of the “progress” that has been made! My friends/family have gave up large amounts of time being over there and some lost their lives. Don’t let it be for nothing. Also, please don’t get us bombed by trying to “talk” with people who will not ever reach out for a common ground. Our security and safety should be priority number 1.

    2. Energy independence-I believe that it would greatly decrease our dependence on foreign countries. They don’t like us and they couldn’t think we needed them and would put up with their funny business anymore.

    3. Our economy is suffering. I don’t believe it can simply be fixed with a band-aid. Many things need to change for it to heal. First and foremost people need to feel secure in their jobs and secure in spending their money. We need to create more jobs and give them to people here. Small businesses and “fat cats” need to be protected even though people despise them because they pour money into our economy too.

    NO universal health care or new programs need to be created until our economy is back on track! Fix the programs we already have if you want to start on that but don’t put the cart before the horse. If you do, we may only dig ourselves in deeper.

  43. 43 Mark from Kansas
    November 7, 2008 at 17:20

    President Obama should on day one Sign an executive order to end warrantless wire tapping, stop torture, and detain bush untill he can be tried in an international court for his crimes against humanity. Then go to lunch. The second half of day one he should work on the economy. We have ALLOT more credit left, and I think we should spend that on infastructure for solar and wind feilds, and education programs. The promise of total college payoff will increase the military and peace corps enlistment needed to maintain Afghanistan and hopefully stop the many genocides in Africa.

    Of course this is wishfull thinking, I hope that these goals could be accomplished within the next ten years, and that America has the patients and the forsight to weather the long hard road that lies ahead, and not jump the tracks before we get to our destination.

  44. 44 Christopher in Ohio
    November 7, 2008 at 17:27

    Priorities, but not in any particular order:

    1. Stop and reverse global climate change – he can appoint Al Gore, who singlehandedly created the internet, as Czar of the Climate Change Commission (the new CCC), and Big Al can use CNN’s new holographic teleporter to appear anywhere on Earth, at any time, in an environmentally-friendly way, and guide us misguided masses into ecologically-conservative modes. Al will agree to take the post for $1 a year, as long as he’s granted green exchange credits for his personal consumption.

    2. Stabilize the world’s financial markets – he can appoint Alan Greenspan or Paul Voelker as Secretary of the Treasury and head of the Federal Reserve Bank (they can share and rotate monthly into and out of these positions), and they can lead a bloodless, cashless coup of the IMF and the World Bank, canceling the US’s debt to China, and mandating the US dollar as the world’s only currency.

    3. Stabilize the world’s current conflicts – he can appoint Colin Powell as Secretary of State who, with the assistance of Jimmy Carter, will appease all of the world’s despots with offers of compromise and free trade.

    4. Stabilize domestic issues – he can appoint Bill Clinton as the new Czar of the We the People Administration (the new WPA), where Bill can work tirelessly to see that collegiate volunteer interns are appropriately positioned.

    5. Stabilze health care – he can appoint Hilary Clinton as the new Czarina of the Charitable Works Administration (the new CWA), which will immediately federalize and socialize the provision of all medical and health services in the US.

    And that’s in just the first 100 days.

  45. November 7, 2008 at 17:33

    The tragic election of Obama will prove costly for the Americans who followed him like sheep and all of us have to pay the price. The stock market is crashing on his policies that will prove disastrous for America. God help us in this nightmare of Obama. I call him Hurricane Obama. People will find out how much he was dishonest, the first sign that he is appointing a Chicago thug to be his chief of staff, the Chicago thugs will rule America. What a disgrace.
    Remember that he is still president-elect, not the president, thankfully.
    I don’t care what the rest of the world is saying about us or think about us as long as we are doing the right thing and we are doing the right thing.
    The financial crisis was started by the Democrats! Get rid of the Democrats to fix it.
    Obama bought the election with his 650 millions who nobody knows where did they come from. Some people thought that he will give free money and voted for him.

  46. November 7, 2008 at 17:35

    As many of you have said before, Obama´s top policy priority is the U.S. economy.

    Following it in the list is Irak.

  47. 47 Steve
    November 7, 2008 at 17:47

    @ Athony

    Of course not, but so many thing they’re going to expect a miracle by January 21. The economy is going to be bad for a long time, but so many people think that he’s going to solve the problem over night. We’re talking at least 2 more years of this, unemployment will get worse in the meanwhile. Some people don’t understand this.

    Given the taxbase is being reduced, and if Obama elected to tax the rich even more, that would further discourage economic growth, there won’t be tax revenues for the social programs…

    Economy needs to be “fixed” first, then worry about social programs, otherwise he’ll just further punish our grandchildren by using debt to buy things we don’t have the money to pay for.

  48. November 7, 2008 at 17:51

    My dreaming in OBAMA presidency is that he should stop Darfur genocide,bring peace to Iraqis, DRC and somalians as well, makes no changes on US allies and make sure that no new genocide or Another Isreal war with its Arabs neighbiours in his term.Wishes you the best Mr. president.

  49. 49 Steve
    November 7, 2008 at 17:53

    I’ve got it. His number one priority should be to lower the expectations people have of him, otherwise his ratings will be even lower than bush’s when they feel let down by him.

  50. November 7, 2008 at 17:54

    Did you hear Obama saying that he cannot do everything in one term?? Hint, elect him for the second term, and he has not even started the first term. He is only thinking about himself or he will not be running for the President of the US. He does not have the experience or the qualification to be the President of the US.

  51. November 7, 2008 at 17:57

    Obama’s top policy should be to first get the heck out of Iraq. He had a 16 month plan, start getting to it. (It would be nice if he pursued congress to get to work on the treasonous morons that got us into that mess to begin with and have them brought to justice. Ahh, but that is wishful thinking.) By extension, He should be working on getting out troops out of the Middle East as a whole. The work that needs done there is better suited for intelligence agents and small indiscrete strike teams.

    Simultaneously, the second most important policy he needs to work on is getting the legislation to developed a plan to reduce the influence of the credit agencies on our markets. They have become nothing more then state sponsored counterfeiters.

    Last, he needs to pressure congress to develop a tax system that doesn’t unjustly tax the poor. That is right. The poor pay more in taxes then the wealthy. As an example, I have a friend who works full time at a gas station. Know how much he paid in taxes? 520 hours. It took him 520 to pay his tax obligation. My brother-in-law that owns his own demolition business, makes close to that $250,000 cap. Do you know how much he had to pay? 416 hours. That is right he had to pay 416 labor hours to meet his tax obligation. That is unfair and has to be rectified if we are to avoid complete collapse.

  52. 52 Steve
    November 7, 2008 at 18:01

    @ Hiam

    And Mccain would have made any difference either? All politicians should be disqualified from running. They are always in it for themselves, and will say ANYTHING to get your vote. We deserve what we get when we continue to vote for them.

  53. November 7, 2008 at 18:05

    You BBC! You do makes us as your kids to play on your nets without bringing the big people which were suppose to answer or questions us, no one of us can address one’s concerns amongst us so try to bring these people daily on the matters concerning the world.

  54. 54 jamily5
    November 7, 2008 at 18:09

    You have effectively misunderstood my entire point.
    I could make endless attempts to restate my point,
    but, actually,
    you have already stated that no one should expect change overnight and that it will take some time to reverse the economy.
    Since, I agree with you (at least in these two statements), I’ll leave it be.
    That was, in fact, part of my point.
    My other part being that Obama still has his checks and balances.
    He knows that people are going to scrutinize his every move.

  55. 55 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    November 7, 2008 at 18:14

    His MAIN priority HAS to be:

    Address the Expectation vs Reality Gap!

    THAT is NOT going to be easy considering that there are racial issues in play!

    Whether the Senators & Congressmen support him and in doing so support the Will of the People will be the true test of the maturity of the elected leaders of the Americans!

    The American people are indeed a hardworking lot!

    What I have issue with is the nature or hardly working attitude of their representatives!

  56. 56 Tom D Ford
    November 7, 2008 at 18:14

    One top priority should be to bring the Private Armies that Cheney created to heel, get rid of them and put the US military back in charge of military affairs.

    Another top priority is to sort through the Cheney/Bush Executive Orders and Signing Statements and get rid of the ones allowing Torture, Extraordinary Renditions, and all the rest that have so damaged the US image in the world and the US.

  57. 57 Jennifer
    November 7, 2008 at 18:17

    @ Hiam

    I did hear Obama say that everything might not be accomplished in 1 term. He was getting a super early head start on campaigning for his reelection! haha We will have to see what choices/improvements/mistakes he makes as to whether he would win again. With the way people are banking on him I don’t see how he can do anything except fall short.

  58. November 7, 2008 at 18:27


    It definitely has to be the economy. If a big company like GM warns that it will run out of cash in the current quarter, then something needs to be done fast, otherwise there’s going to be a serious, serious crash. Unless he (or actually rather still Bush) can sort this mess out quickly, everything else will be only academic.

  59. November 7, 2008 at 18:30

    According to an article on CNN GM announced that it will run out of cash in the current quarter, unless something happens (probably a miracle, but a wonder might do as well). If a big company like GM can be in such serious troubles, then this must mean that the rest of the American economy is likely in similar peril. So Obama must do something very quickly to get the economy – and with it unemployment – back on track, otherwise every other issue will be solely academic.

  60. 60 Jens
    November 7, 2008 at 18:37


    compared to the current administration it is impossible for him fail or fall short.

  61. 61 Jens
    November 7, 2008 at 18:43


    of course the current idiot administartion has absolutly nothing to do with the economic collpas. i mean we can spend 5000 bucks a second on a war that was started to resolve georgie boys daddy complex and not expect that the economy is going to the dogs…..wake up, my friend. the mess we are in is because the american people followed GW’s fail policies like lemmings. i fundamentaly believe obama’s first act should be to prosecute the current administartion for all the crimes they unleashed on us americans and the world.

  62. 62 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    November 7, 2008 at 18:46

    President elect Obama’s top priorities should be:
    1. our economy
    2. energy security (first getting drilling off shore and then working on alternatives so we can STOP sending money over to people who do not like us. The transfer of wealth to the middle east has to stop.)
    3. Not place increases on our energy cost which includes any increases on the taxes of companies. Lets face it, those increases will trickle down to the middle class and poor. The extra money Obama wants to give us back will not cover the cost.

  63. 63 archibald in oregon
    November 7, 2008 at 18:48

    @ Hiam and Steve

    “Economy needs to be “fixed” first, then worry about social programs, otherwise he’ll just further punish our grandchildren by using debt to buy things we don’t have the money to pay for.”

    “The tragic election of Obama will prove costly for the Americans who followed him like sheep and all of us have to pay the price.”

    8 years of Bush and our crushing debt created by the sheep who elected him, I think you projected on the wrong man…….Why so negative? Are you determined to find the bad in a man who has not yet had a chance to prove himself? In judging Obama you must feel that you could do a better job. If that were truly the case we would all be running for president.
    Everything is harder to do without help. At least this president wants help and is not so arrogant as to think he can be “the decider” alone.
    He could start by reducing support for Israel unless they are willing to move forward in their dialog with the Palestinians. Implement a universal health program, so that the average citizen could afford to be healthy enough to do something other than struggle to wake up everyday. Eliminate the corporate lobby once and for all, so that we no longer make laws that protect the top 5% that are raping our country blind. Tax the wealthy hard enough that they remember what making money off of the backs of the nameless truly costs…….

  64. 64 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    November 7, 2008 at 18:51

    Generalities are perhaps the best way to address such a complicated question. First on the list should be bringing the policy of government into line with the principles of constitutional and international law. I don’t know why existing laws have not been barrier enough to prevent the US from committing acts of torture and aiding and abetting the overthrow of democratically elected governments. Iran and Guatemala in (circa?) 1954, and Nicaragua throughout the Reagan and North administrations were just the most glaring examples of this sort of “legitimate” terrorism.

    Second should be an awakening of the American people to the truth of the differences between their common ideals and the actions of their government. Whether this will be Obama’s responsibility is another question. There would seem to be an unwritten tradition of upholding the honor of the office of The President. I can’t predict whether Obama will choose to sign on to that tradition, but it will not matter what he does or does not do if the people demand the truth.

    Some people are clearly not ready to hear it. Mark Twain wrote about this in The War Prayer, which rings true to this day. But Mark Twain only wrote about the people’s failure to hear both sides of the truth. There are also those who will believe that when the truth becomes to great to remain unheard, it can be silenced, by force if necessary.

    I believe the true legacy of the Bush Jr. administration will be that there is too much truth out there by now for that terrorist approach to work. If any coward tries to hide the truth by silencing the one with the loudest voice to speak it, the truth will still survive. Justice will prevail, and the truth will rise again.

    [end dramatic soundtrack in my head]

  65. 65 viola
    November 7, 2008 at 18:53

    The nation is in peril economically. Economics first. America first. He’s smart and can do more than one thing at a time, so he should coordinate foreign policy with America’s first need to be economically sound.

    The real import of Obama’s election is that he sought to be and became the embodiment of the American collective desire for “a more perfect union” and peace, good will, and equality of opportunity for all. That’s the narrative he has created and I hope he sticks to it.

    He got a hook into me when he acknowledged in his victory speech that women in America, well before they got the vote, were instrumental in advancing the battle against slavery, segregation, and racism in general.


  66. 66 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    November 7, 2008 at 18:54

    Generalities are perhaps the best way to address such a complicated question. First on the list should be bringing the policy of government into line with the principles of constitutional and international law. I don’t know why existing laws have not been barrier enough to prevent the US from committing acts of torture and aiding and abetting the overthrow of democratically elected governments. Iran and Guatemala in (circa?) 1954, and Nicaragua throughout the Reagan and North administrations were just the most glaring examples of this sort of “legitimate” terrorism.

    Second should be an awakening of the American people to the truth of the differences between their common ideals and the actions of their government. Whether this will be Obama’s responsibility is another question. There would seem to be an unwritten tradition in the oval office of upholding the honor of the office of The President. I can’t predict whether Obama will choose to sign on to that tradition, but it will not matter what he does or does not do if the people demand the truth.

    Some people are clearly not ready to hear it. Mark Twain wrote about this in The War Prayer, which rings true to this day. But Mark Twain only wrote about the people’s failure to hear both sides of the truth. There are also those who will believe that when the truth becomes to great to remain unheard, it can be silenced, by force if necessary.

    I believe the true legacy of the Bush Jr. administration will be that there is too much truth out there by now for that terrorist approach to work. If any coward tries to hide the truth by silencing the one with the loudest voice to speak it, the truth will still survive. Justice will prevail, and the truth will rise again.

    [end dramatic soundtrack in my head]

  67. 67 Jennifer
    November 7, 2008 at 18:55

    @ Jens

    I’d wait before I made that judgment if I were you……….

  68. 68 Nick from London
    November 7, 2008 at 18:56


    Well i can’t possibly only give our Barack just one. 😉

    Now yes the current turmoil in the world economies is a pain in the neck but we’ll work our way out of it eventually.

    1] On the other hand an issue like climate change is workig its way toward us and with not overwhelmingly pleasant results for many out there. It’s a whole bag of topics that will ultimiately make for more sustainable living and in turn raise the standard of living for people in places like Africa too. Reducing emissions for starters [and btw our friends in China should realise that they’re stuck on the same piece of rock floating in space as the rest of us], this includes the fuel that goes into cars to the miles that food travels to reach the plates of those in the West. And when the US has such potential for sources like Desert Solar, they need to embrace it over the likes of nuclear which is only storing up on further problem for ourselves.

    2] The Middle East – Whether it be Iraq or Afghanistan, thr border regions of Pakistan or Syria, the Amricans must shift away from this mindset wherby the civilian population are of a lesser status to that of their ‘war on terror’ strategy. Half the time they barely even acknowledge that a tragedy has taken place, lives erased. What the hell kind of sentiment do they think it is fuelling? And it’s all well and good sending reinforcements into Afghanistan, but if the right kind of aid and development package isn’t hot on its heels the coalition nations and the Afghans will continue on their short road to continued disillusionment. The type of US aid thus far has not exactly been condudive to avoiding this.

    Speaking of things to avoid, how about conflict with Iran? Be subtle to peruse your ends, not a brute. Give them something, not simply…stamp all over their plans and fold your arms with a US flag on your lapel.

    Now we come to Israel and Palestine, unfortunately something i have the least hope for, particularly if Likud win the next election. The Americans have so many vested interests here, where is their vision? Nonexistent it seems. Maybe Barack should try and move the UN from New York to Jerusalem, make part of it an ‘ international zone’. Could well focus minds.

    TThat enough to be getting along with? lol

    Doubt you can read even half that out on air mind you.


  69. 69 roebert
    November 7, 2008 at 18:57

    Before making any policy decisions, I hope that Obama will surround himself with highly qualified and respected advisors on all the socio-economic-scientiic-political issues that need to be addressed. In other words, I hope that his term as president, with all the impact it will have on the whole world, will be a period of collective think-tank decisions, rather than the ‘blind leading the blind’ approach of the last 8 years.

    Before acting on any issue, he needs to listen to those who understand the issues.

    As to his saying that solving the current mess will take at least two terms; that is a matter of obvious fact and not a matter of premature campaigning.

  70. 70 viola
    November 7, 2008 at 18:58


    George Bush should be prosecuted? Too bad you can’t walk a few miles in his shoes.

  71. 71 Jennifer
    November 7, 2008 at 18:59

    @ Everyone who comes back to blaming George Bush:

    Do you really think that one man has that much power that he has personally caused all of our problems? If you do, you need to reevaluate his power, the role of the president, and realize that his choices alone are not the only cause of our current distress!

  72. November 7, 2008 at 19:01

    I think Obama’s priorities will be what they have always been, people and their general well being. If you want to genuinely improve someones life or quality of, you have to gauge every aspect of their life. If his number one goal is to improve the quality of life, as issues present themselves and are addressed the particular order or the aspects of our life are not very important. I think the crucial aspect he will have to address goes beyond simple bullet list issues.

    When we look at the foundations of our problems, whether political, economic, religious, or environmental the underline driving force behind them all are people. And what drives us … our philosophies, our hopes and fears. This is the most challenging thing any man could ever hope to change or direct. The task at hand is monumental, and the visible effects of our philosophies are apparent first and foremost at this time economically.

    The idea that we can somehow keep growing/consuming endlessly … without acknowledging the effects of such, which are visible in our environment. The idea that simply because someone says “this” is worth X amount of money, and then holding them guilty when we find out it is not. The philosophy that teaches of only what can be gained, and turns a blind eye to what can be lost.

    We must address our fears to achieve our hopes. I think the most important thing for him to do is shape America in a better way here at home, so over the next few years he can reach out to the world and say, here’s what we had … this is what we did, and this is how it’s working. He needs to focus on making proof, here in the states first.

    The most visible circumstance at the time will be the economy, he cannot fail to address the underline driving force of the economy in the process to make it “work” again, people and their philosophies.

  73. 73 Tom D Ford
    November 7, 2008 at 19:03

    One priority should be to bring to justice all of the members of the PNAC, The Project for the New American Century, who were the architects of the war against Iraq and so many other Crimes Against Humanity.

    The US Justice Department is under the Executive and ought to be used to restore Justice in the US which will help restore justice in the rest of the world.

  74. 74 John in Salem
    November 7, 2008 at 19:06

    In regards to qualifications, only a president who has just been re-elected does not require on-the-job training. The only candidate in this cycle who had anything close to real experience in the job was Hillary.
    We didn’t need another technocrat politician, we needed a LEADER, and I think we got a real one this time.
    It’s “the vision thing”, remember?

  75. November 7, 2008 at 19:12

    Metaphorically speaking (as in any particular sport), when a football (american as intended) team with star players that accel in most every aspect of the game … lose, the first thing a good coach will do is say, “We have to get back to the basics, the fundamentals.”

    Everything we do is fundamentally driven by our philosophies or beliefs, what do we believe in?

  76. November 7, 2008 at 19:13


    We don’t have enough Oil offshore to get energy independence. WE don’t have enough refineries to get gasoline independence. If we doubled our current capacities and operation, we would only supply 6% of the world’s oil. We consume 25%. Since our oil companies are privately owned, they are going to sell to the highest bidder. That means if the rest of the world is paying a higher price for petroleum, we will have to pay the same price. Unless you expect Exxon Mobile will take a profit loss out of the goodness of their heart.

  77. 77 Melissa Wilkie
    November 7, 2008 at 19:16

    1. Fiscal responsibility
    2. Green Jobs / Innovation
    3. Work out our relationship with Iraq, and how we leave without hurting them
    4. Improve our relationship with countries around the world

  78. November 7, 2008 at 19:17

    Climate change is the biggest, outstanding, direct and proven risk to Americans and everyone around the world. It has to be the absolutely top priority.

    The global economic crisis, emanating out of the looted markets of the US, is top in the minds of the very many people who don’t understand the scientific facts of climate change.

    Fortunately, economic stimulus can be combined with climate change response via a huge green and social infrastructure spending program.

    Traditional foreign policy, despite the views of the journalists on your panel, is a distant third at best. And in any case, the best start on foreign policy is to get the environment and economy headed in the right direction.

  79. 79 Marija R
    November 7, 2008 at 19:17

    Thank you for your email. It may be too risky to turn to radical changes especially that there is no shrotage of problems. The wars, climate change and energy policies might be tackled all together and in this order, if anything. Thank you.

  80. 80 Jack K, Monrovia, Liberia
    November 7, 2008 at 19:18

    Although I do not believe Suma should use ANC to fight his personal battles, yet just yesterday we witnessed a tragedy where a very internationally respected president Mbeki was forced to resign his job because of being too busy outside while his house was on fire. Please, Obama you are the president of USA not a president of Africa. Pay attention to the problems at home before looking anywhere.

  81. 81 Sridhar
    November 7, 2008 at 19:18

    The highest priority for Obama is Healthcare insurance.

    About 40 million people dont have insurance. There are small businesses that can’t/won’t provide the insurance. Even bigger companies are charging higher premiums. People have to spend exhorbitant amounts of money to get individual insurance.

    Healthcare, as Mr Omana rightly pointed out is a right not a privilege. Now is the time to provide that right.

  82. 82 Christian
    November 7, 2008 at 19:18

    I know that our expectations toward the man,President Obama are great and diverse.Seriously,what we should keep in the back of ourmind is the fact that he is first of all the United States President,thus he seeks and should seek to serve his citizens first.What i am saying is that,his top policy priority should be to rebuild his broken country.

  83. 83 Jens
    November 7, 2008 at 19:19


    i wish could walk in his shoes, since i can positivly assure you that the iraq war would not have been started. as for prosecution, what about the executive order allowing torture. this is in clear violation of international laws. or do you in ernest believe we americans are just a little bit mor equal than other nations…..?????

  84. 84 Steve
    November 7, 2008 at 19:20

    Do you recall Obama saying during the campaign that he wanted to reevaluate NAFTA, and the canadians got really upset about that, and so Obama’s campaign basically said “it was just politics” admitting that politicians will promise anything, even if they don’t plan on falling through with it. NAFTA has cost americans jobs, so he stated he hwould reevaluate NAFTA, that scared canadians, and then his campaign admitted he didn’t actually mean we he said. Funny stuff.

  85. November 7, 2008 at 19:20


    IT is important to note, for those in the US as well as those in the world who don’t know, thatthe President doesn’t actuallyu set economic policy. Obama is going to have an easier time advancing his agenda because the legislation is of his party. However, each senate and conrgressional seat is held by an individual with diferent ideals then Obama’s. They must all agree on a bill before it gets sent to Barack’s desk to be signed.

    Obama’s, and the president in general, strength is in foriegn military and diplomatic capacities.

  86. 86 devadas.v
    November 7, 2008 at 19:21

    for me the foremost priority is pulling out from iraq as it would give international law and the world body its legitimacy. Legitimacy that was lost due to the transgression of america into iraq blowing away all existing international laws (in united nations article 2(4)that no country has the right to transgress other countries sovereign rights)

    So giving the world body its much deserved legitimacy means under the American Big Say under Obama all major countries can sit down and think about reconstructing United Nations and other bodies dealing with politics internationally and economically to suit the needs of the 21st century.

    This will in a way brings solace and solutions to the present problems facing the world political wise be it in Iraq, Afghanizthan, palestine, darfur, congo, kosovo, georgia , zimbawe etc and other economic meltdown throughout the world as well as most important nuclear and environmental problem threatening the universe in the near future.

    this must be the top priority as far as i am concerned everything else is secondary .

  87. 87 DAN from kenya
    November 7, 2008 at 19:23

    Pulling the troops from iraq and afganistan and mending the U.S relationship with the rest of the world that was destroyed by bush regime are enough to start him going.

  88. 88 Anakorez
    November 7, 2008 at 19:24

    A fellow 1nc said on dis show dat Obama is nobody than a motivational speaker. Wat ever. He must av bin d best living American Motivational speaker 2 av gained D confidenc of al gud heads in America 2 both happily fund his campaignings ,debate 4 him where ever doubts ensued nd eventualy ELECTED him afteral.
    No doubt we all who donated OUR Dollars/interest 2 his campaigning & resultant success would be Obama’s asset in power. On a very serrious not he should maintain friendship with his numerous supporters/sponsors/fans. Go Obama Go
    Anakor Jeremiah

  89. 89 Paul L - Kisumu. Kenya
    November 7, 2008 at 19:25

    Am Paul in Kenya, the most important thing is the economy, in America which is affecting the whole world. Am worried if this problem reaches African countries whose economic bases are weak n poor, it might be worse than civil strife in this countries.

  90. 90 Jens
    November 7, 2008 at 19:29

    @ jennifer,

    i cannot belive your statment. have you looked past the edge of you little world??? ups, yeah 1.4 million unemployed, just this year……wow GW did a great job in making sure we are worse off than ever. you can carry on glorifying him, while the rest of the world lives in reality of lost jobs, bankrupcy due to health costs, a senseless war, and all the rest of misery we had to live through. of course if you are the lucky one who is in the top 2% of income, i can understand that you are shedding tears that your beloved leader is leaving the office…..

    let me make it crystal clear to you. the social injustice in the usa has grown to levels that disgust me.

  91. 91 Tom D Ford
    November 7, 2008 at 19:34

    Bring effective regulation and enforcement to the Oil industries and traders and speculators.

    Take back control of our energy and heavily subsidize alternatives so that we can finally truly get ourselves independent for all Oil foreign or domestic!

  92. 92 Armin Wright
    November 7, 2008 at 19:39

    Odd to hear your Republican American guest state that Obama must govern from the center after 8 years of an appointed Republican executive with no popular mandate governing from the extreme right.

    First priority for Obama, and one that can be initiated on Day One should be to declare a cease fire in Iraq and Afghanistan and initiate an orderly withdrawal. This will begin to restore US credibility internationally, begin to decrease the billions of dollars per week being utterly wasted, and decrease the killing of scores of innocents weekly in air attacks.

  93. November 7, 2008 at 19:40

    in general I don’t see that the US Economy can be addrest without better foreign relations., the global economy.., a green economy., without resources residing in several different places around the world there is no economy. That present I don’t know what else to say.

  94. 94 MGH
    November 7, 2008 at 19:40

    First, FIRST! he should declare that the US will no longer torture, any way any place any time.

  95. November 7, 2008 at 19:41

    I don’t believe that Mr. Obama is nearly as limited in either mind or capabilities as are the pundits who would have him chosse a single priority. Obviously the most timely issue is the world economy and I would expect him to address that immediately, creatively and with confidence. However the most important two issues facing America and the rest of the world have been and remain: human overpopulation (read: dwindling resources) and global warming. These should be the foremost issues in any world leaders mind. They are the defining issues of this century and must be addressed with care and alacrity.

  96. 96 Muraliv
    November 7, 2008 at 19:42

    We the people should be realistic. Realise that all Politicians Over promise and under deliver.
    He cannot solve all problems with a magic wand. I am not a pessimistic. I want OBAMA to restore sanity in the financial markets. create a mechanism so that the entire world economy should not be held ransom by a few corporates.
    WE have high expectations .

  97. 97 Teri
    November 7, 2008 at 19:44

    The top priority should be the economy, with healthcare reform a close, if not interrelated, second. A great deal of entrepreneurship in the US is hamstrung by fears of loss of health insurance coverage by individuals. People hesitate to change jobs, or to begin their own businesses.

    In addition, health insurance should no longer be provided by employers, as this puts a damper on economic growth. There is no reason why insurance cannot be provided by private insurance companies, as long as there are controls on pricing and an absolute ban on exclusions or price hikes for pre-existing conditions.

    Everyone would have to sacrifice something– insurance companies, excessive profits; ditto doctors and hospitals; ditto pharmaceutical companies. Middle and upper income Individuals would have to budget insurance costs into their lives and budget out excessive luxuries. All would have to pay some higher taxes to help the poorest families purchase coverage.

  98. 98 Stu
    November 7, 2008 at 19:46

    As a republican on economy and democrat on social issues I am appalled at the world’s expectation of one man. I hear I want from many countries and groups but none have said, I want to help him solve our problem. Everyone is expecting him to wave a magic wand and solve pollution, immigration, peace processes, hunger, genocide, terrorism, and economy. I as a republican second but an American first am eager to help him succeed in his wide eyed goals.

  99. 99 John
    November 7, 2008 at 19:49

    I’m listening to the program, and there’s one question I have.

    Why is it up to the US to solve the world’s problems?

    If you want us to fix the issues YOU have, then don’t complain about our solutions. I’m one of the many Americans that laid our lives on the line to try and make the world a safer place, and I’m pretty sick and tired of hearing everyone bash what we do.

    I don’t mind offering help to those who need it, but if you can’t step up and do what YOU have to do, then don’t bash us for what we do.

  100. 100 Tom D Ford
    November 7, 2008 at 19:50

    Good point about stopping Islamo-phobia.

    One of the worst things Bush did was declare a New Crusades.

    Conservative Republicans have done so much to poison the well against other non-American human beings that it will take years to clean the water.

  101. November 7, 2008 at 19:50

    I am no isolationist, but I would like to see some time and resources dedicated to the goings-on within my own country. Hopefully we can spend money abroad more effectively, such as by shifting resources from Iraq to Afghanistan, and here at home we can invest more in education and infrastructure-building. Similarly we need to work on immigration arrive quickly at some comprehensive way to manage it.

  102. November 7, 2008 at 19:53

    Obama’s top policy priority – and this applies to all of his policies (both general policies and specific policies) – should be to do what is in the true best, and common interests of the people. This applies not only to the people of the USA, but also to the people of the world (since the USA is still a superpower – at least militarily, though certainly not ethically.)

    Obama’s top policy priority should be to vigorously instill a beneficial set of ethics into White House functions – a set of ethical rules to guide behavior – that will benefit everyone.

  103. 103 Jeffrey C
    November 7, 2008 at 19:56

    As most people were impelled to vote for the other party due to
    dire economic conditions, Obama will have to craft policies that strengthen as well as enlarge the middle class. It is the American
    middle class that provides stability and growth for the economy.
    Without their confidence, our economy,whose growth is largely driven by consumer spending, cannot hope to recover.

  104. 104 Steve
    November 7, 2008 at 19:56

    Oh boy, more of those “it was a mistranslation”. I guess the general populace of Iran is stupid if they made this sign and it really was a mistranslation.

  105. 105 archibald in oregon
    November 7, 2008 at 19:57

    @ jennifer

    GW set things up so that he was “the decider”, and whatever he wasn’t doing, you needn’t look farther than “deadeye” dick cheney and his cadre. It may not have been all GW’s fault, but, he certainly chose how he reacted or did not react to crisis situations. If our current president had his way, he would be serving a third term as supreme commander. I know it is hard to accept that you put your faith in a megalomaniac, but, with acceptance comes enlightenment. With any luck, Dick Cheney and George W. will be imprisoned for war crimes and bankrupting their own country for the special interests they support, they are to blame.

  106. 106 muraliv v - Tamil Nadu, India
    November 7, 2008 at 19:57

    His first priority
    1] restore balance in Financial markets
    2] restore credibility of America as a honest player in international politics. by restoring the IRAQ’s soverignity.

  107. 107 Mike L
    November 7, 2008 at 19:57

    I live in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in the U.S.A.

    I would like to see Obama place his immediate importance on the world and U.S. economy.

    Another main point of interest for me to see him accomplish would be to call a constitutional convention. In doing this, we can fix what we have lost in the past 8 years (I.E. – personal rights, freedoms lost, etc.) This will also allow for an open conversation without the “politics” hopefully and decide what is best for the majority of America.


  108. 108 Alexandrea in Alberta, Canada
    November 7, 2008 at 19:57

    I think his top priority should be the economy and turning things around for Americans NEXT work on America’s energy problems THEN he should focus on cleaning up the foriegn policy mess Bush left for him. It is NOT Obama’s responsibility to change the negative perception of Islam – that is the responsibility of every individual Muslim to stand up against extremism. His campaign has already improved the world opnion of America I think his role will be one of a Facilitator for peace. As for the idea that Classism is not a problem? If you think that you are really living in denial.

  109. 109 andy
    November 7, 2008 at 19:58

    Climate change.
    While the regional conflicts are important, nothing is as important as attacking climate change.

  110. 110 Bill K - Akron, Ohio
    November 7, 2008 at 19:58

    The highest priority is to identify root causes. We can forever address the same problem with short-term fixes, but if we can accurately identify the root cause, we can make progress in the long-term. The discussion could be global, so that a spirit of contribution to the greater good exists. As I see it, the two most obvious categories are:

    1. Energy. This can stimulate the economy, lessen the influence of oil, reduce carbon emissions and reduce energy demands by improving efficiency.
    2. Israel and Palestine. Perhaps positive progress will alleviate tension and perhaps invalidate the core principals of Al Quaeda.

  111. 111 Paul
    November 7, 2008 at 19:58

    It is amazing how everyone has their hands out!

    First of all do not listen to Republicans, after 30 years of Reaganomics, Bush (1) Voodoo Economics and a near decade of BushCo Neo-Con free markets the world economy is in near collapse so avoid the Republican ideas they got us here.

    Next it is time for the world to help themselves! We have Americans loosing homes and fortunes and no health care so it is time for America to take care of the American population. No foreign aid for a decade and then a slow opening of aid to people who help and support America. Our enemies be damned!

    Stop making wars for oil, stop giving money to our so called friends who fail to support us and start a global peace to environmental action plan and begin healing what decades of hubris has wrought to our planet. talk

    Reality Sucks and we have a mess in America that the Republicans have given us so now we have to clean it up!

  112. 112 George(Namibia)
    November 7, 2008 at 19:58

    Hi. I think he should (1) get the economy back on track, and (2) get US troops out of Iraq.

  113. 113 Ogola B
    November 7, 2008 at 19:59

    Obama is a new president who won the elections through his well layed plans and strategies. Its common sense that when a new president takes over office, he gets a briefing and calls for previous ninute files. Reviews them for purposes of guidance and sets his work plan.
    Obama has to start by following is policies the way he has done by making appoitments for his cabinet and not to continue with out dated files – the one that he compaigned to change.
    He should focus on security as this is the biggest problem that undermines bush administration. He should set fresh policies after concrete study!

  114. 114 Emily M
    November 7, 2008 at 19:59

    Does being a “soft” or “hard” figure as a former emailer wrote truly influence radical terrorists in their decision making of choosing to bomb or not to bomb? I understand that many terrorists are rational actors but I don’t see one saying “hmm well Obama doesn’t seem as hard as Bush, so let’s go bomb America now.” I think Bush’s policies further aggravated the situation in the Middle East b/c of his approach to foreign policy. That comment doesn’t make sense to me, perhaps I’m taking it too literally.

  115. 115 Chad
    November 7, 2008 at 20:06

    In response to some of the suggestions coming from around the world in regards to President Obama “bringing peace to Sudan,” and other troubled areas I must say: We, the people of the United States, elected Obama to usher in change HERE FIRST.
    How can a country, regardless of its wealth and influence, ever hope to bring peace and security to the rest of the world when it is itself in turmoil? Granted, the current financial crisis is in part the responsibility of the U.S. but we are by no means completely responsible for it. There are still many citizens of this country who are and were fiscally responsible; those of us who were are not being offered rewards, congratulations, or “bail-outs”. We simply get to watch as those who’s greed took advantage of and finally brought down a loan & credit system that did at one point work.
    We as individuals here in the U.S. have for decades watched our money that many of us work very hard for be given in the BILLIONS every year to countries in order for them to advance and become secure and self sufficient. Congress has gone so far as to absolve some countries of their debt entirely!
    So now that we’ve managed to move past a portion of the horrendous racism pervasive in the U.S. since its founding and elected a strong man, and African American, portions of the rest of the world believe we/he owe them something. My opinion is this: Take the money and aid we have and continue to offer you and do with it what it is meant for, build your own countries the way you want them. Then, perhaps in the future such a credit crisis will not destroy your economy, or a violent dictator will be less likely to take control of you government.
    232 years ago men living under tyranny decided to band together and change their fate, they proved beyond doubt that if there is a will there will be a way. “These truths we hold to be self evident.”

  116. 116 Sama
    November 7, 2008 at 20:14

    My question is: why is the BBC failing in its role as an objective news organization???

    Next time you decide to invite an Israeli to your panel, you need to invite a Palestinian. Otherwise, you are failing in your role as journalists and reporters. So, please make sure you make every effort to invite Palestinians to your shows and give them “air time” and a voice on your shows to make sure your listeners are presented with a balanced discussion on the issues at hand.

    May I also point out that there no similarity between Hamas – a democratically elected political party, and Al Qaida – a US created worldwide problem. I’m sick and tired of these Israelis mouthing off statements that have no basis in reality, while world-wide journalists sit back and be part to their lies.


  117. 117 Gozie Anakor
    November 7, 2008 at 20:49

    I suppose American academic standards need some touch 2

  118. 118 Steve
    November 7, 2008 at 20:54

    @ Sama

    That’s hilarious. that israeli was also a leftiest. He was talking about peace, and peace agreements, and you’re interpreting as being some right wing nut. Shows your viewpoint pretty well. Hamas is a terrorist group that blows up restaurants and busses that happened to get voted into power by people who want to blow up restaurants and busses to lead them.

    We were listening to the same show, or because you heard the word “israeli” immediately went into some froth mode?

  119. 119 roebert
    November 7, 2008 at 21:32

    Well there it is: one day the BBC is biased in favour of the Israelis, the next they’re biased in favour of the Palestinians. This BBC bias must stop.

  120. 120 Bryan
    November 7, 2008 at 22:01

    Sama November 7, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    My question is: why is the BBC failing in its role as an objective news organization???

    And the answer is that the BBC is biased, but not in the way you think. It fails the test of objectivity because it is biased in favour of the Palestinians. The strongest evidence for that is Alan Johnston, ‘friend of the Palestinian people’, and his three-year stint of pro-Palestinian propaganda from Gaza. Do you really think that he would have been welcome to live in Gaza and report from there if he had been sympathetic to the Israelis? He wouldn’t have lasted three days. And you listen to one programme where a Palestinian is not immediately put up to contradict an Israeli and you conclude that the BBC is biased against the Palestinians? Get some perspective.

    You must have missed the WHYS programme on Gaza a few months back. There were Israelis and Palestinians on that show but the Palestinians were the ones who were mouthing off, without intervention from the host, not the Israelis.

    Al Qaeda is a US creation? I suppose the US is also responsible for the recent earthquake in Pakistan.

  121. 121 Jennifer
    November 7, 2008 at 23:11

    @ Jens

    I have never “glorified” George Bush. I am just tired of everyone wanting to pass the buck instead of at some point just knocking off the whole “It’s all his fault!!” mentality. We will get NOWHERE unless we say this is our country and we have to be accountable. Is George Bush responsible for some of our problems? Maybe; but he is 1 man. We are many individual people. We are each responsible for ourselves, our actions, and what we do. He’s the president so it’s easier to just blame him for all of the bad things!

    I have a feeling you would be feeling a little ridiculous about now about telling me how rough your life has been as if you are the only person in the entire world or everyone else except me has had rough circumstances.

    What disgusts me most about some people here in the US is their lack of accountability, realization that they make their own success or failure not just by what happens to them that they can’t control but by how they react, and the lack of basic respect for others and morals that don’t just apply to other people. All of those things have grown to levels that disgust me! I don’t see those things changing in the US! Everyone here just things they are owed everything!


  122. November 7, 2008 at 23:15

    @ Sama

    I think guns and bombs link them both, and as well the Israelis. Personally, when I think about the middle east as an American, first I think of what god awful policies and mistakes have been made there by Americans; second, I think of many groups of people that have always been killing each other. This is not limited to some popular opinion that all Americans think that Israel is perfect, they aren’t, we aren’t, and nobody is.

    The third thing that comes to mind is, there never seems to be any genuine hope of this cycle ending. I surely don’t understand how an America president could ever hope to do anything to change it. I would be all but happy if we, America as a country would pull out and stop making bad investments over there, and try to make better ones here at home. When the people of the middle east truly want peace, they will stop killing each other for power.

  123. 123 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    November 7, 2008 at 23:26

    OK. Nuts and bolts.

    There’s no denying that the economy needs fixing, but beyond restoring the sort of regulations that were put in place by FDR after GDI, (the first great depression) is there really a whole lot a president can do about the economy? Maybe under a socialist system. [Sorry, but I couldn’t not touch that one.]

    The truth is that the economy is run by corporations and consumers. The President of a free enterprise system can at best play the role of negotiator between these parties. Or at least that’s the way I see it, though I admit I’ve never found economics all that interesting, so I don’t pretend to speak with authority.

    I still believe Obama’s first priority should be to address areas of concern where he is primarily responsible and has the power to make effective changes. Regarding where the most critical areas would be within this context, I stand by my earlier comments. comments.

    [This time the repetition was a deliberate case of echolalia]
    RIP Kurt Vonnegut. His books taught me that word.

  124. 124 Gina
    November 7, 2008 at 23:27

    Barak Obama’s top priority? Bring the economy to war-time levels of activity by waging a war against slavery, against enslavement or ownership of parcels of land by individuals that is. Land ownership has distributed humanity in such a way as to be a major factor in pollution, has resulted in unmaintainable support infrastructure, and has abused the earth. Land ownership could be replaced by simply home ownership on un-owned land.

    Full-throttle funding of such an effort to save the environment, by building the first zero-carbon footprint cities in the USA, could save both the earth and the economy. It would restore jobs in our country and could even engage our troops in more positive occupations… all with one well-directed priority. Small businesses, women, the disabled, the elderly, children and men could all fully participate in making charming new small cities without the dangerous cars and pollution the we have everywhere today.

    Build zero-carbon footprint cities and he’ll fight the war against todays slavery.

  125. 125 Venessa
    November 7, 2008 at 23:27

    Chad ~

    Well said. My concern is that other countries don’t realize how much turmoil we have here and will be angered when the US doesn’t give more than it already does. This is our president and government and it’s time for the neglect to end in this country.

  126. 126 L. Walker
    November 7, 2008 at 23:32

    ok ok, i can’t let your speaker get away with his democrat = high spender high taxer comment… and how he’s comforted that obama wasn’t acting like an ideologue.

    1. most of the national deficit has been created by republican administrations. that’s a fact. reagan chalked up most of it himself. (cute article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-j-cady/republican-presidents-alw_b_133077.html )

    2. the idea of tax and spend being levied as an accusation. isn’t that more conservative financially, only spend what you can afford?

    3. and seriously…the ‘right wing’ ISN’T an ideologue? trickle down doesn’t work and they still demand it will. ‘firing up the evangelical base’ over ‘moral issues’ that they think should be legislated (small government i think not) that isn’t ideological?? if that isn’t blind ideology then i don’t know what is.

    i also don’t get why people don’t like clinton… didn’t he make some 23 million jobs and give w bush a surplus? i’m confused…. is that a bad thing?

  127. 127 Bryan
    November 7, 2008 at 23:32

    Dunno if anyone is aware of this, but there is an imminent election in New Zealand (remember that country) and it is mainly a contest between left and right. I’ve just read an article which was refreshing in that it demonstrated impartial, informative political reporting. There was no evidence of the adoration of one candidate and spurning of the other – which we have seen so much of in the partisan reporting from the BBC and other media on Obama and McCain. In fact, it was impossible to discern which New Zealand party, if any, the journalist actually supported. And that, of course, is how it should be.

    Funny thing is, the article is from the BBC:


  128. 128 Bryan
    November 7, 2008 at 23:34

    Oops, my post, containing a link, just took a dive into a black hole.

  129. November 8, 2008 at 04:39

    I’m just wondering, if people think that somehow all journalists are immune to forming an opinion and sometimes allowing that to bleed through? I think what everyone seems to overlook is … the gravity of the situation. The stronger and heavier a situation is perceived to be, the greater the result of gravity from that situation will be felt and show.

    No one is perfect.

    Which makes it perfectly acceptable to observe the gravity of a situation, and state an opinion, long as it is based on fact. And in turn, makes it perfectly acceptable to not agree. And as always, don’t believe everything you hear and read, look into it for yourself, then form your opinion.

  130. November 8, 2008 at 05:03

    I think the best thing one can do to offer anyone any kind of advice or help is, prove how they have done it and how it works for them. If it is something that holds true, people will see that. Be a working model. First design your home, and make sure the design is sound, and then at that point you can offer someone help with their design. I’m pretty sure that within the process of doing this, if your neighbors see that you’re doing something that works, when you offer that word of advice, it will not fall on def ears … and good possibly even be welcomed.

    My opinion of the current and past ideas which drive the global economy are that it is utterly flawed. In our effort to reach out around the world, which is much smaller now through technology, we are losing sight of what is right in front of us. The means which has driven our expansion is not unlimited, nor is our growth. We will run out of room on the planet if we keep expanding. It is my belief that indepence is the answer to the global situation. If people become more self sufficient and reliant the strain of those which produce and consume will be relieved. Becoming green is the answer.

    Becoming green is more than something about the environment, in the sense of climate change, it truly is a lifestyle and guide. I’m not sure of how to explain it on every level just yet, but I am working on it. For now all I can offer is this …

    Recycle. In the process of going through your trash every week and sorting it, you see what you consume and you see what you waste. You see the waste of your habits … and those habits which we shrug off as … ah, someday … seem to gain gravity. If you do this for a month, you will start changing the way you think. Recently, my wife and I have decided that well will no longer “eat-out” anywhere that does not have solid washable dishes. We will also bring our own “to-go” container.

    If your still not too keen on the trash example, to you I say, ask the F.B.I. why they look in trash at times when profiling …

  131. November 8, 2008 at 05:06

    Would it be impossible to add and edit option to a post? (giggles)

  132. 132 roebert
    November 8, 2008 at 07:36

    Bryan: what’s all this frenetic BBCBias-hunting? Some days ago, to my cautious delight, the BBC revisited the tragic Saakhasvili-Georgia-Russia-US debacle with an approach that positively admitted that the BBC had been duped and had to be more careful in future. The question left hanging for me was: how come an ordinary guy like myself had that situation correctly summed up long before the BBC did? I think that the ‘bias’ is often the result of bad source-input.

    Is the BBC Biased? Let’s have a producer, say Mark Sandell, put to the rack by Tim Bombastion on HARDLYabletotalk, and find out once for all.

    But I don’t think they are biased. Not intentionally.

  133. 133 Khetab Habibi
    November 8, 2008 at 11:38

    There are lots of things for President Obama to have on his to do list, today, America is not the america which was ten years go. Iraq wa, Afghanistan war, pakistan borders, taliban, alqida, russian, iran, global financial crisis and the worldwise image of america are all issues which are needed to be solved.

    Obama should begin to see what were the causes of these problems, for example, global financial crisis is a problem raised by economic situation of america. Billions of dollars have been spent in Iraq and Afghanistan from the capital of the United States while the results is still fail. Billions should be spent more on Iraq and Afghanistan, but no one knows if the problems will be solved. Since 2001, american foces, ISAF, Nato, Afghan troops have been tring their best to remove Taliban, but from the 33 provinces of Afghanistan, taliban have been removed only from 5 provinces yet. America entered Iraq blaming for having nuclear weepon, today, iraq is a destroyed country full of war, but no nuclear weapon was found in all over iraq. America is trying to stop Iran for making uranium while many countries have made nuclear weapon in the last decades, for example, pakistan.
    Billions of dollars have been spent with failure results which affected the ecnomic situation of American resulting in decrease to house prices and increase in unemployment being the start of world financial crisis.

    President Obama has to deal with lots of things, the most important the economy, but by dealing with foriegn policy, the economy problem will be solved automatically, in my opinion.

    There for, I prefer Obama to deal with foriegn policy in order to solve all the enternal and external problems.

    Obama said he will carry some troops from Iraq to Afghansitan, but I would like to mention that this will NOT solve the problem. British, Russian and many other nations have been beat from Afghanistan when they started using power in Afghanistan. If you go on history of Afghanistan, all fighters have been beat in Afghanistan. The only strategy might be negotiating and political strategies in Afghanistan to solve the problem.

    There for, removing taliban in a smouth way and bring some troops back from iraq to america will result in less spending money and success in the two countries which will then have their impacts on the american ecnomic situation and the image of america.

  134. 134 steve
    November 8, 2008 at 14:35

    Another very specific example of the unrealistic expectations of Obama is that people think that an Obama presidency will bring voting rights to DC. There are still not 60 democrats in the senate, so there will be no laws giving voting rights to DC. So the people of DC will feel let down.

  135. 135 Joe Polly
    November 8, 2008 at 15:50

    Obama’s policies were so vague in his campaign that you could believe he stood for everything under the sun. Now reality is sinking in as he chooses his White House staffers who in the key posts are all ex-Clinton sidekicks. The choice of a “pops” figure , Biden, for VP shows that all the “super-confidence” he displayed on the campaign trail, and sought to instill in voters,was bluff. His administration will change nothing of significance. Policy-wise he will be W.Clinton Mk11. The only question is whether or not he is 2 terms or 1. My bet is 1. Regardless of that he carries a huge burden for black political representation in general. Think about it and it is clear that if this guy fails by being W.Clinton Mk11, who will take seriously again putting a black guy/woman in the top job or even further down. Has Obama even given this a second thought? I doubt it. And even if he has you can bet those “aides” of his will persuade him to sideline it double-quick.

  136. 136 Roberto
    November 8, 2008 at 16:03

    RE “” reagan chalked up most of it himself. “”

    ——– Nonsense is easy to make up. Always telling when someone uses the Huffington Post or Fox News to make a point.

    Just as easy to use Mad Magazine or National Lampoon for funnier nonsense, but some are really serious about their nonsense.

    Reagan did indeed run up a trillion buck national debt, primarily with defense spending which famously bankrupt the Soviet regime, but he also set the stage along with his sucessor, Bush Sr to pay everything off with an unrivaled economic base. Heck, Billy Slick hisself could pay off half of it with his post presidential earnings alone!

    Didn’t work out because of the collusion between Billy Slick and Rep congress and incompetency of Junior in the wake of the most massive fraud ever perpetuated on the world by corporate wall street. National debt projected to be in the 11-12 trillion range by the time of Obama’s swearing in.

    Poor Dem voters still can’t let go of election spankings of the past. One can only hope and pray that Obama is more astute than the voters who elected him. Lets not forget they also elected Slick and Junior to consecutive failed terms.

    It’s scary to this confirmed political atheist to think we could be in for 24 consecutive years of a fail presidency and political process. I’d like to think even a blind hog in the natural order of things can find an acorn now and again.

  137. 137 selena in Canada
    November 8, 2008 at 16:05


    I have to agree with you but probably not for the same reasons. When I saw President-elect Obama’s possible appointments, I thought the more thing change the more they remain the same.

    But what else can be expected really? Those guys all jockeyed for position as they worked to get him elected. What else can the poor man do but satisfy their expectations? If he doesn’t, he will spend all his time putting out fires. As it is, he will spend a good part of his time watching his back. It is a brave man indeed who will cast aside the old for the new.

    If one looks realistically at the world economy, the guys who caused it can’t possibly be expected to fix it. Yet, whenever we hear the word experience that is exactly what we are hearing.

    Obama needs new blood desperately but democratic politics is not set up for a transfusion. The political machinery has not kept pace with the new technology.

    There are interesting times ahead!

  138. 138 Kyung-tae
    November 8, 2008 at 17:00

    Obama should establish various policies about North Korea. Mr Kim, North Korea president, could again make newclear bombs.

  139. 139 Eneko Fraile
    November 8, 2008 at 17:19

    One important priority of Obama is to improve relations with the Cuban government and eventually start a process to remove the blockade. Cuba must be given access to markets and technology.
    The attitude towards Latin America in general should also be changed radically during his mandate if he wants to win the respect and the stability of that (large) part of the world. American economic and military interventionism and the interference with internal affairs of soberane nations is at the very heart of the political instability in central and south America.
    Obamas’s etnicity, albeit wellcome, won’t be enough. After all who isn’t mixed-blood in Latin America?

    November 8, 2008 at 17:20

    I would like to add here that the Blacks have living Icons who need to be cellebrated everyday also.

    Nigerian has a man by name EMEGWALI PHILIPS.

  141. 141 Taslim Khan
    November 8, 2008 at 17:41

    Obama should revive America’s economy at first . He should do more to gain the lost image of America. He should bring the army back from Iraq even from Afghanistan ,if it will be possible . He should work for to bring peace between Palestine and Israel . Obama should work as a mediator between India and pakistan to resolve Kashmir disputes. Because if Kashmir issue will be solved , there will be peace and stability among the south Asian nation. Once Kashmir issue will salved Pakistan could concentrate more on the afghan border to fight Taliban and al-qaida. I personally think Obama should put pressure on India to resolve the Kashmir issue . Obama should talk to nation like North Korea. Because there is no alternative of negotiation .

  142. 142 Elizbeth Parker
    November 8, 2008 at 19:41

    Obama’s top policy should be about stopping the wars that the US in the middle of. If he could stop all this fighting, or at least some of it, billions would be freed up for the ecomomy and other things.
    People need to realise that Obama is NOT going to bring about the huge changes that everyone thinks he will – he is the US President after all.

  143. 143 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    November 8, 2008 at 22:40

    A few practical suggestions:

    A top priority: Walter Reed.

    A suggestion of where to trim some fat: Kellogg, Brown and Root. (maybe start by examining their executive package)

    A radical new frontier to be explored: Alternative National Service.

    (for starters)

  144. November 9, 2008 at 04:37

    Troop, I’d probably vote for you… but America won’t – far too radical (though probably what the US needs!)

    John in Salem – Pretty much agree there too.

    One thing that’s very clear is that the health of the “Real” economy depends on the finances of ordinary middle-class families. The Wall Street – or “Virtual” – economy is only a measure of how well-off the wealthy are. And as they have managed to virtually bankrupt the Real economy through their sheer greed, the source of their undeserved wealth has dried up.

    Obama will have to pull out the stops & be extremely courageous in the face of the critics (voices of the wealthy classes, for the most part) to kick-start the Real economy and give the middle-classes back their financial freedom, whatever the cost to Wall Street, the Big Banks/Moneylenders, Financial & Insurance institutions, the stock market & even the exchange rate.

    And the US (and it’s allies) have no business sending military forces into any other sovereign country, besides the fact that they are incapable of “winning” in any of these conflicts. Get straight out & find other ways to make friends & improve & encourage these countries’ capacities to manage their own defense & terrorist threats.

    And close Guantanamo now. No-one should be charged or tried if not in an internationally recognized court of law.

    Radical? No. It’s just cleaning up. You haven’t seen radical.

  145. 145 Naweed Ahmad Nayib
    November 9, 2008 at 12:46

    Mr. Obama’s first top priority should be to build-up the US economy. secondly he should work on Afghanistan and Iraq situations. Afghanistan is very critical for USA at this time.

  146. 146 Luc Amsterdam
    November 9, 2008 at 13:42

    Transport includes economy, our climate and air-quality, nature, development of the land and maybe more. Now that car-companies like GM and Ford are facing serious problems, my hope is that a new government of Change will not rush to come to their rescue with huge sums of money. May Obama give priority to investments in public transport and the bicycle instead!

  147. November 9, 2008 at 13:46

    He should first prove what country he was born in? If he is not a legal, Constitutional candidate he can not hold office. American citizens have a right and duty to know the truth. He must follow the law no matter what race he is!

  148. November 9, 2008 at 14:44

    @ Robert

    “He should first prove what country he was born in? If he is not a legal, Constitutional candidate he can not hold office. American citizens have a right and duty to know the truth. He must follow the law no matter what race he is!”

    You can’t seriously think that hasn’t already been done … I mean, common sense? Stop beating a dead horse, he won, get over it. And to anyone that thinks otherwise,

    it’s 2009 okay, not 1909.

  149. 149 Roberto
    November 9, 2008 at 16:15

    RE “” And close Guantanamo now. No-one should be charged or tried if not in an internationally recognized court of law. “”

    ——– All for closing Guantanomo, but only if all those prisoners who’s identities remain unknown and who are otherwise unclaimed by their countries of origin, well of course they should come and live with you and your family.

    Hold you legally responsible for their actions and let you provide for their “well being.”

  150. 150 selena in Canada
    November 9, 2008 at 16:33


    well of course they should come and live with you and your family.

    I would help any one not proven guilty in a civilian court of law, until he had a chance to recover his life.

  151. 151 selena in Canada
    November 9, 2008 at 16:35


    Stop beating a dead horse, he won, get over it.

    Hardliners don’t get over anything. Losing only makes them more determined. Remember how they dogged Clinton’s every move! LOL

  152. 152 weezer09
    November 9, 2008 at 17:24

    Mr obama should end the war on his first day and remove all troops from overseas.we have spent too much on an illegal,unjust war, it is not the United States that needs to end the worlds problems. After that he needs to takeover the oil companies and the upper classes revenue.Spread that wealth around to those of us that don’t work.

  153. 153 roebert
    November 9, 2008 at 18:10

    Re: “…those prisoners whose identities remain unknown etc.”

    Not the usual all-round commonsense we’ve grown accustomed to from this blogger. I mean, you should spend the rest of your days imprisoned because the party that imprisoned you in the first place caused you to lose all trace of your identity? And it’s up to the general public to adopt you then?

  154. 154 Roberto
    November 9, 2008 at 20:29

    RE “” I mean, you should spend the rest of your days imprisoned because the party that imprisoned you in the first place caused you to lose all trace of your identity? “”

    ——– I have little tolerance for the naive high minded principles of relatively comfortable folks who have the luxury of living safely outside a war zone.

    These chaps were captured in a war setting. Like any war, many, many civilians are needlessly killed, injured, and otherwise greatly damaged, sometimes for life.

    When the US political and juriprudence system starts providing real justice for it’s own citizens instead of cheap lip service about the rule of law, I’m more than willing to extend the services of our civilian courts to these poor chaps if it were financially feasible.

    Who says they lost their identities? Unless derranged, everyone knows their identities. The problem is that some identities cannot be confirmed and known detainees’ countries of origin won’t accept them. Ones that could be returned have been.

    Currently one of the sons of Bin Laden is being denied entrance into UK and US. Quatar and Egypt will not accept him. He’s afraid to return to Saudi Arabia because he fears for his life. Will high minded dears passing pronouncements on justice, will they sponsor him?

    If things are continued to be run in the incompetant fashion that folks have blindly accepted, anarchy and war will be knocking on doors before you know it, and we’ll see just how principled and high minded folks are then.

  155. 155 selena in Canada
    November 9, 2008 at 21:10

    I have little tolerance for the naive high minded principles of relatively comfortable folks who have the luxury of living safely outside a war zone.

    Currently one of the sons of Bin Laden is being denied entrance into UK and US. Quatar and Egypt will not accept him.

    Has your lack of tolerance helped the people who live inside war zones?

    And, are you visiting the sins of the father upon the sons?

    I am very proud to be one of your high minded dears. If you were in a similar situation, I would be expecting justice for you. Justice should not only be reserved for those whom we, personally, deem worthy.

    Do you really believe you know all there is to know about those who are considered your enemies?

  156. November 9, 2008 at 22:23

    Roberto, your attitude strikes me as typical of why the rest of the world has fallen out of love with the US.

    Justice is universal or it isn’t justice.

  157. 157 Brendan in PDX
    November 10, 2008 at 00:25

    Time for a new New Deal. Federally sponsored infrastructure projects will have many positive effects. Projects such as fitting all government buildings with solar panels, building wind farms and harnessing tide and wave energy need to be the focus. This will create millions of new jobs. It would also help decentralize domestic energy production creating better security while reducing our dependence on energy imports.

  158. November 10, 2008 at 01:29

    @Paul, Waco

    Obama has NOT proved his birthplace, he has done everything to avoid the issue. If YOU have proof of his bithplace… let the rest of us know, there are hundreds of law suits going on all over America today about this and will be going on untill citizens find the truth. I don’t even dislike Obama, but if he is not legal he can not be the President wether he got the votes or not, because if he is not a legal citizen it doesn’t mater if he got ALL the votes…the Contitution comes first, that is the final law of our nation. I agree what a huge mess this would be now, but there is no way to get around the fundamental issue of American Constitutional Law. My email is filled with hundreds of new articles and law reports about what is going on today…what are you reading? In 2008 or1808 Americans MUST follow the law, even Obama. Bith Cerification in the 1960s should be very easy to prove, WHY has this become such a big issue if something isn’t wrong? I “seriously know” this is not about being a sore loser or “beating a dead horse” it is all about keeping the truth and Constitution and keeping our government legal and safe from FRAUD. Make fun of me if you must—BUT OBAMA must prove yet, where he was born to be the President, no matter what. SEE you in court!

  159. 159 Roberto
    November 10, 2008 at 02:27

    RE “” Justice is universal or it isn’t justice. “”

    ——– Your attitude strikes me as the reason the world is in grips in the most massive global economic shakeup ever seen on the heels of excessive global warming caused by overpopulation and man made activities.

    It ain’t even justice in the US for most of it’s citizens, much less the citizens of the entire universe. You want universal justice, than live and die. That’s the only universal justice that has ever existed.

    Anybody else talking about justice is only talking about their version of justice, I happen to know about the thousands of years of history of justice which is bloody and brutal beyond belief. Those chaps in Guantanamo have some pretty cushy justice compared to history where they would have been summarily drawn and quartered or set up against a firing squad.

    They even have it better than many of our fellow Americans who are more and more having to live like feral cats without reliable employment, shelter, or jobs not to mention the few billion of the world born and dying in abject poverty.

  160. 160 Jennifer
    November 10, 2008 at 04:54

    @ Robert

    Like you, I have doubt about Obama. I find it interesting that his supporters expect everyone who doubts him to fall all over him now. The lack of some people doing that has nothing to do with being a sore loser. It has to do with knowing there are huge gaps where connections should be with regards to certain issues/people and Obama. That doesn’t change just because he has been elected.

    If Obama wanted to run; he’d know of the US birthplace requirement and if he was running despite that; do anything to continue to qualify. When someone is evasive about an issue it makes them look guilty. Sending around a copy doesn’t help much or having the “rumor” debunked by people who donate money to your campaign.

  161. November 10, 2008 at 08:23

    Something seems very wrong in the political lines drawn between people on this blog? Many talking like a “rule of law” is THE problem some how for causing human misery, I don’t get this attitude? Then in one breathe many folks mentioning all the world’s MANY conflicts and problems are “because” of Britain and America?The USA and UK with our brave allies are the ONLY ones trying to hold things together…then many bloggers talk as if the USA and UK would just “go away” these many wars and conflicts would just STOP and in some wordwide, socialist, funny money, racial PEACE movement, love fest, PEACE would come at last?
    “You can’t win for losing!” is an old saying that comes to mind, I really don’t understand what many are implying or suggesting here? We all know the “WORLD” is angry, I believe because of a lack of social planning and over population for the basic needs of so many billions. I do not blame the rich, take all their money and millions, maybe even a couple billion people, would still be living in the deepest pain of hunger and poverty. How the world got into this state of social horror, I believe, was that the “WORLD” did not listen to the UK or USA and did as they pleased atfer the abrupt end of the Empire. I can hear many of you screaming now “Empire”! but It surely has not worked out well in the world, that we can all agree on! No matter how much we admire Mr. Obama, , we should all be fair and remember Mr. Obama has very limitted power as USA President. I see so much false hope turning to dispair and anger if we aren’t more realistic. Give Obama a chance.

  162. 162 Reem
    November 10, 2008 at 09:16

    Good Day!

    Firstly, thank you very much in deed for raising this heated debate, and I think people here in Jordan are happy for having Obama to success Bush for several reasons listed as follows:
    1. Hoping that Obama will withdraw from Iraq and will stop bloodshed in many countries including Afghanistan.
    2. Hoping that the global crisis will reach to the end especially with the expected alliance that Obama may do namely with Valenzuela and Iran.
    3. Jordanian People are happy to find that there is a first black President hitting the White house door.

    However, reading political history of America would indicate that USA has too many separate regimes work effectively regardless of the nomination of presidency, including strong pressure groups that can easily takeover country’s ruling.

    Perhaps, the choice of any new president would be “Join Or Die”, and we’ve seen many examples for presidents who did not join these group’s ideology and whose last destination was definitely out of White House, last of whom, Bill Clinton. Subsequently, I believe that Obama won’t be different from Mr.Bush apart of the propaganda that he launch to beautify his image; yet actions speak louder than words.

    Reem Matarneh

  163. November 10, 2008 at 09:26

    Barack Obama needs to take a different approach to that of the Bush Administration if he is to make a difference to the prevailing situation. He needs to understand that if America is to maintain its leadership in economic and political spheres, it has to promote peace and security. Big things start from little things. If other countries continue to suffer from disorder and political and economic instabilities especially with an American hand involved, it is imposible for America to be safe and unaffected alone.
    He needs to notice that American interests would be achieved better if America could respect international laws, promote friendship instead of conflict between and within states, take others as equal instead of instruments and by dialogue instead of military muscles.

  164. 164 roebert
    November 10, 2008 at 10:46

    Re: “…little tolerance for naive, high-minded principles etc.”

    I don’t think it is particularly high-minded to entertain the notion that detainees whose guilt remains unproven should not be kept imprisoned indefinitely.

    The deportation of undesirables to their countries of origin can surely not pose much of a problem to the US, even if those countries don’t want them back. There are international conventions governing that sort of thing.

    “Who said they lost their identities?”
    You did.

    As for the idea that G-bay is now a sort of US-run refugee camp for international undesirables; well, you know what they say of any good tall-tale: Si non e vero, e ben’ trovato.

    And when all’s said and done: If you go make a Stalag, it’s up to you to solve the Stalag problem.

  165. November 10, 2008 at 12:27

    Obama’s obvious top priority should be doing whatever is needed to make America have a true outlook from people from other places of the planet.this will be achieved if he removes America from treaties such as that for curbing gas emissions and nuclear weapons regulation…..non of this treaties will be achieved by America,so its better not to sign and be apart of it.

    precisely right


  166. November 10, 2008 at 12:30

    Obama should also make his followers understand that……yes they can,but and not all or any will!!!…..
    With politics,not all will.

    precisely right


  167. 167 Roberto
    November 10, 2008 at 15:30

    notion that detainees whose guilt remains unproven should not be kept imprisoned indefinitely.

    ——– Don’t see any of you decrying all the American convicts wrongly convicted to life in prison or death row. Thousands in the US, millions across the globe.

    Like I stated, US has been effectively dealing with the problem. To Wit:

    “” 775 detainees have been brought to Guantánamo. Of these, approximately 420 have been released without charge, with only one prisoner, David Hicks, being convicted of a crime.[9] As of May 2008, approximately 270 detainees remain.[10] More than a fifth are cleared for release “”

    So clearly approx 75% have been given due process, but the usual suspects frothing about justice will never acknowledge success, only harp on the supposed failures. Children of comfort will always whine about something and it’s much easier to cry about itty bitty Gitmo than vast Sudan, Congo, or Chad involving tens of millions of civil war refugees scrounging for bugs to eat and a twig to cook them with.

  168. November 10, 2008 at 15:31

    If Obama really wants to show the world that he is serious about “Change”, he should have the entire outgoing administration arrested (cf. http://kucinich.house.gov/NEWS/DocumentSingle/.aspx?DocumentID=93581). This would send a positive message to combatants and supporters of terrorists that the war in Iraq and the “War on Terror” will have legal consequences.

  169. November 10, 2008 at 16:50

    @Kevin on earth,

    Thanks for you thoughts. Radical is OK if it turns out to be effective. Half measures, are what do not work. Half measures are what got us in big trouble.

    Not being realistic with all this easy credit was either radical or subversively deceptive if you read it the way the experts should have. What were they thinking.

    The free economy market place actually proved that human greed is too universal to avoid self destruction. It must be dictated to at times in a rather harsh, rice bowl breaking way by a higher athority …. ie government.

    One more thing. Our enemies are real and they must not be allowed to slip out of confrontation to drag on this war that has been being waged against America for some 35 years. It must be dealt with decisively now so that our grandchildren do not have to look forward to trickling it on.

    We must draft our social problems and twist them in our resources. If we feed and house criminals make them earn their debt to our society via fighting our very different enemies. This is also true of illegals in our nation against our laws.

    train them then drop them by parachute into isolated cordons around enemy base camps built up high, underground.

    2 or 3 million really bad American forces, infantry forces, being used as the worlds great warriors used them ….. in hunting and trapping scenarios learned from hunting. The lesson must be conveyed that when a foreign enemy attacks the private citizens of America….we will hunt them down …….find them, close with them, then finally destroy them and take their money and assets.

    There really is no alternative to this. We must sacrafice and if that does not work then we draft the citizens of state and fight until we either lose or cause the enemy to lose their will.

    We did this with the Germans, and we did this with the Jappanese. It was radical, but it had to be done. We even felt so strongly back then about it that we did use horrible, horrible weapons of mass destruction on them. In the end it did everyone a huge favor.

    Adjustments like those have to be made from time to time. The further you get away from the jungle the less civil man and his relentless spirit upon the planet becomes.


  170. 171 Gary Mitchell
    November 11, 2008 at 01:40

    Good day to you all,
    I’m responding to a previous question about Obama’s win affecting my region dated nov. 10, 2008:
    “Are you happy with the outcome of the election? How will it affect you? Share your views on our US election result map”.

    This my response:

    With the level of organisation observed in the Obama Campaign, there will be effects felt in my part of the world [i.e. the Caribbean]. I do not believe it will be direct but more so indirectly. Any residual changes to affect my region would be minimal at first but more positive in the long run.
    This election has been intriguing from start to finish. Obama is a true example of meticulous planning and superb execution. I’ll definitely have to include this phenomenon in my next thesis.

    NB-This is my first time posting a comment and would appreciate assistance in having this posted to the correct uplink. Thanks….

  171. 172 Gary Mitchell
    November 11, 2008 at 01:48

    My response to the above question is simply :

    *The economy

    *Equal opportunities for all globally via trade and shared human resources.

    These would have to be executed in phases in simultaneous or consecutive timelines.

    Thank you.

  172. 173 Nikki, New Jersey, USA
    November 11, 2008 at 02:08

    Financial Literacy for the Middle Class should be TOP PRIORITY for any American who believes we need change in America, not just that of President-elect Barack Obama.

    Let’s be realistic – the economic crisis can be solved one American at a time, one business at a time and one policy at a time. A National Survey showed that most Americans were spending $1.22 d for each $1.00 they made. WHY? Because no one stopped to think that there is such a thing as negative savings. A lot of Americans, if my thought process is right, did, at some point in their lives, come across the “Number Line” where you have negative and positive numbers, however, only a few seemd concerned about being on the “Wrong Side” of the line. Mr. David Walker, in his “Wake-up” tour alluded to this, however, people seemed more concerned about the latest high definition TVs rather than their bank accounts.

    Economically speaking, savings tend to drive economic growth, which leads to some spending and then more savings. It seems as though a lot of Americans forgot Economics 101. Americans need to “Turn off” their TV sets after dinner time and get back to the basics – education.

  173. 174 smithcopper
    November 11, 2008 at 05:04

    1. Investigations into Freddie & Fannie for crashing world markets
    2. Secure borders, no licenses for illegals
    3. Less government intervention and let the market work itself out
    4. Cut people off their pimp plans and make them go to work and pay what they owe

  174. November 11, 2008 at 19:41

    Never before in living memory has the US and US Preident faced sucha daunting task at home and abroad. Obama gives the impression he can do it by introducing the necessary changes on various fronts. One could look forward to the policies, strategies and tactics in greater detail now that he is said to be busy be getting his elite teams to work on them. America’s priorities also overlap with similar concerns in both developed and developing world. How will he articulate these priorities and linkages? His first global effort on the economy and its recovery might become clear when the Group of 20 World Leaders meet next week in Washington. Energy and environment may be next.

  175. 176 Eric
    January 21, 2009 at 21:22

    Dear BBC,
    I think one of President Obama’s top priorities should be tackling the dangerous epidemic of Pit Bull fighting all over the U.S. This problem has been running unchecked for over two decades. It is linked with organized crime, drugs, rape, murder, robbery and the total corruption of inner city youth as well as kids and adults from affluent areas. Seven dog fighting magazines currently exist and circulate in the U.S.
    The practice of fighting Pit Bull dogs is beyond a disgrace in a country as great as ours. How many millions upon millions of additional dogs must die and how many more young lives must be ruined?
    Mr. Obama please give this issue your full attention. Thank you.

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