News

America Looks Ahead to Obama Administration

Multimedia

Audio

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has begun assembling a White House team in advance of the presidential transition January 20. Mike O'Sullivan reports that after the excitement over the historic election dies down, the next president will face some serious domestic and international issues.

Barack Obama outlined some of the challenges facing the nation in his victory speech in Chicago Tuesday night. They include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, environmental issues and an economic crisis. He predicted setbacks and false starts, but said he is confident the problems can be tackled. 

"There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build and threats to meet, alliances to repair. The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there," he said.

Exit polls taken during the election show that more than six in ten Americans view the flagging economy as the most important issue facing the nation. One in ten voters cited other key concerns, such as the war in Iraq, health care and terrorism.

Who will be chosen as Treasury Secretary?

Mr. Obama has just 2 1/2 months to prepare for his transition, and there is speculation over the makeup of his new administration. Some wonder if his campaign advisers may have a formal role, perhaps in the key job of treasury secretary. Speculation surrounding that important job has focused on Paul Volcker, who was federal reserve chairman under President Ronald Reagan, and Robert Rubin, a former treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton. Some wonder if there may even be a role for another Obama supporter, the billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

Chief of Staff Position could go to former Clinton adviser

Senator Obama is starting to assemble his White House staff. News reports say he has offered the job of chief of staff to Rahm Emanuel, a Democratic member of congress who was once a senior adviser to former president Clinton.

The next president should have a sympathetic Congress when he takes the oath of office in January. It will be the first time since the early years of the Clinton presidency when Democrats have held the White House and a majority of seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate. They will still need cooperation from Republicans, especially in the Senate, where Democrats failed to get the 60 seats that would have protected them from procedural blocks known as filibusters. Some newly elected Democrats from conservative states, such as Virginia and North Carolina, may also want to embrace a moderate agenda.

President-elect urged to govern from center

In Washington Wednesday, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, urged the next president to govern from the center. 

"At a time of this economic crisis, our priority should be very clear about what we need to do. Each side of the spectrum can hope to influence the decision. But the fact is that a new president coming in, in my view, must take the country down the middle to solve the problems, to gain the confidence, to take us more strongly in a new direction," he said.

Analysts credit the Obama win to a highly effective campaign, an exceptional ability at fundraising, and a message that resonated with voters across demographic lines. In his victory speech, Senator Obama said he will be president for all Americans, even those who voted against him. 

DNC chairman says Obama's message resonates with voters

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean says the message of the election is clear. 

"Americans have given all of us - Democrats, Republicans and Independents - a simple mandate to work together to find big solutions to the big challenges that face our country," he said.

As the president-elect turns his attention to the business of governing, the euphoria over his historic election has not subsided. Senator Obama is the first African American to be elected U.S. president. Another African American leader, Georgia Representative John Lewis, says the Obama victory will inspire future generations. Lewis spoke on NBC Television's Today show about the message of the Obama win.

"It doesn't matter whether you are black or white or Latino or Asian American or Native American, you can grow up in America and be anything that you want to be. People will be saying for years to come, 'If Barack Obama can do it, you can do it too,'" he said.

The man Senator Obama will replace in the White House, President George W. Bush, said this election is uplifting for a generation of Americans who watched the struggle for civil rights unfold, and are seeing the dream fulfilled four decades later.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs