News / USA

Obama Faces No Shortage of Challenges in Second Term

Time Magazine has named President Barack Obama its “Person of the Year” for 2012, following a tumultuous year in U.S. politics.  President Barack Obama won re-election after a hard-fought campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.  But the president has no shortage of challenges awaiting him in a second term.

After a draining re-election campaign, President Barack Obama emerged victorious over Republican Mitt Romney and projected an upbeat approach to the next four years.

“With your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do, and the future that lies ahead," he said.

But the president had little time to enjoy his triumph.  Obama quickly became involved in complicated negotiations with congressional Republicans to avert the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’.  It is the combination of severe tax hikes and budget cuts that go into effect in January unless Congress and the president can reach agreement on a deficit-reduction plan.

And then in December, President Obama was once again called on to perform the role of national ‘healer-in-chief’ in the wake of the tragic school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. “We can not tolerate this anymore.  These tragedies must end.  And to end them, we must change," he said.

But as he looks ahead to his second term, Obama has a chance to start over, says former Reagan White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein. “People are giving President Obama a second chance, perhaps to validate the promise he made in 2008, which was fundamentally to transform Washington in the way we work together or not work together," he said.

After four years of campaigning against the president, it is also an opportunity for Republicans to make a fresh start.

Thomas Mann, an analyst at the Brookings Institution, said “The reality is it is not tenable simply for Republicans to stay in opposition for the whole second term of President Obama.  If they are seen as the obstacle to doing anything to solve our problems, they are writing their own death certificate.”

Democrats made modest election gains in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and that could encourage compromise from Republicans.

Matthew Dallek, a historian with the University of California, said “And I think you will see a little bit more give (compromise) potentially from some members of the Tea Party, from some of the more hard-edged conservatives who realize that they might have to soften some of their rhetoric, some of their positions if they want to win office.”

Ken Duberstein says the months ahead could bring tough decisions on taxes and government spending, and might mean the president will demand concessions from his Democratic allies in Congress. “A major part of leadership is occasionally saying ‘no’ to your strongest allies and ‘yes’ to some of your fiercest opponents.  You have to bring people together," he said.

President Obama will be officially sworn in for a second term on January 20, with the public Inauguration ceremony the following day.

 

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs