When Barack Obama greeted the 125,000 supporters in Chicago's Grant Park on Election Night, his eyes looked dark, solemn. He did not seem jubilant about his presidential victory, but rather, contemplative, concerned.
It's no wonder: He is burdened with the nation's, and the world's, enormous expectations, yet he faces fearsome domestic and international crises: a recession, which if you believe Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, could slip into a depression; a trillion-dollar federal deficit; a national health care crisis; wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East; and a global economic downturn as tenuous as a tower in the game of Jenga.
We've waited eight seemingly interminable years to bid good riddance to George W. Bush. Dubya has left the building, albeit in rubble. Now what? Jan. 20 at noon is the beginning. That day, we'll celebrate. Then on Jan. 21, not only Barack Obama, but every one of us, must begin the arduous work, even in small ways, of rebuilding and healing this country. We should expect as much of ourselves as we do our president. —Lisa Sorg