Obama: He Can Campaign, But Can He Govern?

If the polls are correct when we wake up next week on November 5th, President-Elect Barack Obama and Vice-President -Elect Joe Biden will be starting to put together a new administration to try to solve America's massive economic and foreign policy problems.

Obama has proven to be a gifted speaker, dazzling the crowds who will go to the polls in record numbers to vote for him to be our 44th president.

Obama has proven to be an amazing fundraiser, bringing in a record number of dollars through the Internet and revolutionizing how campaigns will be raising money in the future.

Obama has proven to be very disciplined in his campaign messages on domestic and foreign policy issues. He has shown a knowledge of the facts in the presidential debates.

Obama has been cool and confident during the economic crisis we find ourselves in today, and that has helped his rise in the polls. He appears to be someone who can handle a crisis.

Obama's campaign staff has been loyal and on message throughout the long primary season and the general election campaign.

And when, if the polls are correct, Obama is our new president-elect, it will be an historic moment in our country's history. The first African-American president will show how far America has come in the past several decades. His election will show that America is about hope and opportunity for all of our citizens and it will greatly restore America's role in the world. Obama is a popular figure across Europe and the rest of the world.

With all this said, the main question on all of our minds is not that this is history in the making--which it truly is--but how Obama and Biden will solve our massive problems.

We are at the tip of the iceberg in our dire economic situation. We are fighting two wars and engaged in the War on Terror. We need a revised health care system. We need better schools. We need to end the polarization in our politics. We need to bring our deficits down. We definitely need a more effective energy policy. And we need a president who is willing and able to ask us to sacrifice to bring about some needed changes here and abroad.

The question we all have now is: Can Obama govern effectively? Will he choose the best and most able people for his Cabinet regardless of their party? Will he reward the special interests who helped elect him and put their interests above the national interest?

We all have questions about his leadership abilities as our 44th president. He will have no actual power until he is inaugurated next January, but he will be facing all of our problems starting next week. Hopefully, President Bush will invite Obama or one of his top economic advisors to the international economic conference he is hosting in November.

Like FDR when he came into office in the 1930s, we are facing severe economic issues that the new president has to deal with immediately. Unlike FDR, Obama not only faces these severe economic problems today but he has to figure out how to disengage American troops from Iraq without massive civil unrest in that country.

He has to figure out how to stop the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan and how many U.S. troops will be needed in that country.

What will he do if Iran continues to develop a nuclear weapon? How will he bring about a lasting Middle East peace? Will he be a protectionist or a free trader in international trade matters?

Obama will be facing daunting challenges. Let us hope his governing skills are as good as his campaigning skills. We are voting for change but for a person with very little track record in governing much less running such a huge organization like the United States government. His governing skills are negligible but he has shown a common sense approach to tackling the issues during the campaign. Let us hope he can turn these skills into being an effective and inspiring chief executive and commander-in-chief.

The American voter will speak next week. If the polls are correct we will have chosen a brilliant campaigner with very little executive experience. May he have some of the qualities that FDR exhibited during the Depression and World War II and some of the qualities Lincoln displayed during the Civil War.

He will need these qualities--in spades--to bring about the change we need.