Now, hard work really begins for Obama to rescue US from sluggish economy: WP
Four years ago, Barack Obama became the US president at a time when the economy was melting down. His election to a second term comes at a calmer, but still troubled time.
According to the Washington Post, the economy is recovering, but far more slowly than anyone imagined in 2008.
The looming fiscal problems Obama had vowed to address remain unresolved and, in fact, have deepened after four years of record deficits.
After the briefest of celebrations, the president will have to pivot to the looming fiscal cliff of scheduled tax hikes and spending cuts, lest the country veer back into recession.
Still, the prospect of four more years offers Obama a chance to conserve the accomplishments of his first term and to complete its unfinished work, the report said.
The accomplishments, as the paper said in endorsing Obama for reelection, included the stabilization of the economy and health-care reform.
According to the report, the latter has, for the most part, not taken effect; a second-term task will be to ensure that it achieves the dual goals of extending coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and beginning the difficult, uncertain process of restraining the unsustainable rise of health-care costs.
But the real measure of Obama's success will be if he can fulfill some of the promise that he made Americans so excited about his candidacy four years ago. Will an Obama second term allow him to transcend the ideological divides that he vowed to bridge but instead found so daunting?
That is a tough order in a partisan age and with a divided, gridlocked Congress; there is no indication that the intransigence Obama encountered from the opposition party will diminish, the report added.
Perhaps more important is whether Obama will demonstrate more willingness - more bravery, actually - to take on issues he ducked the first time around: reforming entitlements, particularly Medicare, and reducing the unsustainable debt.