Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations Obama! (And the Dartmouth Reaction)

Well, it is indeed an historic moment. The passing of an administration that has been in charge for 8 years, a whole new agenda coming in, and of course the first African American President. One cannot help but be somewhat amazed and certainly excited.

I think for young people the election of Obama is really meaningful. Here is a story I heard this morning that really makes me reflect on the great side of this election.

At around 1230 am this morning, a Hanover resident heard a loud roar coming from town. He got on his bike (!) and rode in, to find several hundred Dartmouth students outside President Wright's house, celebrating. President Wright came out and gave an impromptu few words. The students went on to the Green, where they continued their joyous celebration by singing the national anthem.

That story should inspire anyone!

Obama has a great opportunity. He has great leadership capability, and he has a pretty strong mandate for change, winning more than 50% of the vote. With any luck at all, we are at the bottom of the financial crisis and while unemployment will be creeping up for some time to come, the economy should turn around well before the midpoint of Obama's first term. The US should be able to exit Iraq, with honor and leaving a country that has good economic and political prospects.

I only hope that he and his advisors take advantage of these events to make the country stronger, economically, socially and politically. I would love to see a major revision of the tax code, especially a fix to the AMT. I suspect someone should take a hard look at military expenditures and especially our intelligence services. How about some sense to the nation's drug laws? Energy policy could certainly be improved, but let's not do it by economic engineering, e.g., having folks in Washington decide which alternative energy sources should get subsidies.

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