The Challenge of the Next Hundred Days

Now that Barack Obama has reached the 100 Days mark, he faces a far more challenging next Hundred Days.

He has to figure out how to deal with the Middle East, particularly the intractable conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. 

He has to respond to the rapidly changing situation in Pakistan, where the Taliban seem to be a real threat to the survival of the central government.

After the niceties of his first diplomatic missions to Europe and Latin America, he now has to react to the Cuban, Venezuelan, Iranian, Afghan, North Korean and Iraqi problems that face him every day.  Plus Russia and China are not likely to stay in the background and leave Obama with a longer honeymoon.

Domestically, Obama has to get his programs through on health care, education and energy, but must also show evidence that his economic plans and his interventions in banking and the auto industry reap a positive result.  Right now, the economy continues to be in contraction, and the American people will soon place the blame on Obama if the economy does not start to get better.

While he remains personally popular, Obama has to know that other presidents have also had periods of positive image and often have followed that with dramatic drops in public opinion polls.  Ultimately, the American people expect results and success, so at some point, the honeymoon that Obama has will end.

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