What would Barack Obama mean to the United States?

Ok, so we have the first black president, the first black first lady and the first black family (and the first black barber for the president, according to the news, the black Presidential Barber???)

However, put all the jokes aside, what would it mean for Obama, a Democrat to hold the office with a senate that is clearly working in his favor?

Clearly, the Americans have put in a lot of hope, either from the inspirational speeches given by Obama, or the track record from the Bush administration, in hoping that the change of government will offer them a better economy, and more peaceful lives.

Unfortunately, the young (and somewhat inexperienced) president-to-be has some serious challenges to face:

First of all, the economical crisis that started off by no one else but the greedy investors seeking to maximize their returns in Wall Street. From the oversight of the previous administrations (either purposely or otherwise), the practice of leveraged trading has become a norm among the investment companies. When times are good, of course, leveraged trading will generate a lot more profit than the fully-funded ones, but when things gets bad, the corresponding downside risk is magnified with the borrowing as well.

The next big issue is the war in Iraq. After spending trillions of dollars (hence making the executives in companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing wealthier than ever), the Bush administration did nothing else but killed Saddam Hussein, someone who attempted to kill his father and someone that was supposedly to have weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Yet, the Americans seems to have made very minor progress every day with huge cost, and the sinking oil price recently has made commercial profit that could be reaped from the war, diminished even more than expected. Therefore, it basically makes both economical sense as well as political sense, for Americans to be out of Iraq.

The question is: how?

No one would like to confess a defeat, especially when the mainstream media are depicting the so-called “winning” in the war (like what they did in Vietnam as well). Therefore, no one could simply say: Let’s get the hell out of here because we are wasting too much of our taxpayers’ cash and we are not making any sense with the war. Instead, finding a “glorious” to withdraw the troops (and hopefully not leaving Iraq in the mess that they are in right now) would be an issue that the new administration have to face.

The next issue is, inevitably, China.

Obama has a half-brother in China, if in case you do not know that, and Democrats are, in general, more open towards international trade. However, there is always a “but”. Obama is also a firm supporter of the protection of the domestic manufacturers, and anything that is “Made in China” would mean losses of American jobs to him. Unfortunately, the fact is that Americans are so dependent on importing primary goods from China, that many people of realized that it is impossible to say no to the goods from China. Therefore, there is another issue that Obama has to decide on balance between the votes from workers in manufacturing industry and the fact that Americans are already fairly dependent on the cheap import from China.

The landslide victory for Obama means that most of the Americans are placing their hope on this man, but the road ahead is very thorny. Although his powerful speeches have inspired millions of people, but the ability to manage the country is something he’ll have to learn down the road, perhaps in a very painful manner.