Land of Obama?
The burden of expectations is indeed high, but at least the Union is not on the brink of collapse. Obama inherits a staggering economy and a fragile national security environment with our troops taxed in separate overseas conflicts. Add environmental and health care concerns to the mix, and the duties that our 44th president must perform rival that of at least Reagan, if not Franklin Roosevelt.
Will this previously little-known lawyer from Illinois with a knack for stirring speeches and eloquence stand as the second coming of the giant whom the Prairie State and the nation is about to fondly reminisce on the 200th anniversary of his birth? 2009 promises to be a year of honoring the past and at the same time embracing the present, for America will have its first African-American president, a path paved by our 16th president's Emancipation Proclamation and belief in a "new birth of freedom" through the brutal Civil War.
The Land of Lincoln is now the home to another president who will make history. Come January 20th, the shackles of the past give way to the urgency of the present. Judgment will follow, assuredly both positive and negative, as Obama joins a lineage who called the Prairie State home. The bar has been placed exceedingly high, and it is up to our president-elect to aspire to share space in the lofty echelons occupied by the Great Emancipator.