Expert view: The size of Obama’s challenge

By Elissa Bayer, November 13, 2008
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The victory on Nov-ember 4 of Senator Barack Obama set off a fanfare of extraordinary rhetoric all over the world.

The commentary has not stopped and clearly it is an overwhelming achievement but - and it is a big but - what happens next?

The US stock market allowed him no honeymoon at all and despite the Bank of England reducing interest rates by an unprecedented 1.5 per cent, the UK and European markets continued to move down.

How much room for manoeuvre does the incoming President have, and how can he help to bolster the American economy? He clearly realises that expectations run high but he has been planning this for some time and his choice of advisers is interesting and seemingly all about the best person for the job.

In the UK, the Labour Party pushed the SNP into second place in Glenrothes, showing that sometimes eight weeks is a long time in politics.

After months of relentless economic gloom, banks failing, governments taking over financial institutions, wars and rising unemployment it is hardly surprising that voters in the US wanted a change. However, the campaign there has been moving across the country for nearly two years and clearly the public wanted something and someone different.

The expectations for all of us are enormous. Delivery is going to be a challenge and may cause the President-elect to reflect at times that coming second on occasions does have merit.

    Last updated: 12:21pm, November 13 2008