Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The New President ... And Managing Expectations

The United States chalks up another peaceful transition of power from one chief executive to another, under the world's oldest continuously operating constitution. That alone is a powerful example for the rest of the world.

But I do think it is also important for President Obama and his team to work hard to keep expectations in check, both at home and around the world. The president does not issue an executive order today and tomorrow we find that it is a world transformed.

It will be interesting to observe the "audit" that occurs over the next several weeks--aided, of course, by the retention of Secretary Gates and some of his deputies at the Pentagon. Some of what the outgoing Administration was doing is going to be continued. Other changes are likely to be instrumental.

An interesting bellweather: missile defense. Is the program continued? Under what funding? What happens with the proposed eastern European deployment?

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