January 22nd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Possible early difficulties for Pres. Obama?


Where is President Obama likely to encounter the most difficulty early in his presidency? (PHOTO CREDIT: JIM WATSON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Every president gets a honeymoon period. Some are shorter than others. But with an approval rating in the 80s, President Obama has lots of political capital to spend and presumably a long time before he runs out of good will.

That being said, he's in a precarious position right from the start. We are in the midst of an economic crisis that no one seems to have a firm understanding of, and there are heated debates already about the best way to proceed when it comes to bailouts, spending programs, tax cuts, etc.

Then there are the wars. Pull out of Iraq and step it up in Afghanistan. What if Iran comes into Iraq as we leave through another door?

We haven't been attacked in seven and a half years, but terrorism is still a fact of life. Global warming, health insurance, pick something you like.

Nevertheless, the new president is off to a good start. And this time we appear to be in the hands of someone less inclined to shoot from the hip. But even President Obama's coolness under fire will be tested at some point… either by domestic politics or foreign affairs.

Here’s my question to you: Where is President Obama likely to encounter the most difficulty early in his presidency?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Frank from Connellsville, Pennsylvania writes:
He will face his biggest challenge from his own party. The Democrats have been the "loyal opposition" for so long it only knows what it is against and not what it is for. The leadership change our country needs is not yet complete. We need to see a new chapter of congressional leadership elected to move us forward.

Daniel from Indiana writes:
Congress. That is where the most difficulty will come from. We have a Congress that is used to fighting just to fight. I have little faith in Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi pushing bi-partisanship. I do believe that they will continue to push division, as will the Republicans.

M.A.C. writes:
Looks as if one area of difficulty may be the press corps. Why were they whining so much about the fact that even though they received pictures and audio on the oath re-do they weren't given a complete video? Much ado over nothing, in my opinion.

Earl from Florida writes:
The unemployment situation is without a doubt the most important and difficult task at hand. Creating jobs is paramount. Gainfully employed homeowners will take pressure off home foreclosures while simultaneously stimulating the economy. The world's problems can wait until we get our financial house in order.

Keietta writes:
His problem will unfortunately begin in his own back yard with individuals who want to continue dividing the lines between parties. It has already begun with the "Republicans" holding up the confirmation of the Presidents nominee for Attorney General.

Arthur writes:
President Obama will inevitably have to deal with the fact that, as he says, the economy will get worse before it gets better. People tend to have a selective memory, especially when it comes to their wallets, and when this economic crisis deepens he'll have to answer for its cause.

Jeff in Payson, Arizona
Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the nutz at Fox Noise

soundoff (369 Responses)
  1. Scott, Wichita

    His appointment of Hillary as SecState. She has her own agenda, and the nation's top diplomat has just as much (maybe more) foreign influence as the president, Jack

    January 22, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Two words: Pelosi and Reid.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  3. Jackie in Dallas

    From his own party, I'm afraid. Pelosi and Reid are going to make life miserable for him if he can't turn up the heat on them. But as I've said before, Congress better get their collective acts together and start working for their REAL bosses - US! - or more will be like Coleman and packing their offices to go home!

    January 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  4. David in Ohio

    From all, both on the extreme right and the extreme left, who still believe that partisan dogma and stubborn non compromising fights are an effective way to run the country.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  5. Tim

    On the Cafferty File Jack. I'm sure you'll be keeping an eye on him and making sure that the American people get their say-so.
    Tim in Texas

    January 22, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  6. Frank from Peterborough

    Unfortunately Obama is a forward thinking type of personality having to deal with two political bodies that have a majority of old timers mighty stuck in their ways.

    The old ideologies and thought processes will make it difficult to find enough concensus for solutions required in the 21st century.

    Hopefully I am wrong but my guess is the next two years will see more obstructionism than activism making it very difficult to get out of the present day ruts.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  7. odessa

    give him to time to do something for the country..i think that some people are rushing him too fast because some want him to fail but he might out smart everyone..he might not have many problems;just wait..things will get done in a matter of time under obama administration..

    January 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  8. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    He is most likely to encounter problems with his own party. We and he know where the Republicans are at any given time. There are some in the Democratic party who behave in an irrational manner and at some of the most inoportune times.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  9. Katiec Pekin, IL

    The biggest difficulty will be in getting the politicans to unite to save our country. There are those who allow their egos, self interests and party to take priority over the good of our nation and us.
    We, the American people voted for change in government and that is what we expect and demand.
    We expect our government to do what is required and what they were elected to do. With all the diasters facing us the time for postering,
    finger pointing and irresponsibility must come to an end.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  10. Jim


    Probably in winding up our involvement in Iraq and ultimately defeating al Qaeda and the Taliban. The Mideast is a God-awful mess that has frustrated U.S. presidents for decades. I don't look for Obama to pull off any quick miracles there. Maybe Sasha will be able to finally chill things out over there when she becomes president.

    Reno, Nevada

    January 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  11. Dennis North Carolina

    In ever corner of the capital. The children will not like their toys to be taken from them.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  12. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    The fools on the hill.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  13. lynn

    From the press, Jack, like CNN who have annointed themselves as the authorities on everything. Wolf Blitzer today announced that Pres. Obama made a "mistake" by not allowing cameras in. How is he the one to decide that? If they had invited the press in and it had't included CNN you would have all been calling foul.

    Your station on one hand say the problems facing our President are complex, yet flash "100 Days" on your screen and keep a constant "update" of how he is doing. You state that there must be solutions to big problems, then wring your hands and complain that it has been tried before, that it will be hard and exaggerate and dwell on any possible criticism no matter how minor.

    Ratings drive your coverage and polls on things like Michelle Obama's dress diminish your standards and contribution to an open, objective society.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  14. Katty OR

    I truly believe Hillary Clinton and her husband will cause the most trouble to the new President.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  15. Jeff in Connecticut

    This one is too easy Jack. He'll have trouble getting CEOs of bailed-out corporations & banks to sign a contract stating that bailout money will be used to help America, not themselves.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm |

    The difficulties will be with the Bullheaded Republicans. They have our Country waist deep in DODO, and they are going to want it to stay that way. They think that they will have a straight shot at winning the next election, If they keep Obama from getting the economy in good shape.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  17. Michael Fermanich,Marinette,Wisconsin

    Jack; President Obama may have a problem dressing up with extra skin when the need arises. May I suggest get some of that turtle wax for protection against the two-faced politicians.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  18. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: In all areas---the country needs a complete "face-lift"--he needs to apply his political scaple very well.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  19. Mary from Houston, tx

    Undoing the mess of the previous administration.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  20. Tina Day Fayetteville, NC

    I think President Obama will encounter the most difficulty within his own party. Seems like Democrats had no disagreements with him during the campaign, but now that he's in office many democrats are turning their backs on him... The worst is Harry Reid who said "I don't work for Obama, I work with him"... What kind of attitude is that to have toward your president, especially someone you supported during the campaign?

    January 22, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  21. Diana Ewing NJ

    Congressmen and Senators flexing their muscles.. just to show they might have some.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  22. Randy from Salt Lake City

    From the corporations that control this country, of course.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  23. JD, NC

    Congress might block a lot of important work because of special interests and inertia. Obama has shown he doesn't waste time. We need to get the American people back to work, starting with the Congress.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  24. Rod from Allentown PA

    His greatest difficulties early going, and for the long term if he is not able to handle them, will come from the two biggest trouble makers and inept people in the Government. Reid and Pelosi. Better to deal with a hundred Republicans than the likes of these two scoundrels.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  25. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    For Obama to truly get spending under control, pork barrel spending must be trimmed out of the budget. For him to do that he will need to get Congress to authorize the line-item veto. This will be his biggest hurdle. If he can do this, he can do anything.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  26. jyll from TEXAS

    Obama best put Pelosi in her place pretty quick or he won't get any of his "agenda" done...Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Frank, and Rangel should ALL be in jail , or at least booted out for getting us in this mess in the first place....this is gonna get real ugly real quick!!!

    January 22, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  27. laurie michigan

    I think President Obama will face his biggest challenges with our domestic policies. Especially the economic crisis facing this country. It would be great if our congressional leaders could roll up their sleeves and work with the administration to determine the best policies that will help the American citizens. As he said on Tuesday, it isn't the size of government, it is whether or not it works. Unfortunately, we have the egotists and power hungry congressional leaders that will obstruct any beneficial legislation unless the citizens of this country vote them out of office. This is the first President in decades that sincerely wants to work in a bipartisan way to fix things and as he extends his hand to those on the other side of the aisle (as well on the democratic side of the aisle), I hope they accept it.

    We just don't have the luxury today of politics as usual.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  28. Matthew, Cedar Rapids

    Democrats, Republicans, and anyone willing to block his initiatives to fix the country. Our president does not have a single issue on which to relax, and if he gets rolling, he probably will turn things around, but if our "representatives" don't shape up soon, we can only be assured that everything will collapse.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  29. Sue -Idaho

    Probably from the GOP who still believe that Bush was the greatest thing since sliced bread and don't understand that their way sucked.
    Maybe some of those good old Dems who Pelosi and Reid cannot herd into a circle let alone a straight line. Unless these people are linning their own pockets they simply don't give a dam about the American public.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  30. Richard Green


    The early difficulties are likely to come from the Republicans who will throw the labels of "socialism" and " ultra-liberalism" on every proposal to help the middle class, to help the working poor, to help the uninsured and the under-insured, and to help protect Social Security and our Seniors. If he dodges those bullets, he'll have people in both parties who will be taking pot shots at any efforts to re-regulate banking and stop the over-leveraged gambling going on [still] on Wall Street.
    I think the world will be far kinder to President Obama than many Americans will be who have a vested interest in the status quo.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  31. Liz in Towson, MD

    Things like re-taking his oath of office will probably cause him the most trouble, both early on and in the long run. If Obama gives in to the lunatics who feel that messing up the oath of office (even though the overall message of the oath was not affected) now, that effectively gives them more ammunition to have him do other things their way later on. Obama just needs to stand his ground. A more appropriate reaction to the "oath issue" may have been for him just to say, "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant; Obama is faithful, one hundred per cent" (my apologies to Dr. Seuss).

    January 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  32. Jan Illinois

    Jack, The economy. I feel so bad for him, we are in so much trouble after the last eight, it must feel like the weight of the world is on his chest, and the sad part is , it is so true.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  33. Mom in Maine

    Dear Jack,

    People who are so one-sided that they can't see the big picture will be the President's biggest difficulty.

    Rush Limbaugh said today, "I hope he (Pres. Obama) fails."
    These folks are are so self-absorbed they can't see that the policies that help the country will help them too!
    Honestly!.....folks who agree with Rush Limbaugh have been so wrong so often that they couldn't even give the President the correct time if he needed it!
    C'mon people! You can be childlike without being childish!

    Obama Fan

    January 22, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  34. Billy G in Las Vegas

    I think he is going to have a tough time winding down Iraq as quickly as many of his supporters, like myself, wish. I fear that place, along with Afghanistan, will continue to be a money pit for YEARS while the American economy suffers and we continue to build HUGE foreign debt.

    (btw, WHY the change in question from the "right wing talkers"? after that druggie "Lame"baugh's comments yesterday, I though it was a very timely subject.)

    January 22, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  35. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Jack, with all my heart I hate saying this but it is my belief as a black woman President Obama will encounter the most difficulty early in his presidency from his own race. I hope and pray to be proved wrong.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  36. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    The banks are not doing what they were supposed to do with the bailout money they received and refuse to say how it was spent. Obama wants to help the homeowners who are facing foreclosure. Unless Congress makes sure that this happens, he will have a problem.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  37. Al in IA

    On the Israeli-Palestinean issue. He will hit a brick wall when and if he is courageous enough to join with the other 190 United Nations members and call on Israel to withdraw from their illegally occupied Palestinean Territories.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  38. Craig Stuart

    Well alot of people had alot of hope for this new president. Now they can know that nothing has changed. Here is my point his appointment to secretary of Treasury doesn't pay his taxes. I've a couple of friends that had tax problems you can bet they didn't get to go to congress and say I'm sorry. The I.R.S. desended on them like the gestapo and seized their bank accounts, heavy equipment and properties and said they owe more money thereby stopping their work. Now we can see that the elitism will continue in Washinton D.C. and the government wil continue to screw the American citizens regardless of Obama's promises of truth. Now the way I see this action it should be that with the multitude of penalties and the compounding of interest the I.R.S. can turn the 35,000 into 300,000.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  39. Pugas-AZ

    He already did (stepping on his wife's dress at the balls.) He will need all the moves he has developed playing basketball to "waltz" his own party into line and to dazzle the republics with footwork. Wether to tax or not is the question.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  40. George

    I know the answer to this one Jack... Democrat President, Republicans problems, nothing has, or will change in Washington the first two years, but the last two years of Mr. Obama's term he will get his chance to really make a difference, and the closer it gets to election time in November of 2010 , theRepublicans who will be up for re-election will put on their white hats, and try to win back their Senatorial, and House seats, and that is when Mr. Obama can get more done then.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  41. Mickie

    I think he will have problems with republicans who are trying to show they won't just "go along" with the democrats and I think he will have some resistance from the egotistical democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, who have their own agenda and are jockying for future power. If they are smart, they will try to be a little cooperative or they will find themselves voted out of office next go round.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  42. MB in VA

    His biggest difficulty will be in dealing with the economy. He is not to blame for our current circumstances, but could wrongly receive blame going forward if solutions are not found soon enough to satisfy people.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  43. Tom in New Hope, MN

    I think the tough time will be for congress until they figure out how to work with President Obama. His style is inclusive and many in congress don't understand that – yet. President Obama has "We the People" behind him. We can apply pressure to the legislators who want to work in a devisive manner and not work for what is best for the country. If congress will look around, right now, many of their freinds are gone because we voted them out for non performance. If they don't work for what is best for the country now they will be gone after the next election because they too will be voted out.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  44. MARCUS123 Flanders

    With the house and senate leaders;

    January 22, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  45. Lynn

    From republicans who like to be contrary just to be contrary and from the Rush Limbaughs of the world who will do everything they can to see him fail.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  46. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Congress is a dysfunctional branch of our government. They will likely hold things up so their constituents will think they are working hard on their behalf. This bunch of bird brains, (Democrats & Republicans) are so out of touch with reality, they believe their own lies. They appear as fools jumping around looking for reasons to buck the new president, rather than working with him in a bi-partisan manner. Too bad we can't unload them all and start over.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  47. Gigi

    I think President Obama's biggest challenge will be the press putting words in his mouth and Joe Biden opening his. . Both forces will have to learn to respect President Obama. I believe he will command it in a quiet respectful way.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  48. Rich Monk

    Hey Jack,
    President Obama will find the worst offenders in his own backyard, and that is all the Senators, and Congresspeople. The rest of us Americans knows he will do well, and support him. The politicians on the other hand are always in business at the public feeding trough for themselves regardless of the outcome to Humanity. We the American public should start paying politicians on merit. When they actually accomplish something, and do anything of public value!
    Thomas in San Diego

    January 22, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  49. Bob

    The most difficulties Pesident Obama will encounter will come from those Senators and Congressmen who pander to the extreme right wing of the Republican Party.

    They, in spite of the platitudes they may utter, are determined to bring about what they perceive the American People will consider failure on the part of the Administration..

    They will continue the "Rovian" principle of government that was the lynch pin of the failled Bush Administraton. The principle being "ask not what you can do for your country but ask what can you do for the Republican Party and the special interests to whom they cater."

    Louisville, Ky

    January 22, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  50. karen-phoenix

    Nancy Pelosi wanting to put Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld in prison!
    I agree with her but the cost could be way to much. President Obama, just send them to the Hagee or give them a pardon for "War Crimes Against Humanity" and that will go down in the history books and NO WAY can the Republican rewrite history if he does that.

    January 22, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  51. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Ideological differences! The ratio of tax cut versus the ratio of investment in infrastructures projects to put people back to work in their respective communities.

    The Banks and Wall Street have been helped enough for all of them to clean up their act with more transparency and learn from their mistakes and not repeat the same mistake again of recreating another financial bubble. The economy needs to recuperate the confidence of the people and for that to happen the people need to see politicians from both side having the confidence in the new President. This demand putting aside all egos for the good of the country if anyone wishes to live well again ie financially and politically!

    January 22, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  52. Frank, Connellsville, PA

    He will face his biggest challenge from his own party. The Democrats have been the "loyal opposition" for so long it only knows what it is against and not what it is for. The leadership change our country needs is not yet complete....we need to see a new chapter of congressional leadership elected to move us forward. The hands that have held us back need to be removed from all the controls.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  53. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    It is obvious from the Posts that the Republicans are, once again, trying to point fingers away from themselves. Look how many people have made rude comments about Reid and Pelosi, this is directly from the Republican Cue Cards. Point the finger at Reid and Pelosi and people will not look at the Republicans wanting to hold up the Attorney General's confirmation Hearings for over a week so they can demand he not look into the Tortue issue.

    I spend time on http://www.syracuse.com blogs and it is unreal the hatred that is coming out of the Republicans towards anything and everything Liberal and Democratic.

    These people have just shown why they lost the election and why they will lose more in 2010 and even more in 2012. People are sick and tired of this child like attitude.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  54. Ron

    Jack, the new president will get more trouble from two sides number 1 wiil be the dems them selves,secondly the news media who wants all the answers now,the media is not giving this man a chance.You people want every thing he promised done in one or two days .Lay of for a while and give him a chance.Ron in AR

    January 22, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  55. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Ideological differences! The ratio of tax cut versus the ratio of investment in infrastructures projects to put people back to work in their respective communities.

    The Banks and Wall Street have been helped enough for all of them to clean up their act with more transparency and learn from their mistakes and not repeat the same mistake again of recreating another financial bubble. The economy needs to recuperate the confidence of the people and for that to happen the people need to see politicians from both side having the confidence in the new President. This demand putting aside all egos for the good of the country if anyone wishes to live well again ie financially and politically!

    Has anyone made the connection about the fact that how one country behaves in facing this economic crisis in investing in its own people can actually show a new role model to the world and to other leaders in order to reduce social tensions and extreme ideals!

    January 22, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  56. joey yankee lake n.y.

    Three names come to mind immediately, Hillary, Nancy and Harry.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  57. Terry in Hanover County

    He may be his own worst enemy; he's too nice and too patient with the largest daycare center in the country - Congress. He wants change and he can work with adults to affect change, but many members in Congress are quite happy the way things are. They are like children who agree to behave with their fingers crossed behind their backs.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  58. BRUCE, CA.

    Hi Jack:

    His difficulty will be found in those so cemented in their past – that they refuse to accept positive change.

    Best regards,


    January 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  59. Anne

    Fom Camp Hill, PA

    Jack, Yes, from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid!

    January 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  60. Thom Richer

    I think it will be distancing himself (if he can and wants to) from Bush's policies and modus operandi. He must, and I mean must, be his own man and represent the people of America and not the elite of America. War is not an answer and he must find a way to end it quickly and re-establish the U.S. and its people as a nation of peace and not cowboys sitting on their brains in the saddle.

    Negaunee, MI.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  61. Ed

    Domestic policy..taking away everybody's guns. It worked so well in Britain that crime went up 40% and police started needing body armor. I think D.C. showed similar results.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  62. Ralph Nelson

    1. Afghanistan well be his Iraq. 2. Stimulus package is too small and misdirected by Democratic Congress. 3. Treasury Secretary is a mistake (poor communication skills, dishonest). 4. He'll get over ly involved in foreign policy (stick to economy, stupid). 5. Needs to talk to and listen to Paul Krugman. 6. John Banner and the Republicans plan to screw him with the need for 60 votes to cut off a filibuster and well succeed. He has two years or he's toast. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  63. Daniel, Indiana

    Congress. That is where the most difficulty will come from. We have a Congress that is used to fighting just to fight. I have little faith in Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi pushing bi-partisanship. I do believe that they will continue to push division, as will the Republicans.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  64. earle,florida

    The unemployment situation is without a doubt the most important,and difficult task at hand. Creating jobs is paramount. Gainfully employed homeowners will take pressure off home foreclosures,while simutaneously stimulating the economy. The world's problems can wait until we get our financial house in order.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  65. Nikki Farias

    Even though I am elated, to say the least with Obama, Hillary has a ways to come. Why doesn't she afford the new president the courtesy of eye contact during televised events?

    January 22, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  66. Paula in Albuquerque

    Aside and apart from the MESS that Dubya left him, you mean?

    January 22, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  67. Marjorie Lominy

    From the Democrats, Jack.
    Never underestimate the power of the democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory....

    January 22, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  68. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    From congress Jack. The Democrats failed or caved into Bush these past few years so they are frustrated with themselves and now want to rule with the iron fist. The Republicans will just give President Obama a hard time because they are sore that they lost and because of nuts like Rush Limbaugh. I think Obama will out slick all of them. He got the job didn't he?

    January 22, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  69. Millie Castillo

    Jack you and Wolf Blitzer do not have the right to tell the President what to do. It is your opinions that are being expressed on the air and I'm getting sick of CNN constantly digging for dirt to report. This government is ONLY TWO DAYS old, and already you and your so called "team of experts" think you know the answer to everything. Give him a chance to deal with all of the crap that Bush left him.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  70. M Bell, Calgary, Alberta

    Jack, If Americans are unhappy with Obama ,Canada will take him in a flash

    January 22, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  71. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    I fear that Obama's first difficulties will come from congress in dealing with the economy. The difficulty there will to be to convince congress to drop their individual agendas and together, find intelligent strategies. Then there is always that possibility of a terrorist attack. The situation in Pakistan is very delicate right now and could become critical for us at any time while Israel and the Palestinians continue to act like idiots. Ofcourse the list goes on and on and on. Anyone else want to be president?

    January 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  72. just me!

    Difficulty will come from Pelosi and Reid who are self absorbed in their own self importance, egos and pwer. Difficulty will come from Congress who is too muddled in self interests, involved with special interests, unable to put the needs of the country ahead of their own egos and seem to have forgotten to represent the people who elected them and put country not party first. Most of all difficulty in this country will come from the political parties who are determined not to cooperate with each other and behave like squabbling children who need to grow up.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  73. John in Arizona

    His biggest problem will be with conservative southern legislators who still think they need to sound like Rush Limbaugh in order to get reelected.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  74. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    From the jackals in the press who have been sucking up to bush/cheney for 8 years, and who are now going to "hold Obama's feet to the fire". Did you see that smirking little tool, Ed Henry, at the massacre called a press conference today? He could hardly contain his glee, and was actually stifling a giggling fit afterward. There is no scum like the press. I hate them all.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  75. Sandi, Chicago

    Our new President's great difficulty will be convincing the diehard Republican voters that he (our new President) can not change these dire circumstances were are in overnight. Those same Republican voters allowed 'their' President 8 years to get us in this mess, and now they want President Obama to resolve the problems within the first few days in Office. That's what I hear from my diehard Republican neighbors, and yes, sadly, some in my family!

    January 22, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  76. Mike S., New Orleans

    President Obama's biggest challenge will be paying the tab left by George W. Bush Jr.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  77. James in TN

    I think he will encounter his most difficulty when it comes to the middle east. All around people are excited for Obama but even before he was sworn in Osama sent out a tape hoping to entice the President. If he does continue that would be a success in the eyes of the terrorist. That's why they kept sending them during the buh we continued exactly what they wanted.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  78. Jeff, Massachusetts

    He's already experiencing it: the cost of the inauguration, whether to get out of the presidential limo or not, the color of his wife's dress, getting his cabinet approved by Congress, and among other things, getting the support of his own party. First indications are that just because the Democrats are the overwhelming majority, this is not going to be a blank check for Obama to assert his will without close scrutiny. I suspect EVERYTHING he does will be both criticized and applauded by members from both sides of the aisle. And that's how it SHOULD BE!
    Ashburnham, Massachusetts

    January 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  79. Mack B. JC NJ.


    cleaning up the mess that Bush made and left.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  80. Chris from NY

    Jack, it is the pace at which congress is moving in helping to solve these problems. If congress can move as quickly as he is, some of these problems could be tackled quickly, making way for new ones. What will be so disturbing is if these old problems are not put away and new ones develop and they will. We will then be upto our necks with problems we don't know how to handle.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  81. Tanilan

    His greatest difficulty will be untangling the mess we call our economy! It didn't take us two days to get into this mess. It's going to take more than two for us to get out of it.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  82. Jeff - Oregon

    Plainly it will be either the congress or the press. in both cases there will be efforts made to create news and/or problems. GET OUT OF THE WAY and let him work. In case you haven't noticed, Bush has forced us to be "ALL-IN"!

    January 22, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  83. Laureen Bassett

    I would think that the US would want Obama to act with great haste since America will need to reverse the vast amount of damage of the last eight years. It definitely will limit U.S.'s ability to go into the far corners of the world to promote democracy especially when America, the most powerful democratic society in the world, is currently on the brink of economic disaster.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  84. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    He will probably be torpedoed at every point by people like John Boehner , who will subtly try to wreck the Obama presidency all the while waving an American flag. If you look carefully, he’s been doing it since the election.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  85. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    He's going to encounter difficulties from the American people themselves. We are so desperate for leadership, and our hopes are so high that Prs. Obama will be that leadership, that I'm afraid that if he doesn't do everything we want quickly enough, that many of us will lose what little hope there is left right now. The country has to give him time, lots of it, to fix the mess that Bush left us with. We have to show the president that we have confidence in him but we also have to be realistic. The nay-sayers are already complaining, and the other side is just waiting for a mistake. Welcome to Washington President Obama!

    January 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  86. Nancy, Tennessee

    Prediction – the honeymoon ends before the trip to Niagra Falls when President Obama attacks Social Security. I think it is time to look at other government spending and make cuts. Everytime funds get short in Washington the Social Security program takes a hit. Its time to cut the pork out of spending bills instead of robbing from the funds that many Americans will be depending on when they are too old to continue working. Contrary to the belief of many politicians some people have worked their entire lives and have no other retirement to depend on due to low wages and companies that provided no matching funds into a retirement plan. They will have a meager income from SS, but they can survive if Congress and the President leave it alone.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  87. Terry

    Gitmo......enemy combatants.....because the minute they are on our land they will be treated like an illegal aliens with right to bail and everything else. These are enemy combatants and were fine just where they were. These are not American citizens….and we didn’t put on trial POW’s in WWII.

    How can this novice President….formerly a Junior 2yr senator…because he campaigned the last half…can have all the information necessary to come to this conclusion on his 2nd day. How can he continue to say he is interested in the safety of the country …not to mention the expense. These are enemy combatants not American citizens ...Islamic Arab murderers who do not treat their hostages fair....they are all dead and put on video as they die.... they put bombs on children to kill woman and children at markets, mosques, cross borders to bomb hotels, restaurants and the 3,000 people we lost. Big Problem.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  88. Brian

    He stepped in it with the conflict in Israel. Nobody has been able to resolve that problem and he is about to find out why. He may be able to pay the Palestinians with our tax dollars for awhile, but that won't last long. When one side declares the only way they will stop attacks is the total elimination of the other side, there is no negotiation room. They will just take our money and continue to attack Israel.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  89. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    how about trying not to loose his hearing with all these cameras clapping!

    January 22, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  90. Angela Tacoma Washington

    His biggest challenge has already been accomplished. He is now the president of the United States, any thing after that will be considered minor details...

    January 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  91. Andy

    Sun Valley, Nevada.
    Oddly enough, from his own party. It's odder still, that this should come from the Democrats who rolled over on every one of Bush's initiatives. It's strange that the Democratic Congress should get some backbone now, with a new Democratic President to serve.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  92. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    He will probably have the most difficulty with his fellow Democrats. They think they have won the battle, and now want their share of the booty! I hope he sets them straight in a hurry! We elected him because we want change, not same old, same old! It's a new day in America, and they had better start working for us like they're supposed to.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  93. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Hamas, and Hezbollah all want to destroy America and hope our President fails. That is why we launched the war on terror. Dissenting points of view and disagreements have always been a part of the American discourse. But, in the end we are all Americans. That is politics. When right wing radio wishes America ill will by the failure of our President, they are as relevant as Benedict Arnold.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  94. Hope M. Madisonville, KY

    Most of his criticism is going to come from those who don't want to
    see the status quo changed in Washington. Namely, Congress and
    we've seen the beginnings of this in the hold ups by Republicans in the approval process for some of Obama's cabinet picks. What is the point of delaying if the Senators are still willing to vote yes? It's because these kind of tactics are so ingrained that they just can't stop themselves from being obstructionists. There's a lot of work to be done in Washington and those who just want to make waves need to be thrown overboard.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  95. Karen - Missouri

    Probably the most difficulty he faces are those who keep asking and waiting to pounce on the difficulties he faces. Obama is obviously someone who listens and really works at being President. How refreshing! I'll bet HE knows when gas hits $4 a gallon!

    January 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  96. Jay in Texas

    I suspect that our immediate economic woes will be the most difficult issues that President Obama will have to tackle early on. He is also going to have problems with many countries in the world if he doesn't rethink the U.S. strategy in regard to Israel's blatant belligerence and murder of her neighbors.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  97. Rob , NYC

    by those a hole Politicians that should have been thrown out of office. we need a clean sweep on both sides

    January 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  98. Keietta

    His problem will unfortunately begin in his own back yard with individuals who want to continue dividing the lines between parties. It has already began with the "Republicans" holding up the confirmation of the Presidents nominee for attorney general. CHANGE will only happen if THEY stop playing politics and start thinking about the American people.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  99. angel in LA

    All those politicians in Washington who's number one priority is themselves. You know, those who's first love is money , followed closely by power.
    Congress has to put aside politics as usual. This country needs Obama to succeed.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  100. Ray Kinserlow

    I think Obama's toughest challenge is getting the stimulus package through Congress while keeping the earmarks and pork to a minimum.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    January 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  101. Will from San Jose

    His biggest test will be the power struggle within the Democratic party. Congress rolled over for Bush, but Reid and Pelosi had started their power plays before the President had even taken office. If he doesn't get on them quickly or work to replace them, they will obstruct every single thing he tries to do.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  102. Karl from SF, CA

    From all appearances, his biggest problems for now are at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s called obstructive Congressional Republicans and their corporate and lobbyist connections. You know the ones that haven’t heard the results of the last two elections and think they are still relevant. We, the 80% that approve, need to tell them the party is over and let someone with an ounce of sense prevail. They are going to be his major roadblock. They make the wars, the economy and our other problems look easy. Sad isn’t it?

    January 22, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  103. JR in Norfolk VA

    Uh, let's see...
    It'll be interesting to see how he shuts down GITMO with nowhere to send the terrorists being held there – no other country wants them back, so we're going to be stuck processing them in US courts.

    Allowing gays in the military will demonstrate that President Obama doesn't give a fig about the troops and their commanders, who do not want to have to deal with that Pandora's box when they are fighting two wars.

    Printing up a bunch of money that our grandchildren will have to pay back in order to cover blank checks to spendthrift bureaucrats who will line their own pockets before using it to fix our credit crisis – a new meaning for "trickle-down theory"

    Cutting defense projects and intelligence programs that will, in the long run, make our country more vulnerable to terror attacks. Add that to an appeasement policy toward thugocracies like Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria and the terrorists of Hamas and Fatah, while we turn on backs on key allies like Israel.

    Obama thinks he has crossed the finish line; he needs to wake up and realize he just started the race.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  104. Peggy from Washington State

    Pelosi and Reid....................
    Next question???

    January 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  105. vern-t anaheim,ca

    his greatest trouble will be from those idiots ,hannity,limbaugh and o'rielly who are constantly bashing him and will never give him credit for the good things hes done and will do.i always watch cnn because you give both sides of a story.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  106. Susan in Michigan

    His most challenging tests may come from within – our own government representatives, particularly those representing the Republican party who were staunch Bush supporters. Few though they may be, they will be loud and persistent, protesting any and everything he does. They will continue to try to prove him wrong at every turn whether it is justified or not. Don't ask me how they could be so stupid as to defend G.W. Bush. There is no logical reason to do so. The man is a criminal and should be prosecuted legally for violating our constitution and abusing his presidential power. His numerous offenses have directly lead to the precarious position, both domestically and internationally, that we currently find ourselves in.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  107. Larry Thacker

    The corporate lobby that keeps the freezers full of cold cash will be his first and continuos problem. Most of his alternative energy and mass transit parts of the Economic Recovery Plan will not make Big Oil and Big Coal Happy. Oversight and Transparacy on the Wall Street/Banking Bailout will threaten that sector.

    Lobby Reform first or he will not be able to get anything done. Economic Recovery, Alternative Energy, Mass Transit, Infrastructure.


    January 22, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  108. Robert in Galveston

    This is an easy one, the economic mess the previous administration left him with and the republicans who will do everything they can to make his administration look bad.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  109. Robert Skarjune from Kalamazoo

    President Obama's primary challenge will come from the crippling partisanship he inherited from our checkered political past. Neither Republican nor Democratic politicians really understand the new reality that just been ushered in. The American public gets it, but it will be critical for them to actively make their wants known to their Representatives and Senators on a continuing basis, because we simply cannot wait for another election cycle for this important feedback to occur.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  110. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    The huge bills that Congress proposes with all the hidden clauses is a problem. Why can't Congress post the bills on the web for everybody to read like they do in South Carolina?

    January 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  111. Debra Rich, Washington,DC

    The only early difficulty for Obama's presidency is the Repulican party trying to reinvent itself. Right now there are about three fractions in the party, and they don't always agree, or talk to each other in a constructive manner. Their lack of cohesiveness is causing them to vote on stands that don't make a hill of beans, while trying to make big issues out if small areas for compremise. Now when they try to take a stand, the media has to inview all parties in concern; and they sometimes get conflicting answers. This is worse than the "red tape" that already strangles Washington. Right now our country has too many issues that need to met. We don't have time for political grandstanding, like for examles with the confirmation hearing being held up for "just because the Constitution says you can." They proved in the elcetions that they don't reach out to all of the American people with their policies, are they going to continue this course of action? If they do they will have a rude awakening in 20010, and after that they may no longer be a worry.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  112. S - West Virginia

    Obama's administration is like a steam roller – either you're running along with it, or you're going to get rolled over. Congress has already said that it won't "work for the President" so they are going to be the first to be steam rolled. Wouldn't it be a relief to see those Congressional leader's egos squashed flat on the ground as Obama's administration keeps on going.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  113. Mary from Houston, tx

    Partisanship for the sake of partisanship.
    Please help me understand why someone like Rush Limbaugh says he wants Obama to fail...that means we fail.

    Legitimate differences of opinion aside, reverting to power plays for personal gain, unacceptable.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  114. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    The huge bills that Congress proposes with all the hidden clauses are a problem. Why can’t Congress post the bills on the web for everybody to read like they do in South Carolina?

    January 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  115. stephen blesofsky

    Possible difficulty #1 obstructionism by Congress causing at least damaging delay. Possible difficulty # 2 incompetent reporters more vested in showbiz, since being reorganized into the entertainment division of TV (a shame!), than journalism.

    Sun City Center, Fl
    (the Hospice with golf courses)

    January 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  116. Jeannette American in Toronto

    The two houses of deceit! The American People have spoken and are watching closely and if those in glass houses don't measure up, and start taking head......The American People will have the final word on who will be in office when their terms are up!

    January 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  117. Mike in Akron, Ohio

    Besides everywhere, it would be easier to answer where President Obama is not likely to encounter the most difficulty. Could Bush have left any more of a catastrophic mess?

    January 22, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  118. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    From members of congress and the senate who are more concerned about their personal agendas than what is good for the American people overall. It's already beginning two days into his administration and I am already tired of it. If they were smart, they would follow John McCain's lead and realize that we sent a message to all of them to work together and get something done. Nothing wrong with trusting Obama and his team and see how it goes – if it doesn't go well, that will be the time of desention and fighting.

    January 22, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  119. Natalie - Dayton ohio

    Right here at home Jack with those right wing extremist naysayers who make a living denigrating those who still believe in the American dream and way of life: Inclusion of people and ideas rather than exclusion of those different from them. If things continue the way they are, those ultra conservative old fashioned hate mongers will find they've contributed to the extinction of an honorable Republican party .

    January 22, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  120. Pam

    Apparently President Obama will encounter problems from Pelosi and Reid. They both state they do not work for him but if they keep feuding with him they could lose the majority in the house and senate and he will still keep his job for the next 4 years. They need to sit back and try to take que from him and learn diplomacy. The feuding is the problem in the democratic party. They do not know how to unite. They had trouble with Bush but we all thought it was because he was a Republican but now they are starting a feud with Obama. I think they are not suited for their positions.
    Knoxville TN

    January 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  121. Jeff A. - New York

    How is he going to keep a long list of campaign promises in a country already swimming in hopeless levels of debt with a broken economy and a population that has a lower education level than many third world countries? I guess waving the big foam hand and shouting "we are number one!" doesn't work anymore. But by 2010 everyone is going to have the same health care plan as a US Senator?

    January 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  122. M. A. Clark

    Looks as if one area of difficulty may be the press corps. Why were they whining so much about the fact that even though they received pictures and audio on the oath re-do they wen't given a complete video? Much ado over nothing, in my opinion.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  123. Jay-San Antonio

    This one is a no brainer, how do you spell Pelosi and Reid? And lets not forget the Minority Leader Boehner and McConnell. Leaders who feel they need to make a name for themselves often are controversial to maintain some of the spot light, they more than anything else can torpedo this and any President. I hope they will keep their egos in check.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  124. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    Money. Money. Money. Nobody in congress can balance a checkbook and everybody claims to be an expert economist. I can see a depression brought on by partisan gridlock.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  125. Gerry In Toronto

    Simple Jack, from all the same small minded politicians in both the house and Senate who are focused on helping themselves and not the American people.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  126. Jane - WI

    His difficulty might be trying to live up to the lofty expectations he set himself up for in the campaign. He signed an order today to ban lobbyists from his administration, yet has 2 of them already working for him. His mouthpiece explained it away that rules are meant to be "bent". He signed an order to end torture, but left open loopholes so that he could use these tactics if need be.
    It appears Obama is the same old, same old. NOthing new about the guy other than he has been packaged for the media by Madison Avenue and some big money puppetmasters.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  127. Oregon Wally Las Vegas Nevada

    Until he figures out the layout of the white house, running into his MOTHER IN LAW could be hazardous. Iam sure she's a sweet woman , but everyday , iam sure she'll spot something to throw in her 2 cents, mother in law's always do....He's a braver man then me...I bet his hair turns white within 6 month's...

    January 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  128. Tom from Philly

    He will encounter his problems from republicans who still havent figured out they lost the election, dont have a popular mandate, and are blinded by the clouded glasses they see the world through. Hint to the wise, just because a republican won a seat 5 years ago, doesnt mean his constituents still support him, Both of the last 2 term presidents lost control of the legislature within a few months of taking office. Preventing this from happening, will prevent him from having serious problems. As soon as the republicans figure out its not 1980 anymore, they can form an opposition party, but as of right now some of our long term debates are over: trickle dont economics, voodoo economics, borrow and spend, THE COLD WAR, torture.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  129. Monica (Canada)

    Obama wants to lead by example. So banning torcher is a positive sign and hopefully the world community will follow suit as well. No we are not inviting more terror, I think we are taking steps to reduce it.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  130. Gary

    Jack, I think he is already facing huge obstacles, because he is being held to a higher standard than previous administrations, No single president has had this intense amount of media coverage, and that will only increase as time goes on.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  131. Dee in Florida

    President Obama is likely to run into obstacles when he has to make economic decisions.

    If he has the temerity to expect the RICH to make sacrifices and perhaps not pay themselves such obscene salaries, and work toward getting America back to work, that's when everything will hit the fan.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  132. Independent for Obama

    Here's my top 4:
    1. Pelosi and Reid will want complete control over the congress and will try relentlessly to manipulate Obama using the guise of "loyalty to the Democratic party"
    2. Putin ( of Russia ) will want to be back on center stage ASAP...he will pull something big in the next 6 months out of shear egotisical need for attention
    3. Al-quaida will try to sway the Muslims around the world to hate Obama, possibly aided by Ex-Gitmo detainees and their stories of "torture"
    4. The Republican party will seize every opportunity to criticize Obama...for what he does, for what he does'nt do, if he hesitates or if he acts too quickly....they will use any excuse to make themselves seem relevant.
    Janie, Springfield MA

    January 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  133. Barbara - NC

    A lot of it depends on how much you talking heads can stir up the hate and divisiveness that waits on edge for the least provocation, which, I'm sorry to say, a lot of CNN and right wing wackos are more than happy to provide.

    Me Me Me Me Me Me – you all want to be front and center for ever breath.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  134. Dave in Saint Louis

    His big mouth running mate will be his downfall. He better get that motor mouth under control ASAP he is already acting up! Everyone pray for Obama’s safety because that Biden is a mess!

    January 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  135. Annie, Atlanta

    He already has from the Republican members of the house and senate who are apparently in a snit over no longer being in charge who have decided to be obstructionists rather than do the job they were elected to do.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  136. Sherry

    With the media. They seem to have their own interpretation of transparency and seem to think they are privy to all information, including highly classified information. They will whine and declare that the Administration is not being transparent as promised. They need to get over it. I believe the American people understand the need for classified information to remain classified and trust this Administration to determine what is deemed transparent. The media is just trying to improve their ratings.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  137. Barbara - NC

    Maybe some people need to remember that the 2010 elections are next year. Wish we could vote out our least favorite talking heads too.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  138. V M SMITH

    Banning "enhansed interrogation" Bans the shame that was brought to MY COUNTRY by these mad men. It has been proven that it does not work, And we did it in SALEM and In the Indian Wars and it has always been TORTURE AND WE SURE DO TELL ABOUT THE TORTURERS OF THOSE COUNTRIES WE CALL "AXIS OF EVIL"
    I never thought in all my 78 years that I would be so ashamed of a gocernment we Like to call FREE.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  139. Conner

    I believe that within the first 100 days President Obama will probably experience difficulties with some foriegn nations, because they will be feeling for what type of president he is and how much room they have to move.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  140. Edward Bartolini

    President Obama's greatest challenge will be to convince the American people to be patient while he works to transform this economy. Under the Bush administration and its philosophy of "hands off" the financial markets the situation we find ourselves facing did not happen overnight. We will not get out of this mess in one month or one year. It will take several years to turn around this disaster .

    January 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  141. Alan, Buxton Maine

    With the good ole boy network that resents the changes he wants to make.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  142. Jerry Harris

    Probably with the two bimbos in charge of the House and Senate, aka dumb and dumber or Reed and Pelosi

    January 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  143. Malcolm

    His difficulty will be us not rising to the occasion to work for a more perfect union.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  144. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    The most difficulty will be dealing with Congress. There are statues on Easter Island who have changed more that many in Congress

    January 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  145. 1ChanceOnly

    Jack as long as the media tries to respond to Fox and the right wing bloggers that is going to be the problem. Just look at the reporting, i.e., Congressional Republicans and those in the News who try to Make news rather than report the news!

    January 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  146. Thomas Keystone

    Our enemies are willing to die for their misguided believes therefore no amount of brutality on our part will ever discourage them from their evil deeds. However America has been challenged by history since our birth as a nation to be a light to the world. If we lower the standards for human decency and respond in kind by torturing our enemies, we condemn all the world to sink back into barbarism. What value has winning, if our children must live in such a world.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  147. Bob from New Brighton, PA

    It would seem that Jane – WI is not nor will she ever be on the Obama bandwagon. Must be a tough life seeing the cup 3/4 empty. I personally have been quit excited by what I have seen after only 2 1/2 days.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  148. Larry D.


    I don't think Obama will run into some obstacles but he is doing good so far, He is moving swiftly which is great like no torture allowed period & closing gitmo in a year & bringing troops home in 16 months this is awesome. The United states should not show the world that we torture for a living we are a nation of peace and everyone deserves a chance to live freely as long as they obey the laws that we have in place. Republicans might not play along with obama but I am happy that senator mccain has become a role model for obama this should help Obama. Getting things passed should be easy since we have pelosi and reid in the white house. Now that bush is gone reid and pelosi are much happier and will pass alot of bills signed by Obama, but there won't always be the free ride but being that we have a democratic majority in senate and congress things will pass quicker and look better.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  149. Jerry Harris

    I would not be suprised if some of it doesn't come from the African-American community, but they need to think about the fact that Obama is half white and was raised by a white mother and grandmother. He is not and will not ever be a hip-hop person.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  150. simon

    Thank God, At last we have a president with common sense. Torturing people not only barbaric and outlawed by international community, it doesn’t work.

    Lets hope G.w. Bush gets a taste of his own medicine

    January 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  151. CJ Perry

    Well Jack funny you should ask that question as I was just pondering such a thought.

    President Barack Obama will get into trouble when he asks if he can get his face on a fifty dollar bill!

    That will undoubtedly stir up a lot of controversy, but essentially could help our troubled economy immediately, just think how much our currency would be worth then!

    January 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  152. John

    Jack: President Obama should get a long honeymoon period, but those who profess to be fair and balanced will try to eat away at Mr. Obama's political capital like a shark eats bloody meat. Character will always win over the point and blame game group, but it is an unnecessary noise to listen too. We need clear heads full of love and grace for this nation. Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden will deliver this needed traits to lead. Will we listen or just shout old tired words that try to devide us. I hope not for our nation's sake.

    John from Alabama

    January 22, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  153. Connie Morsher Ohio

    I would say his difficulties will be with people who want to see him fail. If he hadn't started do things on his first day they would have said he should have done more and now I hear them saying "is he doing too much too soon?" Come on...I think he is doing a great job! Look at all he got accomplished in two days I would say it been more than ex-President Bush got accomplished in 8 years. I give President Obama 2 thumbs up! Connie from Cold OHIO!

    January 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  154. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    The knuckleheaded press, who delight in oversimplifying or ignoring every crucial issue.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  155. Joyce in Florida

    Congress, definitely Congress. These people have been behaving like recalcitrant children for decades and they won't grow up just because the future of their country depends on it. They will play their childish games to the bitter end.

    Just remember people we put them in office and we can take them out.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  156. Mike out West

    His own party!

    With a bunch of ex-Clinton cronies in the house and the rest of the Dems running around cluelessly "bailing out" everything and everyone, it is plain to see what will be chewing up his time and energy.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  157. Dick from Indiana

    "Technology shock" will the first Obama reality check. Getting their message out and responding quickly will be slowed by the 1990's technology in the White House. I suspect every decent laptop assigned to the White House West Wing now resides in the home of a loyal Bushie.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  158. Dr. George Rimini, Italy

    Difficulties in providing new jobs early on, while the trend continues in ever increasing job cuts, by the major companies and corporations. Secondly the ever withering public education,school systems, will produce even higher drop out rates in middle and high schools. And half of those that manage to graduate, will do so, but with inadequate reading and math skills, hence precluding any success in college! "The continuing dumbing of America", will be very problematic for Obama, and for some time to come!

    January 22, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  159. Bill, Virginia Beach

    President Obama will have early difficulties with things that will require a 60 vote majority in the Senate, particularly funding appropriations. He will have later difficulties in about a year when Senate and House seats come up for election.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  160. don Calgary,Alberta

    to get a better understanding put people of no interest to his historical election in positions that can decipher the problems not the people he has lined up such as "holder" geithner!

    what does it take for these presidents not to put people of such ethical questions into a posting!

    January 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  161. Gip, FL


    This is going to last for years, I see no way for any real return to a modest way of living for the following reasons:

    Gambling, Lotteries, and Casinos are taking and wasting trillions every year. Keeping people addicted to it!! This is their HOPE ??

    Countries who have the amount of Population we have and more find themselves with millions always out of work, living in poor conditions, etc... This is now America's reality!!

    Laws that demand we have insurance, lawsuits and lawyers too get rich, TV ADS make me sick!! This bad drug, injury, disablity denials, all brainwashes people to get rich quick! Lawyers getting Rich and Corporations.

    Manufacturing, other than food and defense, all gone now! NO Base!

    No pay, no job, that means no spending and bad credit ratings for all

    Costs contunie to rise, like in your Utility Bills, Auto and Home Insurances, but dont pay you back when you need it.

    Healthcare , thats just the biggest crime of all!!

    Guess im a realist!!

    January 22, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  162. Mark from New Jersey

    The oresident will have the most difficulty with what is left of the Republican party, who are grasping fearfully at whatever power they think they have left. They actually are blaming Obama for not disclosing where the money went from the first bank bailout. The opposition to Eric Holder is an example of this, as they want to deny confirmation to anyone who would actually enforce the law. I am already looking forward to financially supporting any candidate who opposes moral paragons like Vitter and Cornyn

    January 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  163. Kevin -CA

    Unfortunately, the most difficulty that President Obama will encounter is now going to be ubiquitous. A lot of the major issues have been mishandled and deteriorated to the point that extreme difficulty will be omni-present for him.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  164. debi

    President Obama's biggest problem is going to be the congress. They are used to getting their own way. How can we send a message to them that we want the to work WITH Obama, if they want to be re-elected.

    Please Congress, help him help us.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  165. Gip, FL


    Go GREEN, here in FL you do have incentives to add solar to your house, $50,000 average to do that. However go ask them to add a stand alone unit and connect it to the grid just to sell it back to the power company, NOTTA!! Can be done for $5000 now with new solar panels available and getting cheaper.

    Utility Companies have also been raising monthly fees and rates at an agressive rate. So by the time I get anything from free power from the sun, Ill be paying more than I did with Coal!!

    Big Oil also buying up and investing in Solar, Wind etc.. so they get a peice of the pie too. So no change! and you bet their will be laws making sure the little guy cant be independent.

    Then you got the labor to build green , and the new Infrastructure JObs, Illegal labor to be used !!

    So making the change Fair and less cost for all of us, is the biggest challenge i see Obama and american people having with Green!

    January 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  166. Ronald

    The Media. As long as the media tries to respond to Fox News and the right wing bloggers you all will be the problem. Let's look at today and all of the hula ballyhoo around the Re-do of the Oath of Office. The appointment of Dep CIA Director. What the Exec Orders really mean. Cone on Jack.

    January 22, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  167. Gip, FL


    I dont see the private sector and Corporations ever making it fair for us Americans.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  168. Sue from Redwood City

    Big business greed. They are not going to like some of the changes he makes and could even plan to do away with him. I pray for his safety daily!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  169. James, Charlotte

    Jack, as we seen on television yesterday in his first full day of Administration organization with Joe Biden. His most difficult task is to keep a tight rope on his Vice President and teaching him how not to put his foot in his mouth in public.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  170. Stephanie from Charlottesville VA


    All you have to do is look at the people who represent the people who voted Palin/McCain. Those (congresspeople) will mess up the next administration through sheer stupidity.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  171. Jessica C

    Unfortunately, i think fixing the economy is going to be the hardest battle to conquer. Do you remember what got us out of the depression? World War II. Now the tables are turned and we are asking our President to pull us out of war and a recession nearing depression at the same time! If Obama can tackle this problem head on with near success.... we wouldn't be talking about what he wore while doing it!!!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  172. Jeff, Payson Az

    His own party's leading buffoons, Pelosi and Reid

    January 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  173. Jeff, Payson Az

    Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the nutz at Fox Noise

    January 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  174. Mysha

    There's a new sheriff in town and he's making it happen get used to it .
    He's laying down the Law and those who cant handle it dont like him.
    Imma just say WOW!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  175. Leo in Florida

    The middle east.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  176. Arthur

    President Obama will inevitably have to deal with the fact that, as he says, the economy will get better before it gets worse. People tend to have a selective memory, especially when it comes to their wallets, and when this economic crisis deepens he'll have to answer for its cause.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  177. Jacqueline

    That's an easy question Jack,
    From the GOP's in the Senate and House. They have started already. Have they learned nothing from this past election?

    January 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  178. Vineeth

    I think the president's biggest earliest difficulty is going to come from his own party! With the kind of statements being issued back and forth – it sounds like there is some dissent brewing within the Democratic party. People need to GROW UP.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  179. Anthony Quinn

    He is gonna get the most problems from the american people. Not because of what he did/is doing, but from the skepticism we still have from that blubbering idiot "dub-yah".

    January 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  180. Reginald D. Brookins

    The Republicans.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  181. Steven, MD

    Believe it or not, I believe the majority of his difficulties will come from simply trying to satisfy the Right. Asides from that, he should do well.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  182. george german

    oil.........the israly/palistian thiig....................china...........global warming.


    January 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  183. Wyatt Maker-New York City

    Fox News.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  184. Robin

    That's a no brainer, Jack. His biggest problem will come from you guys, the press.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  185. Mike Starke Pembroke Pines FL

    Many Republicans and the hardcore Right such as the Limbaugh's of this country will try and make Obama's entire first term a nightmare.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  186. Laura

    Jack, as a young republican myself, the problems Obama will face early in his term is simply getting McCain voters on his side. This was a really controversal race that left a lot of hard feelings. He seems confident, so I believe he will sway many republicans to follow his lead.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  187. Roger (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

    'Ole Rush said today, bluntly, "I hope he fails." 'Nuff said. The idiotic right.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  188. Elie, Pennsylvania

    President Obama will hit a brick wall when tyring to negotiate with Syria and Iran. Many other leaders and countries have gone down this road and ultimately come up empty handed.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  189. Miss K -California

    I think he's going to take a lot of guff from his own party. No doubt, he's not going to be the screaming liberal that MoveOn.Org wants him to be. Pelosi and Reid will no doubt find themselves left on the other side of the fence as he takes a more pragmatic and less partisan action on many things.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  190. Shane

    President Obama will have to focus on fixing the economy. If he is unable to better the situation that we all currently face, I believe there will only be four years of an Obama presidency.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  191. Ron Hill

    From Republicans and the Ann Coulter and Limbaugh types. Republicans are already out to create political terror instead of helping. No surprise there.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  192. Da'ud X Mohammed

    from people like us who supported him from the git and want to see him do well

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  193. Octave from MS

    Problems?Problems? Sorry, but I think he will have solutions. He is calm, cool, and collected. 24/7. Anything that arises, he will ask for opinions and debate with others to find out the appropriate solution. I'm going to give him all the support in the world.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  194. Chris Petryk

    From the Republicans, of course. Even now that he closed Gitmo and stopped the use of torture, they criticize him. No matter what steps he makes, they will be there to point their dirty fingers at him every step of the way.


    Reston, VA

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  195. Tom--Atlanta

    That's an easy question to answer, the biggest difficulties will be with John Boehner and the obstructionist politics of the republicans.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  196. Robert

    The biggest issue is going to be jobs. If we keep losing jobs people will look at him as if he is ignoring Main Street. The President and congress need to stop the shipping of American jobs over seas.

    Glendale, Az

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  197. Rahul

    I think preventing US from devaluing the dollar and avoiding a major inflation.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  198. Sam

    Presidents initial problems will not come from without but from within. The Republicans are cocked and ready to do all the mischief they can foment...only a miracle will keep the bipartisanship going.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  199. Terry

    President Obama will encounter his most difficulty with the Senate and Congress. Too many still have old ideas and can't seem to move forward.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  200. toddheintz

    his biggest problem will be the white noise of his naysayers. we've all lived too long in a world where we are taught that positivity and progress – whether its towards peace, against other cultures, economics or politics – are not possible. To him I say, don't give in to that dark side.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  201. Regis from London

    The Republicans in Congress will be the biggest obstacle to the success of this Presidency, The world has shifted around them and they have yet to recognize this fact'

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  202. Lee MN

    The problems will be some southern conservative politicians who are scared of success after so many years of failures. Some of the southern Senators like TX, TN,KY,GA, MS act like the north south war is still going on. Some of their pouting is outright childish.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  203. Louis

    When it comes to the Middle East the Obama administration will be heavily challenged. At the moment the Middle East is one of the most politically unstable regions in the world. Conflicts in that region need to be resolved as soon as possible before things escalate to a new level.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  204. Steven Nelson

    President Obama will probably encounter the most resistance from his own party. While his ideas and polcies seem to be good, practical, centrist government, there will be a large contingent of Democrats that will want a return to the New Deal style of nanny governement. Ironically, moderate Republicans may be his best allies going forward in this first 100 days.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  205. Reginald D. Brookins

    Us and our expectations, Jack

    January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  206. Poka from Valdosta,Ga.

    Its simple Jack, " all of the above"....

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  207. Jonathan Skolnick

    President Obama will encounter the most difficulty at home. In addition to solving all of our myriad domestic issues, he is trying to fundamentally trying to change how Washington operates. How long until someone on one side of the aisle takes a verbal shot at someone on the other side of the aisle? I think Obama will succeed, but it won't be painless or smooth, by any measure.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  208. Rich in Oklahoma

    I think President Obama may well face some of his biggest troubles from Nancy Pelosi. He needs to exert his leadership and reign in this loose cannon.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  209. Tore Borresen, Copenhagen

    Russia, when he tries to persuade that country to revert its decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, and return those breakaway territories to Georgia.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  210. hippiesaurus

    from his mother in law living right down the hall at the whitehouse

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  211. Tyler Vigneux

    The economy and high expectations. Obama is expected to change things right away and the economy is issue #1. The American people must realize that he has been President for 2 days. Patience is key to Obama's success.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  212. tom New York City

    Jack, one of the biggest problems facing this new administration is definitely Guantanamo bay .Many people find this as a bad choice but I think it will improve the United Sates s image in the world.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  213. Dave Lunn

    Obama's biggest problem. Conservative Republicans are going to start acting like conservatives again. Oh @#!&^%!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  214. Claude,Calgary Canada

    Jack, People like Wolf Blitzer pestering Michelle for a dance in the White House!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  215. Gary

    From the Republican members of congress. They have nothing to contribute and can only make them selves relevent by obstruction. PS:till Wolf to unwad his panties, the second oath was a ridiculous formality

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  216. Evando - Missouri

    The biggest difficulty will be getting Republican Senators and Representatives to contribute realistic ideas and critical thinking to make whatever President Obama proposes the best united proposal and getting ardent left Democratic Senators and Representatives to compromise when it is in our best national interest.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  217. Cheryl in Utah

    That's an easy one Fox News.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  218. Gabe from Indiana

    I think that the popular perception of a honeymoon isn't bourne out by the factual vitriolic nature of the currently embattled republican party. When Reagan took office he had more of his cabinet confirmed, when Bill Clinton took office he had more of his cabinet confirmed, when George W. Bush took office at this time he had more of his cabinet confirmed. The republicans are getting a free pass on thier obstructionism right now as was shown with the petty nature of the Clinton delay and the wrongheaded stance that Holder by acknowledging a point of fact about waterboarding and other torture methods did something they don't aprove of. Tough elections have consequenses and a majority of Americans now want to return to our constitutional principles. If the media doesn't call this out than republican obstructionism is going to be a much larger problem for a good natured Obama than is being pointed out.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  219. Patricia of Boston

    Republicans protecting their turf. Please, guys, hold off for a while. Give him a chance. We need it desperately.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  220. Laura, IN

    Jack, as a young, high school student republican myself, the problems Obama will face early in his term is simply getting McCain voters on his side. This was an extremeily controversal race that left a lot of hard feelings. He seems confident, so I believe he will sway many republicans to follow his lead.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  221. Emanuel

    Russia is going to be one of President Obama's problem and or "headache".

    January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  222. Bob Goldschmidt

    Card check represents the biggest mine field for Obama.

    The attempt to preserve jobs and wages will conflict with the difficulty for corporations to remain competitive in a union environment.

    Confronting this early on could polarize the Congress such that no significant legislation could be passed thereafter.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  223. Josh (Ann Arbor)

    Fox News. Today they were dedicating air time to the fact that Obama's second oath out wasn't taken with a bible. Seriously. Maybe they could find a more important issue to discuss on Obama's second day as President. The reason he had to take a second oath was because a conservative justice messed up the first time around.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  224. Neil in Canada

    I only foresee two major problems. First is within his own party and the second is quitting smoking or at least not getting busted on film.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  225. Forrest

    From Panama

    The military industrial complex will challenge his goal to get out of Iraq in 16 months. They have too much to loose.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  226. Jerry

    I think the president's most difficult task in the early times of his presidency answering to Republican political moves. Although I think he can cross party lines to get much done for our country, it won't be easy early on and will slowly get harder.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  227. JB

    Where is President Obama likely to encounter the most difficulty early in his presidency?

    Ideologically constipated Republicans in Congress.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  228. Ashok Damle

    With elections in India in a couple of months, and the projected winner bent on going into Pakistan – this will no doubt be the no. 1 challenge for the President – a destabilized Pakistan threatens the region and any mistakes from the Obama administration will only lead to Kashmir being the new Gaza...this also is his greatest opportunity

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  229. Dave

    Day 2 and it appears that his greatest threat is folks like you putting dumb questions and doubts onto the airwaves – simply for ratings. Put this in perspective – he's only changed his office tie twice as president. Shut up and give the man a chance. Come back with the question in 6-9 months.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  230. grace hedin

    One thing that he should not do, go and sit down with Raoul Castro. I think this will really open up a hugh can of worms.He needs to really rethink this agenda..........leave them alone down in Cuba.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  231. Jackie in Marietta, GA

    I think he'll encounter the most problems right here in the United States. We have too many people who are scared of change in any fashion. Corporations, politcians and lovers of chaos will do what they can to derail his efforts to take the country in a better direction. Sometimes we are our own terrorist. We, as a nation, have a bad habit of sabotaging ourselves.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  232. Herb Klions

    From those Republicans who are slow learners

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  233. Carlo Balthazar

    I was reading the comments made by certain people, especially by Jane from Winconsin and others... When a question is asked and you want to answer, do not let your anger and racial tone take over the statement you are writing as an answer and that is going to be read on a national television. Barack H. Obama is the president of the United States, your president, too! Show some respect. Be an educated American! You may not agree with his decisions, bring up your debate, your discussion and a plan, but do not discriminate with your tone and understatement. It's a new day, it's either you roll up your sleeves and be part of this new America or shut up and watch

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  234. Don Mars in Maryland

    He's already under fire, unfortunately most of it will be from "Archie-Bunker-like" haters who don't want him to succeed. Homegrown terrorists are the worst ones because you don't know that you're sleeping with the enemy.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  235. Jonathan Alexis

    I believe the president will experience resistance from his own democratic party. with a democratic congress and a democratic executive branch, there is a lot of power to be had right now, and a politician that makes his or her mark now could see themselves as president elect in 8 years.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  236. Qaim

    President Obama's earliest difficulty will be going forward with a proper strategy in order to pull out of Iraq in the time frame he promised voters. 16 months while seeming like a long time will fly by quickly, and while I am a loyal Obama supporter, I do at this moment think his 16 month time frame is practically impossible to meet

    January 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  237. Matt in Stafford, VA

    Obama is going to face many difficulties, both early on and throughout his term. Not only is he going to have to fix the nagging problems left by Bush such as torture, Iraq, and neglecting our allies, he will have to meet new problems head on. In addition to all the changes, Obama will have to fight a poor economy that sends jobs overseas. He will have to face a belligerent, defiant North Korea, while trying to reassure the South Koreans that America still has their backs. Old alliances will need to be rekindled, and most of all, Obama will need to try and regain the trust that Americans used to have that government was on their side.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  238. Gus

    I think strongly believe President Obama will encounter more problems here at home, especially amongts both some Democrats and most definetly Republicans jocking for room to say in the next election that they stood up to the President. It is amzing how the Republicans are now standing up againts spending, while saying nothing for 8 years. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  239. James in Texas

    The biggest threat? The Republican Party! They think Bush era politics are still relevant and still the way business needs to be done. I

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  240. Tom Caudle

    The Republicans will be the most difficult thing for our President.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  241. Chris

    One problem might be a definition of transparency that turns the White House into a Reality Show. Reality doesn't require television to happen and the most momentous events in our history without a Sony HD camera in the room.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  242. Faz Khan

    I think the very first problem for Obama is those Winnie Republicans radio talk hosts like Hannity and Rush who will do anything and everything to make him look like Bush twin and I know they will fail badly

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  243. Kenneth, Los Angeles

    A most difficult task would be that of fixing what was ruined in Iraq, Jack. There are a lot of skepticism's and assumptions of what Iran has planned post American withdrawal. Diplomacy with Iran is not impossible and should be, at the very least, attempted.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  244. Abhishek Shinde

    Definitely the task of managing the 'great expectations'. I was watching some of CNN's coverage earlier today about how much time the American electorate is willing to give President Obama to solve the economic crisis – some said two years, and some actually said two weeks! Clearly, he's had a great start on that front with his measured inauguration speech. Hopefully, he will be able to fulfill most of those expectations – if not in full, then atleast in great measure.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  245. Neal

    The far-right zealots who believe they have a pathway to politics via the unfortunate choice of Reverand Warren to take part in the festivities – surely these idiots will rear their ugly heads soon and often.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  246. Daniel, Nevada

    it's simple abolish the FED, print Government issued money and all our problems start to fade away. That's it. Problem Solved. But President Obama has already said it's not the president's place to question the FED, where's that written in the constitution?

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  247. chuck

    Jack, Immigration will be his first challenge. Immigration will bring all of the right wing nutjobs out and spewing their hatred toward immigrants.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  248. Barbara

    Early difficulties will be coming from outside this country–Russia, Korea, Iran–and the inevitable problems with the networkks of terror. He may also fave some challenges from his daughters who seem to be holding him to a high standard of performance in hi new job.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  249. Ernie Harju

    Getting the Parties to work together for the people not there repective parties!!!

    Bush is Gone!!! Bush is Gone!!! Bush is gone!!! Bush is Gone!!!!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  250. Ron Ouellette

    That answer is easy, REPUBLICANS and some Democrats. Just
    think, these folks have had it their way for a long time and now there\
    is a new sheriff in town with a whole new way of doing things and
    who is idealogically and practically opposed to their worn out way
    of thinking and THEY DON'T LIKE IT, well as my wife likes to say,
    TOO BAD, SO SAD, get over it already. The old thinking and old ways
    of operating DID NOT WORK, let's try something new, who knows
    you might learn to love it.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  251. Aaron from IL

    Absent any emergency (natural or otherwise) I think the biggest test in the near future for Obama is going to come from Congress, despite Democratic control.

    Far too many in congress have their own agendas and while President Obama has hit the ground running with Executive Orders and has massive support from Americans, even he realizes that pushing new legislation through Congress won't be as easy as some might like to believe.

    Obama wants to bring change, but the powerful in Washington have shown time and again, they don't like change–that is unless it's in their own self interest.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  252. Cameron from Saint Louis

    I believe that President Obama will run into the most difficulty early in his Presidency trying to focus too much on bi-partisanship. What he must understand is that there are two parties and with all of his good intentions, he will not change that. He may very well make some Republicans of the present popular now, that will ruin things in the future. I think he should focus on issues that appeal to all and not try to force the ideas of Republicans and Democrats to be one. There are two parties for a reason.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  253. Lorenzo from charlotte nc

    The Media

    January 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  254. BJ

    Early difficulties will continue to come from the vile utterances of:
    Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and now Glenn Beck.
    Enough said!!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  255. Gaurang Tanna (India)

    Convincing Congress, particularly the GOP in issues such as bail-out - we just learned that House rejected President Obama's request for rest of TARP money.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  256. Christian Haerle

    Hello Mr. Cafferty,
    I think the most difficult problem that President Obama will face early in his administration is the need of the USA to borrow heavily from nations who strongly object to policies put in place by the Bush Administration. Most of the nations lending to the USA objected to the Iraq invasion. Interestingly enough, although Bush and Cheney as recently as a few months ago stated that there would be no timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, they very quickly agreed to pull out of Iraqi cities when America needed an extra 700 billion. Next will be global warming. With the exception of China, the nations that loan America money criticized Bush's disrespect for the Kyoto protocols. I suspect that just like the very fast reversal on Iraq policy, there will be a big change in America's attitude to global warming, whether industry likes it or not, because no more credit will be forthcoming from the rest of the world if this change in attitude does not occur.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  257. Robert

    Where is the President going to encounter the most grief? Why Jack, you know where. The Republicans have already started to sharpen their knves before they even see the details of proposals. After eight years of getting their way they are not yet ready to let anyone else play in their sandbox. Despite what President Obama would like the Republicans are going to play "politics as usual" because they have no new ideas and it is the only game they know. As Pogo said, " We have met the enemy and he is us."

    We will get better cooperation from overseas than from our own politicians.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  258. Chris from Drexel Hill, PA

    Senate republicans. With their outdated rules and a slim democratic majority, republicans can still be obstuctionists as we have already seen with the cabinet confirmations. It would be fine if they just voted "no" and movwed on, but their delay tactics are far worse when things need to get done NOW.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  259. Michael Ferguson

    I think President Obamma is going to have to address secret societies,as was found out by the Resse commision in the 50,s. and now!!
    I am from Canada but your decisions affect me profoundly.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  260. Bruce

    Treating the Banking problem as a liquidity problem instead of a solvency problem would cause his first crisis. Re-enacting the "assault"(which they are not) gun ban would be a second error as he would be asking for a major war by all gun owners, as well as slowing down one of the few thriving industries, much of which employs Americans.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  261. George Richard

    The American Press will present President Obama with the most difficulty early in his presidency by its incessant quest (and thirst) for presidential action on what it (the press) thinks is most urgent.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  262. Alex Umole

    Putting aside the usual politics of power, I believe that these early days of the Obama's presidency may reveal a worsening economy, that we know is his first priority and unfortunately his first problem.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  263. Julian Smith

    His biggest difficulty will come when he's up for re-election and he's forced to explain why so many of his campaign promises have not been fulfilled.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  264. Ilir

    Besides the opposition that he faces from his own party, President Obama will undoubtedly have the hardest time in fixing the economy, which is, of course, the catalyst to solving several of America's other problems. He is very occupied and is in somewhat of a pickle, he needs to find money to spend for our education system, health care, and other programs, all the while he knows that raising taxes in economic times like this is asking for trouble. I have confidence that he will do great though, we all must chip in and help as well.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  265. Charles (from Olympia, WA)

    Early on, from those resistant to change. probably within our own. Later , from around the world , from those afraid of the great strides AMERICA is taking. President Obama will take us there.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  266. Ken

    Obama's earliest difficulty will be the Grand OOld Party (GOOP)!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  267. Eduardo Harari

    I believe that everyone thinks that the problems will come from the middle east but we should look closer to our shores and a man that has shown two faces to all americans. I am talking about Hugo chavez of Venezuela who is slowly building his empire across the Americas without being stopped. Its important to remember that he is supplying weapons to militias all over the region with the oil we buy from him either at the Citgo pumps or with our imports.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  268. nomi

    His emotional intelligence and IQ will sail him through any challenges. I listened to your comments moments ago on his Honeymoon period. Please let me tell you he will do great wait and see. His biggest challenge will be congress and domestic issues.
    It is wise and right to challenge and question the president on the same token we should be realistic about his actions. Why we as American don't hold ourselves responsible as we hold our presidents.
    Can I ask you how many have joined volunteer service onhis request ?
    I bet few... lets hold ourselves accountable too.
    beaumont tx

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  269. Bryan

    From US citizens and media. All presidents and their advisers face crises on a daily basis. It will be those people who've already decided that Obama will fail who will forgo an objective evaluation of any situation and try to sow doubt and discord in the pursuit of change.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  270. Geraldine, Wasilla AK

    From those in Congress playing the old game of "King (or Queen) of the Hill." Rampant egotism causes the twofold problem of blocked hearing and flapping jaws. Dems don't seem to understand that they are part of any bipartisan solution. Republicans are too busy positioning themselves for their next elections.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  271. Greg

    In a word – Republicans. Thoroughly discredited, bereft of ideas but as certain as ever of the "rightness" of their positions, The GOP has nothing but obstruction to turn to. They will dog every misstep or perceived weakness of this young president until they can hound him (and us) into submission if we allow them.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  272. christine cape coral, florida

    it starts.."where's he going to fail/when's he going to fail"..l voted for McCain but it stirs something deep inside when we are all invited to speculate and offer destructive criticism...remember we're supposed to work together this administration.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  273. Doss

    ....Hmmm, I think in the middle of all this mess, the best way to start is to find ways to fix the economy. No one can focus on developing better ideas if he or she's stressed and hungry. Would he fail to fix the economy, no other issue will be resolved easily. So... I think the highest challenge is to put the economy back to where is was 9 years ago. God bless the World!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  274. Seth

    The Economy Jack. Pres. Obama is already behind in my book. Mistep 1) Voting for first bailout despite blatant decree that he would not do so if earmarks were included. Mistep 2) Appointing Timothy Geithner, former NY Fed, to "change" america's economic predicament. In my book you only get three strikes, and President Obama is already down in the count.

    Austin, TX

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  275. Ian Torre

    The economy will be the most challenging and trying, as it has been for the former administration, and will be by far the biggest stretch.The president is here to meet those dire demands, so as long as we support him.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  276. Jackie in Marietta, GA

    I think he’ll encounter the most problems right here in the United States. We have too many people who are scared of change in any fashion. Corporations, old-school politcians and lovers of chaos will do what they can to derail his efforts to take the country in a better direction. Sometimes we are our own terrorist. We, as a nation, have a bad habit of sabotaging ourselves.

    Marietta, GA

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  277. Barry Shea

    Jealous, envious, resentful Republicans.

    The same ones who have run our nation into the ground for the past 8 years, while enriching themselves and their wealthy friends.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  278. Rosemary

    Jack put your glasses on. His problem is right here in Washington. Look at Eric Holder still on the side lines waiting to be confirmed.
    Astoria, NY

    January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  279. Carlo Balthazar

    Problems will be encounterd with the Congress and all those believing that change cannot happen. They will slow down all the plans and find a justification for each of them... and of course they will blame it on Obama's character.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  280. Todd Mollenkopf

    Jobs, jobs, jobs; this is Obama's big challenge. Return sustainable manufacturung to America, and the jobs will follow. Todd Mollenkopf, Prague, Czech Rep.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  281. Dan Schmidt, Chicago

    President Obama is off to a superb start. And, despite high expectations, he appears to be exceeding them in most quarters. The likely exception, however, is the liberal and left wing of his own party. Contrary to what Mr. McCain asserted over and over, Obama appears to be serious about serving all of us from the center.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  282. Deloris

    Count on the right wing elected officials to raise their righteous fists before long. They will waste as much precious time as they can with their arrogant ignorance and do it with much verbosity.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  283. Jim / Cambridge, NY

    From the laziest, over-compensated group of people in America (Congress) and the greediest thieves in America (Corporate Executives), who else?

    January 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  284. gerry luimes

    In the foregoing comments we have clearly noticed that in a democracy every citizen has a right to voice an opinion.The U.S.A is one of the great democracies.Many opinions cause a cauldrum of chaos to be sorted out.Do not forget that a great leader like Churchill himsewlf was well aware of that fact and is reported as having said:"
    Democracy is the worst form of government,except for all the others"....President O has come practically from Nowhere;During a
    exceptionally smart campaign he is now President.Quity a remarkable feat indeed!.He has the wherewithall to deal with everything being thrown at him,coming from his own party or from
    any other source.He may not succeed,but he will show a determination and a capability we have not seen for a long time,and not even in many other countries on this planet. Long live this administration.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  285. Hussein Harmouche

    President Obama has leaped over a tremendous obstacle that many found impossible to leap so high, with that said it might be difficult to break his stride. I believe his greatest problem he will come to face with during his presidency is within the borders of this country, Economy FIRST! Then maybe the world would be a happier place because we are generating more business for them 🙂
    Hussein Harmouche
    Miami, FL

    January 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  286. CarrieinSterling,VA

    You make a mistake when you confuse approval with agreement. Almost all Americans were moved by the historic election of the first black president-I myself actually cried -although I vehemently disagree with most of Obama's agenda. I think his nominations of Holder and Panetta make us less safe and granting enemy combatants access to the same justice system as American citizens-which has never been done is a huge mistake. No one supports torture-but there's a whole lot of space between waterboarding and the army's field manual. Obama is making the same mistake Clinton did and the 911 commission report revealed and warned against: treating terrorist as just another law enforcement issues.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  287. Paul

    Jack, his biggest hurdle will be getting control of our financial crisis. While I think it's important to let both parties go back and forth on a stimulus plan, this is not a long term solution. We need a plan in place that will work for the long haul. I tend to agree with what Pelosi said earlier that "taxing the wealthy is not going to create jobs and stabilize the economy." We simply need more done for all working class Americans.


    January 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  288. Tim Burton

    Obama will struggle in getting our economy going again. Listen, our economy will not get any better until our goverment gets our jobs back from China. First thing to do is get rid of NAFTA!!!!!!. Stop putting money in autos, and big corporations, and give it to the WORKING PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  289. Corey


    I believe possibly his toughest job to come in the next four years will be trying to please you and every other news figure. He is in his third day of office and you all are already looking for negetive things to talk about. After the eight years we just experienced I don't forsee anything President Obama could possibly do to weaken our country further than it is now.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  290. Robert in Tucson

    Judging so far, I'd say Republicans! Already Rush Limbaugh has stated that he hopes Obama will fail. Several cabinet positions are already on hold or have been delayed by Republican Senators. These Republicans are not interested in the betterment of America; but instead wish the country and Obama ill-will. They are nothing but traitors, plain and simple!!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  291. Anita Sherman

    I think that the Republicans will give our new president a longer honeymoon period. They will be generous and patient.

    Obama will be challenged most by his own party in his decisions on how best to deal with the economy, conflicts abroad, our security and the plethora of domestic issues.

    His biggest challenge is to restore and built confidence in the marketplace. Wall Street is his barometer and right now it's wavering.

    Obama and his administration need to provide a strong base. We need to operate from a position of strength.

    He will need to get past his own party to do it for the Democrats will be his greatest ally or his biggest obstacle.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  292. Carmen

    Hey Jack,

    The difficulties and scrutinity will come from the home front. Because everyone wants change, but change is hard for some to accept.

    Also President Obama is asking for the US people to be accountible. The nay sayers are the ones who are currently complaining and therefore the fight at home will be the toughest. But we will over come.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  293. Lesley L.

    The only difficulty that I can see at this point is when the 'silly stuff" becomes the news of the day and takes those who are working for the good away from that task. For example, when the press behaves like babies and complain that the second swearing in was done in a way that kisses their back sides. Second, when a Texas senator wastes the time of lawmakers by causing a confirmation vote to take the time from those who are busy with other more important tasks.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  294. Joshua Martin

    Jack it simply will come from everywhere..the approval rating will help give him space but with so much going on so little time and almost every problem needed to be addressed like now the early big problem will just be handling it all .. he cant ignore foreign policy but he needs to know how very important getting something done on the economy is . Less jobs empty houses business banks shutting down or breaking apart that could be first but u dont get handed 900 billion dollars too often how he will handle that will be a challenge like no other..but improving our standing in the world improving benefits to our healthcare schools the environment no wonder this guy has so many promises to keep the world has never been so complicated and difficult but we can feel now that something will be done bout lets hope its the right thing.. U give someone 10 seconds and they can ruin a sculpture that took days weeks or months to accomplish.. We gave George Bush 8 years to ruin that sculpture ..just imagine how long it could take to fix that mess.

    Josh Martin Hinsdale ,NH

    January 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  295. Audrey

    Jack – So far President Obama's challenges are coming from egotistical people trying too hard to seem intelligent.

    This is Day 2. He has shown srength and leadership. Let us challenge him and his team when they are wrong, but let us be supportive and not spend valuable time promoting petty things such as non-transparency in not having TV crew at the "do-over." These are serious times; let's be serious in our coverage and how we impact on the people who look to CNN for direction and interpretation of the issues.

    Please ask Wolf to resist the temptation of Tabloid Journalism.

    Thanks Jack for the refreshing fairness of your reporting.


    January 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  296. Carol

    With FOX News

    January 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  297. Mz.Wanda

    Jack the answer is yes. The President is all about taking care of business it is about time we have an adult running the. Day to day operations of the white house.Every house in the country is ran by an adult now, America can regain her standing within the World.Thank Jesus Christ for having mercy on us thus far.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  298. Sarah Melcher

    Pres. Obama's biggest challenges are going to be in making the massively stupid behemoth of our current government work in the intellectual agility of the world he is looking for. For example, if he wants to end programs that don't work (per his inaugural speech) he might want to look at the IRS, where the office in Holtsville operates entirely independently from its office in Philly and IRS officers in the two office cannot pick up the phone to solve a problem. I suspect this is only a fraction of the problems in Homeland Security, but from where I sit they look no less complex (if not more so!) than problems that the Middle East. At least they are starting at home.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  299. Joshua, Tallahassee, FL

    President Obama will face tremendous difficulties his first year in office. However, none are more important than gaining the trust back from the American people. During the last eight years, dishonesty, corruption, and incompetence infected Washington. Citizens became disenfranchised with our government and its leaders, and rightfully so. President Obama needs to follow through on his promise of transparency and integrity, because no problems will be solved without gaining back the trust of the American people.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  300. Bray

    Selling the stimulus package, and dealing with oppositions from the extreme right will be his biggest challenge. Domestic issues and problems will trump any foreign situations. The ultimate grade the American people will give Obama, will be based on the economy and Americans prosperity.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  301. Allison

    The hardest task President Obama will have is being true to himself and simply standing his ground. He was smart in surrounding himself with his own "Team of Rivals" but he has to use that team effectively. Otherwise, a good man and a good presidency will have been wasted.

    Canton, Ohio

    January 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  302. Martin

    The press! You can already tell that the honeymoon period is over and that the press is just waiting to sink its teeth into every minor little hick up the man has. And it only took 2 days to get there.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  303. Graham in Atlanta GA

    President Obama will most likely encounter the most difficulty from those who hold on to the idea that it is Democrat vs. Republican, instead of pursuing a mutual goal of national unity and strength. Those that wish to continue with the divisiveness of the last 8 years will certainly hope to continue with what most Americans would like to change.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  304. Gil

    President Obama is ALREADY having the most problem with the PRESS! He can't even get started in his job as the new president without drawing all kinds of criticism from the news media because he didn't do something EXACTLY as the NEWS MEDIA thought that he should. For instance, the fact that the re-taking of his oath wasn't in front of a bunch of the news media elite! The news media needs to come down off the pedestals that they have put themselves on. NO ONE BUT THE NEWS MEDIA THINKS THAT THE PRESIDENT SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE OATH OVER IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  305. Joshua Martin Hinsdale NH

    Jack it simply will come from everywhere..the approval rating will help give him space but with so much going on so little time and almost every problem needed to be addressed like now the early big problem will just be handling it all .. he cant ignore foreign policy but he needs to know how very important getting something done on the economy is . Less jobs empty houses business banks shutting down or breaking apart that could be first but u dont get handed 900 billion dollars too often how he will handle that will be a challenge like no other..but improving our standing in the world improving benefits to our healthcare schools the environment no wonder this guy has so many promises to keep the world has never been so complicated and difficult but we can feel now that something will be done bout lets hope its the right thing.. U give someone 10 seconds and they can ruin a sculpture that took days weeks or months to accomplish.. We gave George Bush 8 years to ruin that sculpture ..just imagine how long it could take to fix that mess.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  306. Andy

    The first true challenge Obama will face is already being seen. His primary task is to unite us, and to prepare us to embrace challenges we can forsee, and those we cannot, and he must get things underway quickly, because these unforseen challenges could come at any moment.

    That being said, I think unfortunately the first challenge will come from abroad as foreign terrorists test the mettle of our young president. Thankfully, he has proven that he is in a very appropriate hurry to set this country up to meet these challenges with a firm understanding of what we stand for and how much we can rely on one another.


    January 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  307. Ron Plattsmouth, Ne

    After watching CNN the biggest part of the day, I would have to say the news media. I beleive the Wolf man may have gotten a little out of hand in this last hour. The American people did not really care about the second oath at all. I truly beleive Wolf would love to have CNN cameras on the President around the clock. The news media has to let President Obama to get on with the important matters of this country without the thought of CNN getting their feelings hurt.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  308. Sara, Columbus, OH

    Pres. Obama will have to face the fact that terrorism is in our country in the form of food and water poisoning right now and must be address immediately. It is too easy for our food and water to be sprayed by easily accessible natural plant and animal made poisons.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  309. Fulton "Jack" Waterloo (Aston, PA.)

    Jack: President Obama cannot afford to re-ignite the culture wars. The Democratic Party's social liberals will soon be pushing the abortion/ gun control agenda, alienating conservatives like myself who WANT to give him some slack. The Obama presidency, in the end, will be destroyed by the radical left of his own party.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  310. Ernest

    I voted for Pres. Obama, but if a terror attack happens after the closure of Gitmo and a change in CIA Interrogation tactics. We should not give the potential terroist Ice cream and cake or treat them to a royal feast, we should toughen the standards and keep them secret! Isn't that the point! To Protect America is his Greatest Responsiblity and Difficulty. That is my biggest concern as an American and a Democrat. 2.)Economy 3)Healthcare/Education

    January 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  311. Richard J. Krasney, CFP


    The financial mess will certainly be Obama's biggest headache. We're already seeing the beginning of this headache with Timothy Geithner nominated to head Treasury (including the IRS) and allegations that he didn't like to pay taxes. Whether it's true or not, it's an omen of things to come. The TARP is a mess with over $300B unaccounted for. With consumer spending 2/3 of the economy, I remind everyone "It's the economy stupid". While green is good, we all know money doesn't grow on trees.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  312. Dustin

    You just don't up and leave a country. Although people believe that Obama can pack troops up and leave Iraq tomorrow....IT WON'T HAPPEN! We will be in Iraq well after he leaves office. Look, we still have troops in Germany, Japan, Korea, and so on. It is easy for a person to say when they have never served in the Armed Forces.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  313. Mary, NY

    Mr.Cafferty, We are studying the great depression in school now, and it took two presidents to finally get the economy better, and now Barack Obama (in case you haven't noticed, is one person) is trying to solve our crisis (much like the one before). So really the hardest problem he will face (in the long run) is the economy and trying to please everyone... All in all the times we are going through are changing whether it is for the better or for the worst I really don't know, but he has to take control and I believe that it will be quite a messy situation, and for him a lot of restless/sleepless nights...
    Whereas the problem he will have now will most propbably be to try and convince the public that he will be good as a president and that hillary clinton isn't a hypocrite,etc.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  314. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    When he starts with the healthcare and Middle East agendas. There is nothing like doing the right thing that brings out the worst in both parties.

    The only way he can get through it is if We, the People, whom these guys WORK FOR, hold their feet to the fire by way of letters, emails and calls. If that fails, vote someone else in that will heed OUR wishes not theres or the lobbyists that paid them.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  315. David W

    Difficulties will appear to come from the far right, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Rove, but will be short circuited with results. This President, weighs every word, every thought, and each reply. He knows how to match people with people, to achieve results. He holds the highest rating I can remember in over 60 years. Let it be known, it is our elected officials who accomplish something, and not those who merely report, or speculate!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  316. Weldeab Sequar

    Weather we like it or not the Global leader is America for some time to come and the true geniuses of America has been shown in electing a New vibrant and world wide inspiring leader Barack Obama. And the first problem probably he will encounter will be the Middle East problem. If the Arabs have come to their senses and keen enough to listen I have no doubt in my mind Obama’s administration will come up with a sensible and more satisfying arrangement to both parties. I am confident Obama will be the man of peace.

    Weldeab Sequar from London

    January 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  317. Tony L........Oregon

    I think that President Obama's greatest difficulties left the building on Tuesday! Good riddance!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  318. Toni (Charlotte, NC)

    That is an easy question...his biggest problem will come from Congress. He has incredible 21st century ideas and plans but there are dinosaurs in the senate. There should clearly be a term limit so this country can constantly move ahead. How on earth will he get anything done for today with senators that have been in office for 30-40 years? Besides, if they don't want to cooperate they have the option of turning off the hearing aids and just giving a blank stare (as always)!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  319. Jan2nice

    From the media. If the media covered Ex-President Bush and his every word or move. Then maybe we would had more accountability over the past 8 years.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  320. Patrick

    Difficulties are already beginning to appear from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly and their "Un-American and treason-like" attitudes. Many right wing social conservatives are giving President Obama a chance to do well. Unfortunately, there are still those who continue to whine about the election and, like spoiled children, would rather hope that this country fails than to see a different approach succeed. It's time they grow up. Baby boomers had their chance...it's time for the next generation to step up and be responsible citizens.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  321. Jordan from Frisco, Texas

    That's an easy one. CHANGE!
    No one likes change Jack, just watch!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  322. Weldeab Sequar

    Weather we like it or not the Global leader is America for some time to come and the true geniuses of America has been shown in electing a New vibrant and world wide inspiring leader Barack Obama. And the first problem probably he will encounter will be the Middle East problem. If the Arabs have come to their senses and keen enough to listen I have no doubt in my mind Obama’s administration will come up with a sensible and more satisfying arrangement to both parties. I am confident Obama will be the man of peace.

    Weldeab Sequar

    London England

    January 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  323. Ray

    Wow, you are asking this already? Well, the difficulty will be the same thing that got him to where he is. The media and the uber-fast technology of up to the minute updates on everything that he is doing. First, you have the "slip-up" that was heard around the world, then, the "secret op" to redo the oath. You are focusing on the First Lady and what she is wearing, his Mother-in-law, his daughters, their personal assistant, his administration, his Blackberry, and the list goes on. Not trying to sound disrespectful, but Princess Diana had the world's media in-thralled also. So his popularity will be the early encounter of difficulty.
    Conway, SC

    January 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  324. Rosemary Astoria, New York

    Jack put your glasses on. His problem is right here in Washington. Look at Eric Holder still on the side lines waiting to be confirmed.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  325. Erwin Stoessel

    Good to hear that Guantanamo will be closed and torture has been banned.
    For those who think torture is a way to get information they should understand that America has troops in the field also.How would they feel if America's troops were subjected to the same treatment?

    January 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  326. Dave Brown

    The biggest threat to Obama and America for that matter is the
    Republicans. They"ve been smacked down and don't understand that
    they deserved it. They just want to get even and look like the old way of
    obstructionism is still relevent. If they figure out that saving the country
    is more important than making sound bytes and work with the new
    president for that goal then they can become meaningful again. They really need to wake up and "get it" so the Democrats don't get power mad and make the same mistakes the GOP did.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  327. Dave McCoy

    President Obama will have difficulty, but will surely rise above the news media searching and digging for what his first failure might be. Please be responsible and don't dampen the spirit he has brought back to the American people. The constitution states that he became president at noon on January 20th. Why is the oath of office flub one of the biggest news stories. Please give us (the average American) a little respect for our intelligence and desire for relevent news that really affects our everyday lives. Why did Wolf say "cameras should have been there for the 2nd oath of office – but that's just my opinion"? I thought you were just supposed to report the news – do you think people don't respect your opinions? You may have more influence than you understand.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  328. Tony in Pa

    I believe the economy will define this President. Everyone is focused on big business and large financial institutions, but the problem is more with the debit of the common people. Credit card regulations must be put in place.

    Financial institutions need to reduce the rates so those that truely do try to pay down their debt, can afford to do so without dealing with penalties that the NEW LOANSHARKS (banks) hand down as soon as you are late by 1 DAY! The BANKS are out of control and I JUST GAVE THEM A LOAN....AND THEN THEY SLAP ME IN THE FACE!

    I also believe there needs to be tighter regulations on oil companies. If you think back prior to oil going out the roof, the economy wasn't so bad. Once gas started to get out of control, everyone else had to increase their costs to pay for delivery surcharges. Once food prices started going up, everything started going nuts.

    Tell me this....why is it that a barrell of oil is at the lowest it's been in years, but gas prices have gone up in the last 2 1/2 weeks??? The cost of oil now is at the point where it cost us less than $1.00 for a gallon of gas a few years back, yet we are still at 1.79 and rising.

    The average person can't afford these outrageous fees and costs.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  329. Bonita Terry-Malone

    The greatest challenge that President Obama will face EARLY will involve foreign affairs. Why? There is no best way out of Iraq and into Afghanistan. Whatever decision the President and his advisors make will have opposition. The possibilities for fallout are real. The measure of success will be measured by the weight of that fallout. The bottom line is this...He is a President that has stepped into (pardon my vernacular) a HOT MESS. With God's grace, he may get singed but not burned.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  330. Bill, Miami, FL

    Jack, don't take this personal, but it the media that he will have to most difficult time with. I think the constant scrutiny you media guys will bombard the Obama administration with, will be more than any other president since Ford. Just look at the “flubbed” swearing in. Come on, it was a slip up just like you and I have several times a day. So what, it was Murphy’s Law just waiting to happen. I mean if you tag it “The Moment” and ask every living being with a cell phone to snap a picture, Murphy’s Law will be all over it. Give the guy a break and let him run the country. And by the way, I heard of a possible assassination attempt??? Could that be right? That Palin, can’t she stick to Moose!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  331. Romell in Ca.

    Aside from the Republicans . We need to keep a eye on the doings of China, Russia and make peace with South America, real help in Africa, and save the poles, both North and South.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  332. Bill Heath

    Sebastapol. Russia's de facto annexation of parts of Georgia was a warm up. Look for Russian troops in the Ukraine's Sebastapol to "protect" native Russians within a few months. Also look for Russian troops to seize control of the Russia-to-Western Europe gas pipeline that runs through the Ukraine.

    This will be preceded by another "intelligence failure" because Leon Panetta's job for the past two decades has been to protect the Democratic Party and its leaders. Russian adventurism is not part of the Democrats' world view, and reporting on it will be colored to reflect ideological correctness.

    Springboro Ohio

    January 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  333. lynne from ontario

    Dear Jack As a Canadian I see many similarities between President Obama and our best known and favorite prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. He was a very controversial man with a lot of ney sayers but most Canadians never felt safer or in better hands when he was in power. So much so we wouldn't let him retire. I don't think any of the problems in the United States are an easy fix but I think you have a very powerful leader who will lead you all through to victory. I wonder if there might be some consideration to extending the two term limit on a presedency to allow your wonderful new leader the opportunities that were afforded to all Canadians when we had as wonderful a Leader. Sincerely A proud Canadian

    January 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  334. CarrieinSterling,VA

    When the media and the Obama-matons wake up and realize their new American idol -is not a messiah-but a man and a slick politician who is just repackaging the same liberal agenda -there won't be enough Prozac to go around -but atleast we may get some balanced and professional reporting.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  335. Gus, Morrow,GA

    He will get a lot of nonsense from people like Wolf Blitzer and the CNN White House correspondent, whom are already crying for not been invited to the "second swearing in". When Bush ignored them they always found an excuse to justify it. We the People did not care if the second event was on TV or NOT. The fact is, he re-did it to quiet fools like the right wing folks.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  336. Ulf Schroeder, France

    President Obama will be met with fierce domestic resistance the first time he will have to explain to the american people the simple fact that the USA is not always right.
    Some truths are first found, thought or uttered in other countries than the USA. The US has not yet alone thought every thought worth thinking.
    President Obama will have his hardest battle when he will ask his fellow americans to be open to learn from foreigners.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  337. Gerry Vinson

    His biggest problem will likely come from the pettiness and childish behavior of the press dwelling on items of insignificance (ie.cameras in the White House for the second swearing in) when there is so much more to cover that is really important. This is a real good chance for the press to have a more positive influence than a negative one. Give Obama the benefit of the doubt, at least for the first 6 months. That is; unless you the press have a better way to bring this country around other than always criticizing without offered solutions.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  338. dave

    way too easy! His daughters.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  339. Joe in DE

    HEALTH CARE. Making the SAME MISTAKE as Clinton – seeking the grand cvoncensus – it will never happen. THe way to go is to allow those without coverage thru employment to enroll in the federal worker's plan, give low incime a preminum break. Go forward from there to universal coverage.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  340. Patti Scarbrough

    No torture policy. Good start. What a great day when Obama extends the same courtesy to the most innocent of all, the unborn.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  341. Frank

    Great question!
    The greatest difficulty facing our new president will come from the Deocratic Leadership in both the House and the Senate. They are of the "old ways" which we voted out in the past election. They have proven themselves to be incapable of reaching across the aisle to bring about workable solutions to the many problems facing our nation. Our President cannot do his job and their's. I pray they will be voted out with the new congress!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  342. John

    The expectations of O'Bama"s suporters may prove his undoing. It is impossible for one human being to adress all of these complex issues simultaneously and effectivly. Unfortunately, I feel many expect this of him. When he is unable to deliver the goods as quickly as anticipated, I fear that support will fall away rapidly.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  343. Bryan

    Biggest problem will be from the two people from his own party that think they were giving a mandate, Pelosi and Reid, even though they only receive votes from a very small group of Americans. We elected him because we felt that he was the one for the job. He needs to shut those two up if he wants to have any chance of working with the republicans. He needs to listen to his advisor and stick to his guns about his tax breaks and leting the Bush tax breaks for the rich run out. Those two have no ideas other than partisan politics.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  344. Nam(South Korea,Busan)

    The North Korea

    January 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  345. Jordan

    Given the hope of President Obama to have one of the most transparent Administrations, cases reaching the Supreme Court like Berg v. Obama, which hold valid questions and reasonable requests for the President to release vital records, could cast a shadow on the appearance of a new open administration.

    Given 8 years of what was perhaps the most secretive administration of my lifetime, a truly transparent government would be a very welcome change.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  346. Andrew from Benicia CA

    There are 2 things that will certainly plague him during this early time.

    The first will be congress members that haven't gotten the memo saying Americans are sick of their unproductive partisan bickering.

    The second will be from the the members of the press who get hung up on dumb things like "why TV cameras weren't invited to the do-over"

    January 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  347. Patricia from Duck, NC

    The most expected place – The Republican side of the aisles!!!! It won't matter what PRESIDENT Obama attempts. To another topic-PLEASE let this second swearing in go...it isn't a story, it is simply a "legal" clarification.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  348. j/NJ

    Where is President Obama likely to encounter the most difficulty early in his presidency?

    While foreign policy challenges are indeed formidable, President Obama is likely to face the most difficulty and scrutiny in managing domestic policy...if he can succeed in the latter, he is much less likely to be restrained in managing the former...

    January 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  349. Arte Knibbs

    This is not in response to a present question.
    Rather it's about today's flap over the re-swearing in of the President.

    Has it occurred to anyone that the President did not invite cameras into this event out of kindness to the Chief Justice? After all, this event is a reaction to his flubbing the original swearing in.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  350. RS Kumar

    Outdated computers in the White House, grey haired politicians with a mentality and attitude from Stone Age and the enviable legacy left behind by the Bush – Cheney administration
    Good Luck and God Bless Americ

    Plainsboro, NJ

    January 22, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  351. Mark

    The biggest difficulty he and his family face is the sickening presence of 24 hour news mongrels turning every glance, verbal mistep, dress, trip to school, absence of jacket, and digital communication into the sure start of the apocolypse. Can you people give that family a chance to live? We are all too aware of the stack of problems Presidents Cheney and Bush left. Now, calm down, back off, and let the man do some work without scrutinizing everything down to his sport coat...and don't forget: he's been in office two whole days and presntly according to CNN, America's about a week away from expiration. 24 hour news is what's going to cause the Apocolypse, not report it. Jeesh.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  352. Barbara in Boston, Massachusetts

    The Congressmen we have elected, and the powerful Corporations that feed them are the major stumbling block for Obama. Transparency and a moral commitment to America is what we need in our leaders, and Obama has shown the way. The bottom line: ordinary Americans have to come together and elect officials who are transparent and morally committed to Americans, not corporations. Americans need to find out how Washington really works, and take steps at the grassroots level to change it.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  353. Bob

    It appears his biggest problem, so far, is the drama that Wolf is trying to create (in Texas, we call it kicking a dead dog) about Obama taking the oath a second time.

    Come on Wolf, isn't there something else you can go on and on about?

    Bob in Austin, Texas.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:39 pm |

    President Obama is going to encounter his first problems with Congress. The Republican opposition is a given; however, what most people don't consider the lack of support for Obama that will come from Democratic members of Congress. Already we have seen glimmerings: Sen. Feinstein's alleged offense at not being notified in advance of the Podesta nomination to the CIA.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  355. Gilberto Alvarado

    Jack, We know the contribution of the Latino community in this election. We hope that the president fixes the unfair and sometimes unconstitutional tactics of the Dept. of Immigration bureaucracy. We all know that no other administration had this subject as priority, but I assure you that the President Obama will have a difficult dilemma resolving this matter without getting mix opinion from both sides of the fence�

    January 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  356. Joe in DE

    Wake up – this is NOT A DUPLICATE.

    Health Care – making the same mistake as Clinton – the search for a grand concesus that will never happen..

    The way to go is to allopew those not covered by employment to enroll in the Federal employees plan – give low income a break om premimums, Go forward from there.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  357. al

    I think confronting a congress and senate not as serious as he is about getting the economy back on track or getting foreign affairs under manageable wraps. My hopes is that Pres. Obama get nutrition needed
    for muscle building because he's going to need them to swing his SERIOUS blows toward national and international progress which is the "Change" that this country needs.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  358. Gail

    When "we the people" demand that he prosecute the former administration for torturing and spying on us illegally.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  359. Lynn

    The 2 most dangerous people on the planet right now-Iran and Rush Limbaugh

    January 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  360. marcel dore

    Middle East by far the most complex situation simply because it is not as it may appear as a result of ex-President Bush's shoot from the hip approach a U.S.only problem...it is a global problem which requires a coordinated intervention from the world...including the arab population itself...Nothing happened for African Americans until they themselves stood up for themselves against tyranny..telling people they are free as American history illustrates does not mean they are...exercising that freedom may require that you stand up for it...something I am not convinced we have seen Arab and muslim nations(its masses and elites) do...Not enough Martin Luther Kings or Obama's..simply a collection of Bin ladens or so it seems(media)

    January 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  361. Yvette

    Outside careless verbage from the mouth of, Rush Limbaugh. I do not believe he is protected by the freedom of speech based on our constitution. The words he speak out of his mouth is sending subliminal hatred messages, to those who are out to cause harm to our great President. There should be a boycott from we the people to have him fired!!! His personal relations should be investigated. I personally take his outrageous remarks as dire indirect threats towards our President. His comments should not be "beyond reproach." A reprobate mind is he? Unacceptable agenda!

    January 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  362. Steve - SE PA

    Difficulties? The old fossils. Pelosi. Kennedy. And all the others. Why did anyone vote for encumbants? This was the chance to have a new president and new house and new congress. Start over. Throw them all out. Then, lock the doors so no crooked lobbiests can get in.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  363. George - Wayne, New Jersey

    Jack, President Obama is likely to encounter his most difficulty from within the United States in the form of Pelosi and Reid as well as those Republicans who cannot seem to accept the fact that finally we have a zelous president who is willing to go the distance and assume the helm in trying to do whatever he can to make the country stronger and healthier rather than worry about selfserve prophecies. Get over it people....give Obama half the chance you gave the former president who worsened our standing in the world as the leader of an evolving world.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  364. Patt

    God only knows, pick one...there are so many fighting against him...it is a wonder the man will get anything done!

    Tampa, Fl

    January 22, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  365. Richard

    His biggest opposition will come from obstructionists in Congress – especially the south, who can not accept that their dream of 40 years in power is over, at least for the time being. They, like their pal Limbaugh, want to see this intelligent. progressive, black American fail. That is more important to some of them than how, or whether, the rest of us prosper or go bankrupt financially, morally, or intellectually.

    Maple Valley

    January 22, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  366. CarrieinSterling,VA

    I am stunned that so many feel that Obama is being "attacked" by the media. Obama got the most lavish and discustinging favorable treatment ever by the press-comparatively Bush, McCain and Palen were tortured and murdered. The media is suppossed to investigate, raise issues and report-not worship the politicians.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  367. Raj

    Obama's biggest challenge will to be making Tim Geithner pay his tax.

    What next? appoint an illegal immigrant for border security

    January 22, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  368. J Freeman - Los Gatos CA

    The ECONOMY (stupid)!

    FDR and every President since, has had his economic challenges, and failures. And as we are a FREE market system, government can do little more than cheerlead and get out of our way, when we all seeks jobs, or building a place to employ people.

    It is screamed loudly in all the polls, all the (sensible) news reports, and the people themselves, as the most important issue (yet your reporting repeat oath actions?!), and Michelle Obama's dress and press?

    Our economy is now completely a spectator sport. From Wall Street, to outsourcing, to recent reports on youth not seeking work, we have now an established business couch potato environment, where farming, labor, business, and raw creation is bad, or no longer viable on our own soil. Hardly an American trait.

    Buy, sell, trade, hedge . . . . what? What do we make here anymore? How can spectators be given credence (Wall Street makes nothing?). And the reaction is not to pretend the lost US auto makers need salvation, to replenish our collective guilt to denying our past invention, creation, and "the little guy" changing the world!

    That little guy becomes a "Corporation", he immediately becomes hated. Then his idea is traded by thieves and clueless spectators determining his value (Wall St), or it's future. And then he contends too with our broken legal system, burying him in fees, old laws from our industrial past (most are from the late 40's), and everything but further innovation and good product made here. It all inspires a "whore-like" mentality, to sell out, instead of making continual good.

    More jobs come from small-mid size businesses than all the big corporations. It is our history. It is how this country was built. It is our nearly lot identity we must enable to be found once again.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  369. Brad


    January 22, 2009 at 6:54 pm |