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November 21st, 2008
04:00 PM ET

Expectations too high for Obama?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/21/art.obama.signs.gi.jpg caption="Are expectations too high for Obama?"]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are high hopes for big change when Barack Obama becomes President of the United States in about two months. The expectations for this man are approaching euphoria and that could be setting the stage for a big disappointment. We've got big problems in this country and no one is going to wave a magic wand and fix them in a matter of weeks or months. It's likely going to take several years.

Some of the president-elect's advisers want to make sure Americans realize this and they're speaking out. One of Obama's top economic advisers Robert Reich, who was Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, says Obama isn't going to solve the country's economic problems in his first 100 days in office. He told Chicago's CBS2: "This might be a long haul...2009 is going to be a very hard year."

Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod is also cautioning the overly-optimistic. He says: "We are inheriting an array of problems unlike any [a] president has faced, maybe since Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. It's not going to be easy, not going to be quick."

In other words, great hopes and expectations are going to have to be accompanied by patience.

Here’s my question to you: Are expectations too high for Barack Obama’s presidency?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama
November 20th, 2008
04:39 PM ET

How should Obama deal with Iran?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-elect Barack Obama is inheriting a lot of problems from the Bush Administration including an economic crisis, two wars, and a whole list of international challenges, the most urgent of which is Iran.

According to a new International Atomic Energy Agency report, Iran is continuing to increase its stockpile of uranium and now has enough nuclear fuel to make a single atom bomb.

Watch: Cafferty: Obama deal with Iran?

Iran insists it only wants nuclear energy to fuel power plants, but the United Nations Security Council isn't so sure. It has passed three sanctions resolutions demanding Iran suspend its nuclear program. The Tehran government has ignored them all.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the United Nations in September, "As far as we are concerned, the nuclear issue is resolved."

The Bush Administration joined European-led negotiations late in the game and actually sent some representatives to Tehran to meet with the Iranians, but to no avail.

Two months from today, it will be Barack Obama's turn. He has indicated a willingness to negotiate with Tehran, but this IAEA report could complicate matters considerably.

Here’s my question to you: How should Barack Obama deal with Iran when he takes office?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Iran
November 19th, 2008
01:34 PM ET

Why Is Obama Picking Fmr. Clinton Admin. Members?

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Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-elect Barack Obama won the White House on a message of change. Fifty-three percent of Americans said they wanted something new and different in Washington. Well, Obama is certainly new and different, but the same cannot be said for some of his early appointments. It's like that song title, "Everything Old Is New Again."

As Obama prepares to take over, he's asking a bunch of former Clinton Administration members to come on board. John Podesta, who is overseeing the Obama transition team, is a former Clinton White House Chief of Staff. Rahm Emmanuel, who will serve as Obama's Chief of Staff, is a former Clinton aide. The president-elect's choice for Attorney General, Eric Holder, served in the Clinton administration as deputy attorney general under Janet Reno. And Peter Orszag, who has been picked to head Obama's Office of Management and Budget, worked at the Clinton White House as a special assistant to the president at the National Economic Council.

Watch: Cafferty: Former Clinton Admin?

And then, of course, there's Hillary. The former first lady and current junior senator from New York has been asked about the Secretary of State position. And if she gets the job, we get Bill back by association.

More than half of those named to Obama's transition or staff posts so far have ties to the Clinton administration

Here’s my question to you: What message is Barack Obama sending by surrounding himself with so many former members of the Clinton Administration?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Transition 2008
November 19th, 2008
01:15 PM ET

Public or Private School for Obama kids?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/19/art.obama.family.b.gi.jpg caption=" Should the Obama children attend public or private school?"]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The nation's president-elect will be confronting arguably the toughest set of problems this country has been faced with in a very long time. The economy is in crisis, the treasury is broke, Americans are losing their jobs and we're fighting two wars. It's heady stuff but at the end of the day, one of the biggest decisions Barack and Michelle Obama are going to have to make is where to send those two delightful little girls to school.

It's a decision many parents wrestle with all the time: Public or private? Public schools tend to more closely resemble the real world, while private schools provide a more insulated and, in most cases, intellectually-challenging environment. But Sasha and Malia aren't just any two kids moving to Washington from Chicago and trying to find a new school. When they head off for their first day of class, the world will be watching and the Secret Service will go with them. Michelle Obama says she wants to be the nation's "first mom." Where to send these two kids to school will be one of the biggest decisions she has to make. And no matter what the Obamas decide, the nation will be watching and clucking like a bunch of hens no matter where they go to school.

Here’s my question to you: Should the Obama children attend public or private school?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Michelle Obama
November 13th, 2008
03:58 PM ET

Obama’s Best Use of VP-elect Biden?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/13/art.obama.biden.b.gi.jpg caption=" How should Obama make the best use of Biden?"]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Today we're going to spend a couple of minutes talking about the vice presidential candidate who actually won the election, Joe Biden. Remember him?

After 9-11, one of the first things President Bush did was find a secure, undisclosed location in which to store his Vice President, Dick Cheney. Once hidden away, Cheney could begin pulling the strings for the new administration. Secret energy meetings with that fun bunch from Enron, drawing up plans to invade Iraq as well as the lies they would need to cover it, figuring out how to operate the most secretive administration in history without being accountable to anyone. He had his assignment clearly defined right from the start.

It's always been a bit of a problem figuring out what to do with the vice president. As long as the president's alive, his official job description is limited. Break the ties in the Senate, sit behind the congressional leaders during the State of the Union address, and try to look interested when out in public.

Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University says Biden could best be put to use soothing a Democratic Congress that's had a tense relationship with the Executive Branch in recent years. He believes Biden should be "a point man on Capitol Hill to help twist arms, make arguments and build voting coalitions."

Here’s my question to you: How should Barack Obama make the best use of Vice President-elect Joe Biden?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Joe Biden
November 11th, 2008
06:08 PM ET

Obama’s proposed civilian security force a good idea?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-elect Obama has said he wants to establish a civilian security force to assist our already-taxed military. He described it as a national security corps that's as powerful and well-funded as the U.S. military, and it would take on the national security burden.

Obama made mention of this in a speech in Colorado in July. That speech has since circulated on the Internet. For some reason, the concept scares people. Republican Congressman Paul Broun from Georgia told the Associated Press, that such a move could lead to Marxism.

He said, "That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did... When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."

Broun also said he thinks Obama will move to ban gun ownership if he does build a national police force.

Here’s my question to you: Is President-elect Obama's idea for a civilian security force a good idea?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • US Military
November 11th, 2008
06:05 PM ET

Should the gov’t impose a gas tax to curb consumption?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/11/art.gas.price.ap.jpg caption=" At a gas station in Ohio, the price of a gallon of regular gas dropped to $1.89 yesterday."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The majority of Americans want change, which explains the recent election results. But there is change and there is change.

When it comes to our cars, we have a hard time with the whole concept.

We like to drive and have a long history of having relatively cheap gasoline. But when gas prices hit all-time highs this summer–$4 a gallon and even higher—many Americans had to cut back.

A lot has changed since then.

Oil prices are hovering around 19-month lows and gas prices have dropped for 55 days straight. Forty-six states and District of Columbia now report gasoline selling below $2.50 a gallon. That's the good news. The bad news is there’s evidence we're getting back behind the wheel and returning to our old ways.

What to do? President-elect Obama wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions when he gets to the White House in January. One way to do that is to put a hefty tax on gasoline, big enough that it would force down consumption.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government impose a gas tax aimed at holding down consumption?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Gas Prices
November 10th, 2008
05:45 PM ET

Meaning of Obama’s plan for executive orders?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/10/art.obama.podium.gi.jpg caption=" Obama plans to use executive powers to make an immediate impact in January."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama won the White House last week on a message of "change." That’s something that's easier said than done in Washington.

But the president-elect's transition chief John Podesta told "Fox News Sunday" that Obama plans to use his executive powers to make an immediate impact when he takes office in January.

Podesta said, "As a candidate, Senator Obama said that he wanted all the Bush executive orders reviewed and decide which ones should be kept and which ones should be repealed."

For example, that could mean reversing President Bush's policies on stem-cell research and drilling for oil and natural gas among other things.

Podesta said there is a lot the new president can do using his executive authority without waiting for Congress.

President Bush discovered this early on and used executive orders and signing statements to bypass Congress and implement his agenda whether anyone else in the government thought it was a good idea or not.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when President-elect Obama plans to start his first term using executive orders?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama
November 10th, 2008
04:54 PM ET

How can Bush be most helpful to Obama in transition?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/10/art.bush.obama.c.ap.jpg caption="President Bush met with President-elect Obama today at the White House."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was a sort of Flintstones-Meets-the-Jetsons moment…President George W. Bush and his wife Laura welcomed President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to the White House.

While Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Obama went on a tour of the residence, the current president and the president-elect met in the Oval Office.

This wasn't Obama's first time at the White House– you remember the emergency summit in September to address the financial crisis– but it was his first time in the Oval Office.

Despite the fact that he had endorsed John McCain, President Bush has called Obama's victory a "triumph of the American story," and has vowed to cooperate in making the transition from one president to another run smoothly.

Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall in the Oval Office during their meeting?

Here’s my question to you: How can President Bush be most helpful to President-elect Obama in making the transition?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • President George Bush
November 7th, 2008
06:15 PM ET

How can Obama Admin. slow job loss?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/07/art.cope.ap.jpg caption="The Labor Department announced this morning 240,000 jobs were lost in the month of October."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

This week began with a message about hope and ended, at least on the economic front, on a feeling of concern.

The Labor Department announced this morning 240,000 jobs were lost in the month of October, bringing us to a grand total of 1.2 million jobs so far this year. More than 650,000 gone in the last three months alone.

Scary stuff... And things could get worse into the first half of 2009. The auto industry is teetering on the brink of disaster. Collectively, they are among the biggest employers in the country. Recent retail sales reports are likely to accelerate the closing of stores. That means more jobs gone. There is nothing on the horizon to make us think things are going to get any better anytime soon. President-elect Barack Obama has promised to create jobs, but he doesn't take over the White House until January. Things could get a whole lot worse between now and then.

Here’s my question to you: How can the new administration begin to slow the loss of jobs in the U.S.?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Unemployment
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