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Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice


The irony of Barack Obama’s historic inauguration, one full day after celebrating the life of Martin Luther King, is not lost on anyone.

In fact, this has added to the deep symbolism of an African-American receiving the keys to the White House -which was built partly, with the labor of black slaves.

“Tomorrow, we will come together as one people on the same mall where Dr. King’s dream echoes still. As we do, we recognize that here in America, our destinies are inextricably linked. We resolve that as we walk, we must walk together,” Obama said in his speech on Monday, addressing the large contingent of devoted supporters gathered in Washington D.C.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors streamed into Washington for inaugural festivities but, the celebration was tempered by the daunting challenges Obama will face; furthermore, unfinished wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Obama shouldn’t risk setting the bar too high, for fear of initiating massive disappointment; which, understandably, shouldn’t be too difficult after the last eight years of failed economic, foreign, and domestic missteps.

So, what should he focus on?

In a report by the, Obama will dive right into foreign policy on his first full day as president.

Seeing the recent violence in the Gaza Strip -taking into consideration the war in Iraq and the growing tension with Iran- Obama criticized his opponents for treating those elements as “discrete” problems.

Under his watch, Obama summarized in an interview with CNN, policy in that region will be treated as a single, unified one, and one that he will want to tackle personally, quoting: “One of the principles that we’ll be operating under is that these things are very much related and that if we have got an integrated approach, we’re going to be more effective.”

The report went on to say that Obama will likely tap key strategic aides to fill out his remaining foreign relations posts. More specifically, he wants his newest envoys to move quickly to engage warring Israelis and Palestinians in an effort to secure peace.

It is nice to see that area of his budding presidency so comprehensibly covered, but what about certain domestic issues that affect John Q. Public; like healthcare, or the economy?

As far as the average man of America should be concerned, creating jobs, stabilizing a struggling -if not deathbed ridden- economy, and providing universal healthcare seems most likely to be the culprits to face the iron gauntlet of Obama’s first term in office.

As seen on certain gas guzzling, soccer-mom inhabiting, SUVs, the Neanderthal-laden motto for the opponents of Obama- was “drill baby drill.” Countering that with an equally asinine, but morally more appropriate, line by Hilary Clinton was “jobs baby jobs.” In Obama’s first term, that will, hopefully, ring true.

According to, Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. The plan will also invest in America’s highly skilled manufacturing workforce and manufacturing centers to ensure that American workers have the skills and tools they need to pioneer the first wave of green technologies that will be in high demand throughout the world.

Apparently, more green for the atmosphere equals more ‘green’ for one’s pocketbook.

And in the same article, they discuss Obama’s healthcare plans.

He will require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans, regardless of their health status or history, can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.

It’s about time.  Will he do all the things promised? Will he enact this “change” everyone’s been hearing about for over a year? Or will he succumb to the usual political pandering we have come to loathe and detest for the last eight years? Only time will tell, but in the meantime the optimism is palpable.

So while the nation celebrates its civil-rights-rewarded victory, which is well deserved if not long overdue, the more perceptive of us will keep a watchful eye on the execution of the promised proposals.

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