The dizzy whirl of Washington ballrooms now done and dusted, President Obama’s first day in the Oval office is likely to be a busy one.
Action has been swift and forthcoming on Guantanmo, and Obama meets with his joint chiefs of staff today where, joined by General Petraeus just back from Afghanistan, Iraq and Afghanistan are top of the menu. At issue is a possible speeding up of the Iraq withdrawal timetable, and beefing up the Afghan force. In total the president had 10 events to attend; at the Commander-in-Chief’s ball he had to share the stage with Jon Bon Jovi among others who came to sing to the troops abroad. “It is wonderful to be surrounded by some of the very best and bravest Americans. Your courage, your grace and your patriotism inspire us all. To you, and to all those watching around the world, know that as your president I will have no greater honour of responsibility than serving as your Commander-in-Chief,” Obama said. Other early Obama actions could be ideas on fresh financial policy initiatives, like a government-run bank to buy toxic assets and remove them from the market. The president has already said existing measures in the near trillion-dollar stimulus package going through congress may not be the best, or enough. Obama is urging any deal be passed into law by mid February.