Good luck, President Barack Obama. You'll need it in your second term. Plus lots of smarts, patience, prudence and sheer perseverance.
First and foremost, Obama has to find some agreement with the Republicans to get America's finances in order. The national debt, which hovers at $16.4 trillion — exceeding the United States' annual gross domestic product — is a millstone on America's future. Of course, he faces other challenges: Will the pullout from Afghanistan see the Taliban back in power? Will he get effective gun control laws though Congress? Will he see through his commitment to equality for same-sex couples? But the debt is the biggie. If he fails he could go down in history as the president who lost the United States' pre-eminent superpower status.
The reality is that a financially weaker America would be a militarily weakened America. And that would make the 21st century much more dangerous, both for Americans and the rest of the world. So, like we said, good luck.
Ottawa Citizen, Ontario