POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Herbert (NYT): the agenda of problems will challenge Barack Obama; it will utterly overwhelm John McCain and Sarah Palin

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 25, 2008

Bob Herbert writes in the NYT …

  • The closer you look at the current economic crisis, the more harrowing it becomes.
  • Each nauseating plunge in the Dow heightens our anxiety.
  • Each company that goes under and each government report showing joblessness on the rise intensifies our fear.
  • a tremendous number of hospitals, from Boston to Los Angeles, are in serious, even dire, financial trouble. A survey of 4,500 hospitals by the New York consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal found that more than half were technically insolvent or at risk of insolvency.
  • A similar situation exists on a number of important fronts right now: the deteriorating national infrastructure, the woefully inadequate public school system, our self-defeating energy policies, health care
  • When a new president takes office in January, the temptation will be to delay bold action on these fronts until the overall economic situation improves. That is the kind of mistake (like ignoring the housing and credit bubbles until it was too late or refusing to heed the pre-Katrina warnings in New Orleans) that opens the door to additional crises.
  • The evidence of decline and decay is everywhere around us. 
  • There has never been a time since World War II when the nation was more in need of a presidential administration with a comprehensive vision and the ability to lead on several fronts at once.

LMW COMMENT: The problems that will face the new president are surely daunting. I do not expect miracles, but I do have confidence that Barack Obama will approach this wide range of issues in an intelligent manner that will make as much progress toward solutions as is possible. It is frightening to think how John McCain and Sarah Palin would be overwhelmed by this agenda of issues which neither is prepared to address.

Read the entire article at … http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/25/opinion/25herbert.html?hp

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