A day after voters re-elected Barack Obama, Yahoo! asked them what they'd like the president to tackle in his second term. Here are one voter's thoughts.
COMMENTARY | Four years ago, as a college student studying in D.C., I watched the election results with my peers, excitedly counting down the electoral votes until my candidate could declare victory. Now, back in San Francisco and settled in my mid-20s, I felt a bit of that excitement return: with a commanding Electoral College vote, President Obama won a second term in the White House last night. While his critics charge that he has no agenda for the next four years, it seems reasonably clear that the [resident will have no shortage of issues to tackle. If he is still looking for ideas, however, here are a few that I'd like him to focus on.
This one should be pretty plain to anyone who has been paying the least bit of attention. The economy is strengthening, but our gains remain fragile. Some people think that the best way that the government can help the economy is to get out of the way. I beg to differ, and suggest that the president work to combat the temptation to austerity and focus on investing in business, infrastructure, and social welfare.
This was one issue that many people were disappointed to see neglected in the debates. After the president's effective response to Hurricane Sandy, I believe he has as good a chance as he's likely to get to raise the issue. This will mean more than reducing greenhouse gases, but also focusing on ancillary problems related to a warming climate and rising oceans. Not everyone agrees that climate change is manmade, for instance, but it shouldn't be too contentious to argue that we need to better prepare our cities and coastlines for catastrophic events.
The Supreme Court
President Obama has already presided over historic legislation, and could do so again before 2016. Yet the most enduring legacy of any president is his nominees for the highest court in the land. With Justice Ruth Ginsburg aging, there is a strong likelihood that there will be a new vacancy on the bench before 2016. In the meantime, the president should keep his eye on promising lawyers and judges in the coming years. And, in case he's wondering, yes, I will be available.