Back On Planet Earth

Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.
Say what you will, we are finally having one debate we should have had during the campaign: how do we close the prison at Guantanamo?

We never got to that because John McCain and Barack Obama agreed the place should be closed, and because they did, the harder question of HOW to do it never came up.

Now the President is discovering what so many presidents have discovered before him: Saying something in a campaign is much easier than actually getting it done.

There is always an unexpected twist. Who would have predicted that a Congress clammering to close the place down, would block the president from doing just that?

And for good reason: It has suddenly dawned on everyone that, mistreated or not, there are some pretty bad dudes down there, and no one wants them in their neighborhood.

This will eventually be resolved, but the president will have to come up with a detailed plan on what is to be done with these people. He'll have to reassure Congress that the government is pretty good at running maximum security prisons - and with the gift of a federal bridge here and a post office there, Congress will find a way to give him the money to get this done.

But as it usually does, it will take longer and cost more than anyone imagined.

On Planet Campaign, all things are possible. On Planet Earth, it is never quite that easy, and it always costs more.