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Column: Obama Has Already Sparked Positive Change For America

This story was written by Tommy Wright, Spartan Daily

President-elect Barack Obama cannot fix everything that is wrong with this country. The fact that he has been elected as the next president will not suddenly bring about change on its own.

"This victory alone is not the change we seek," Obama said on Election Night after he was declared the winner. "It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were."

Actually, it appears that Obama's victory alone may have caused some change. According to a Nov. 6 New York Times article, the election of Obama has helped advance the progress of the security accord between the United States and Iraq.

"Of course, given the volatile and fractious state of Iraqi politics, the security agreement could still be delayed," the article stated. "But with Iraqis believing that Mr. Obama, as president, would move faster to withdraw American troops, Iraqi and American officials said obstacles to a security agreement appeared to be fading."

Obama's election has improved the view of the United States by citizens and leaders around the world.

"In country after country, elation over Obama's victory was palpable, the hunger for a change of American leadership as strong outside the U.S. as in it," stated a Nov. 6 Los Angeles Times article.

But the honeymoon will be over Jan. 20, or shortly thereafter. Although the ineptitude of George W. Bush may have helped Obama get elected, it left the nation in a deep hole.

The economy is the most pressing issue facing thenation right now. Obama himself said this is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression in a speech on Oct. 17.

The country is still mired in two wars, not to mentionimmigration reform, environmental issues and restoring the basic rights that President Bush took away.

Health care is another big issue that is looming. According to U.S. Census figures, there are 45.7 million Americans without health insurance. More than 8 million of those are children.

Obama has said that he plans to take action on these and many other issues. But he acknowledged on Election Night that the change he has been speaking of will not happen overnight.

"The road ahead will be long," he said. "Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there."

Great presidents don't emerge during times of prosperity. It is how a leader deals with crisis that sets their legacy.

Abraham Lincoln guided the nation through the Civil War -- the deadliest war in U.S. history. Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped pull the country out of the Great Depression and led the United States during World War II.

On the other hand, President Bush used the attacks of Sept. 11 for his own political gain, and he split the nation apart.

Obama has the chance to change the country for the better, and I believe he is the best person for the job. And more than 66 million other Americans agree.

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