Weight of world rests on Obama’s shoulders

By The Associated Press Published: November 6, 2008

photo - President-elect Barack Obama smiles Tuesday night after his acceptance speech in Chicago.
President-elect Barack Obama smiles Tuesday night after his acceptance speech in Chicago.
federal deficit that is exploding as the nation throws money at its economic problems, sure to crimp Obama’s ability to spend his way to solutions.

Political challenges

Obama has a largely liberal voting record and owes a debt to the left wing of the Democratic Party, which mobilized millions on his behalf.

But Obama also appealed to the broader electorate as a pragmatist who pledged virtually party-blind government.

Matt Bennett of the group Third Way said that Obama is for centrist ideas such as middle-class tax cuts and seems likely to wait on contentious goals such as overhauling the U.S. health care system.

"We do believe him when he says he’s a moderate,” Bennett said. "We think that’s how he’s going to govern.”

Obama begins building team

President-elect Barack Obama pivoted quickly to begin filling out his new administration on Wednesday, selecting hard-charging Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, shown above, as White House chief of staff, while aides stepped up the pace of transition work. Several Democrats confirmed that Emanuel had been offered the job.

Quiet first day

On the morning after making history, Obama had breakfast with his family, went to a nearby gym and visited his downtown offices. Aides said he planned no public appearances until later in the week, when he has promised to hold a news conference.

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