5 Things Obama Must Do

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Now the business of governing begins again, CNN's Elaine Kamarck writes. She offers tips on the top five issues the president will face.

Finding our footing in the new Arab world

Obviously this election was about the economy first, second and third. But the world intrudes. Our election campaign did not keep terrorists from killing American diplomats in Benghazi, nor did it stop the violence in Syria. When all the ballots are counted and the parks swept clean of the debris from election night rallies, President Obama will have to figure out what is happening in this very volatile part of the world and what, if anything, we do about it …

Preventing the fiscal cliff

While President Obama has been crisscrossing the country looking for votes, the people left behind in Washington have been wringing their hands over the dangers posed to the fragile economic recovery by the severe combination of spending cuts and tax increases that are due to kick in on New Year's Eve. This so-called "fiscal cliff" was the result of politicians kicking the can down the road a few years ago. Will they do it again? Or will there be a grand bargain that actually puts the country on the path to smaller deficits?…

Dealing with the Republicans

Obama must figure out how to deal with a Republican Party in Congress that has become dysfunctional. In 2010 a relatively small group of voters calling themselves the Tea Party launched a surprise attack on the leadership of the Republican Party. Under President Bush, the Republican Party had gotten a little too fond of world domination and a little too dismissive of the party's traditional concern for fiscal discipline. Frankly, they deserved a trip to the woodshed.


Read Elaine Kamarck's entire piece at CNN.

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