Now, the hard part. No time to revel in all the events of Inauguration Day. Not for us, and certainly not for the 44th President of the United States.
Now, the financial crisis — in particular the nightmarish numbers from the banking sector. What can the TARP money — and stimulus package — really accomplish? How to repair the badly damaged banks? What prescriptions will improve confidence, liquidity, and get the gears of economic growth moving once again?
And now, two wars. What will a promised drawdown from Iraq look like? And a promised uptick in the deployments to Afghanistan?
As we write, the President and President-elect are at a prayer service at the National Cathedral. Earlier this morrning President Obama spent ten minutes in the Oval Office, alone, reading — among other things — the traditional message left by his predecessor. And later this morning he and Michelle Obama will host an "Open House" for friends.
But then, as we said, the hard part. The pomp and ceremony recede. The "Open House" guests leave the White House. The senior economic advisers arrive. The national security team, too. Those inaugural balls will be a distant memory.
Good luck, Mr. President.