'Opportunity 08' Project Begins

What is an election about? Is it about personality and leadership? Or is it about the issues that will challenge a president -- the issues voters care about?

There are critical issues facing the nation -- war, security, immigration, global warming, health care, the economy, the deficit. The election of 2008 will have a profound impact on those issues. And so the Brookings Institution, a think-tank based in Washington, D.C., has launched a new project to provide ideas and information on a broad range of public policy topics facing America's next president. It is called Opportunity 08.

ABC News is partnering with Opportunity 08 to bring you coverage offering depth and insight on issues key to this campaign.

As part of the Opportunity 08 project, more than 20 experts from the Brookings Institution and elsewhere are publicly presenting policy ideas for America's next president on a wide array of domestic and foreign policy questions. The project is a challenge both to the candidates and to the voters to look closely at the tough issues and find solutions.

"Americans are increasingly demanding more than sound bites," said Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott. "They're looking for fresh thinking, constructive ideas and imaginative but realistic solutions to the pressing issues of the day. Opportunity 08 will provide candidates and the public with the opportunity to get the facts and discuss ideas to move our nation forward."

Opportunity 08 is bringing together scholars and other experts, many with extensive experience on Capitol Hill, and previous administrations. These experts have written essays examining and offering solutions to the complex challenges that will face the next president.

Brookings has invited experts from both Republican and Democratic administrations to contribute essays and proposals. Opportunity 08 is being guided by a bipartisan advisory council and its chairs, Tom Donilon and Ken Duberstein.

In partnering with Opportunity 08, ABCNews will bring you these ideas and essays, many of which are posted now on ABCNEWS.com. The projects, ideas, forums and background material will continue to be featured throughout the campaign on this Web site ,as well as on ABCNewsNow, and of course on the project's Web site: www.opportunity08.org

Opportunity 08 is hosting a series of panel discussions Feb. 28, 2007, to kick off the project. You can watch those events here http://www.visualcommunications.com/brookings/webcast/brookingslivevideo.wvx