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Change under Obama
The first signs to look for when the White House changes hands
 

Now that Barack Obama is headed for the White House, said The Denver Post in an editorial, he will make change happen "with the stroke of pen." Obama's transition team is already going through President Bush's executive orders in search of policies for the new president to reverse. He should start by scratching Bush's ban on embryonic stem-cell research.

If Obama stands for change, said Rich Lowry in the New York Post, why did he spend his Monday visit with Bush at the White House (click here for AP video via Slate) pleading for a new bailout for the mismanaged "corporate dinosaurs" of Detroit? In the campaign, he excoriated automakers for their "carbon-emitting sins," so a new era of protecting corporate failures is probably not the kind of change his fans had in mind.

There are plenty of "huge and positive changes on the way," said the San Francisco Chronicle in an editorial, and not all of them were discussed during Obama's "polite greetings" with Bush. Obama will reverse the stem-cell research ban, along with Bush's go-ahead for oil drilling on sensitive federal lands in Utah. The new president will dismantle the "offshore gulag" at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. 

"Those who think that they have just voted to legalize Utopia" should prepare to be disillusioned, said Christopher Hitchens in Slate. "The national treasury is an echoing, empty vault; our Russian and Iranian enemies are acting even more wolfishly even as they sense a repudiation of Bush-Cheney; the lines of jobless and evicted are going to lengthen," and the new president won't be able to fix everything with "mere charm."

 

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