Obama's two pressing problems

On health-care reform, the president must move quickly to secure victory. He doesn't have as much time as he thinks on gay rights, either.

Barack Obama was elected to bend history, not bend to the prevailing wisdom. He has steadily pursued that challenging course. But after several remarkable weeks that manifested "the fierce urgency of now" on a broad range of issues, he must prove that a president can accomplish more than one big thing at a time.

In the midst of upheaval in Iran and crisis in North Korea, two domestic issues in particular demand his attention. On both, the conventional counsel insists that the president should go slow—putting gay rights on a back burner and postponing health-care reform for another day or year—which might well mean another decade.

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