On Jan. 20, 2009, Barack Hussein Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, and its first black president. He becomes the leader of the free world with a mandate for change — something that 52% of voters decided the country needed. He also arrives in Washington with a party majority in Congress, which can be advantageous for a new president.
President Obama will need the strength of Congressional numbers to tackle the massive problems facing of him: a worsening economy, two foreign wars, strife throughout the Middle East, and a tangle of foreign policy dilemmas, as well as serious domestic issues: education, unemployment, the environment, crumbling infrastructure, and a costly health care system that leaves 46 million Americans uninsured.
But on this one day, the glow is a positive one. In Washington, D.C., and around the country voices are optimistic: Here is the man for the job.
Student journalists in New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute are searching for the street-level stories of this inauguration, reporting from New York City and D.C. Among the 2 million people expected in Washington for Inauguration Day will be several of NYU’s reporters, covering the front lines of history.