That Was Fun. What's Next?
By Ben Pershing
The people came, the new president spoke, everyone cheered (though Wall Street fell), the parade gave way to parties, the First Couple danced and the city survived. Today, there's a new administration. So, to quote another president, albeit a fictional one: "What's next?"
The first order of business might just be retaking the presidential oath. What seemed like a minor, though slightly embarrassing, stumble during Barack Obama's exchange with John Roberts turns out to have been a fairly big deal if you're an adherent of that pesky constitution. Inauguration Day wouldn't be complete without a silly conspiracy theory, and this one suggests that Roberts flubbed the oath on purpose as revenge against Obama for opposing his nomination in the Senate. The Rundown actually believes two justices were in on the plot; Antonin Scalia was spotted on the grassy knoll.
Here on Planet Earth, Obama's real first task looks to be starting the process of closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and refashioning the entire detainee system. The quick move makes sense on two levels -- practically, it will be a long, difficult process and so needed to begin as early as possible; symbolically, it represents a clear break from the Bush administration's policies and a signal to the world that change has arrived.
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