Today, Barack Obama starts his first day as US president, after being inaugurated yesterday 20th January 2009 as America's 44th president and its first black leader. He has pledged a "new era of responsibility" and many around the world are still celebrating. Others are questioning whether he will be able to live up to the expectations that millions have of him or whether he has set himself a challenge that can not be overcome.
I am neither political enough, knowledgeable enough of American history or intelligent enough to debate the issues deeply. I have listened to his inaugural speech and read of his background and policies. He appears to me to be honest and trustworthy and genuinely caring towards all, though this is usual with people when they begin office. Everything he proposes will take time and no one should expect immediate change. But if he succeeds in even a small amount of what he intends, then we should wish him well.
I have not been a believer in George Bush’s policies and have felt ashamed at our own leaders here in Britain, who have so often followed in his path. Hopefully, President Obama will be someone who presides well and Britain can feel proud to have the government and people of the USA as allies.