Obama faces a world of challenges in second term
November 8th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Obama faces a world of challenges in second term

After a long presidential campaign, Barack Obama has little time to savor his re-election victory as a host of world challenges linger. Security Clearance examines some of the key national security issues Obama will have to tackle in the coming months and what the strategy may be now that the election year politicking is over.

Mideast, Iran and North Africa

On his second day in office in 2009, President Barack Obama appointed former Sen. George Mitchell as an envoy to Mideast peace and pledged to work "actively and aggressively" to secure a final peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

Four years later, Israelis and Palestinians are father apart from a deal than at any time in the decades-long peace process. And that effort became more difficult with the election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made countering Iran's nuclear threat his priority, as well as Palestinian infighting and conditions for restarting talks.

But both parties also blame a lack of U.S. leadership on the issue as a major reason negotiations have stalled. As with previous presidents, a second term could inspire bold moves by Obama to bring the parties back to the table.

One of his most pressing challenges will be curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions. After months of criticizing the Obama administration for not being tough enough on Iran, the Israeli government is now casting Obama's re-election as good for Israel and for dealing with Iran.

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in a statement that when it came to the goal of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons, "Obama has the teams on the ground, he has international legitimacy against Iran, more than Romney would have had."

Obama's re-election may have bought him more time to find a diplomatic solution and restrain Netanyahu from launching an Israeli strike. Additionally, Iran's leaders are likely to be relieved that Obama won a second term, having viewed him as more moderate. Although Netanyahu's own campaign for re-election could play into how he handles the issue.

The Iranian economy, already showing significant strain under crippling international sanctions, could force the regime to negotiate.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is weakened as a political force as his second and final term comes to an end, but it remains unclear if Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will seize the opportunity for a deal.

As the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi shows, the initial euphoria of the Arab Spring has been replaced by a much more uncertain phase in the region as it undergoes a process of change in which the United States is largely relegated to the sidelines.

The rise of Islamic parties has spread throughout North Africa, prompting fears of increased extremism. Obama will need to engage these new fragile "democracies," while ensuring extremism is not able to flourish.

The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, however presents Obama with a larger set of challenges. Egypt's official MENA news agency said that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy sent a congratulatory letter to Obama in which he said he hoped his reelection would strengthen the "friendship" between their countries. Although the United States accepted Egypt's democratic election, the Obama administration still has concerns about Morsy's own commitments to democracy and his intentions toward Israel.

But perhaps the greatest and most immediate foreign policy crisis Obama must confront in his second term is the civil war in Syria, which threatens to spill into neighboring states. While traveling in Jordan on Wednesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said upon Obama's re-election that Britain and the United States need to make Syria a priority.

"One of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis," Cameron said.

Some officials have suggested a second Obama administration might take a muscular approach to the crisis. That could involve support for a "no-fly" zone in northern Syria near the Turkish border, and/or providing more robust support to the opposition, possibly including arms.

Last week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid out a change, saying the United States will engage more with the opposition inside the country and less with the Syrian National Council (SNC), a group of largely ineffective exiles that Turkey and Qatar have both backed.

"There has to be a representation of those who are on the front lines, fighting and dying today to obtain their freedom," Clinton said.

-Elise Labott


One of the big differences between Obama and Mitt Romney during the campaign was the space between them on when U.S. forces would leave Afghanistan.

While both agreed on the same timeline, all U.S. forces would be out by the end of 2014, Romney said he would have listened to his commanders on the ground to assess whether there would be a need to keep some forces there beyond the exit date.

Obama has said the 2014 exit date would be final.

As Tuesday’s election buzz wears off, the President will soon be facing one of the first major realities of his decision to end the war in Afghanistan.

Since the last of the US surge troops left Afghanistan in September, Obama’s senior commander there, Gen. John Allen, has undertaken a top to bottom security review inside that country.

The findings from that review, due to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in the coming weeks, will be used by the President to determine at what pace U.S. troops will come out of Afghanistan over the final two years, a weighty decision making process that will surely affect his legacy on how he handled this war.

And as timing would have it, the president will also have to get to know the new commander he nominated to oversee the final phases of the Afghan war. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford is poised to be the commander through the end of 2014.

Military analysts say Dunford will be taking on some hefty challenges, including the continued "insider threat" attacks on troops by Afghan soldiers and insurgents, as well as the continued push to develop the Afghan security forces to a level where they can take over by the end of 2014.

-Mike Mount


The president faces an array of terrorism threats and lingering terror-related issues going forward.

This includes global al Qaeda affiliates, the challenges of detecting and stopping homegrown terrorists, and dealing with the investigative follow-up and political fallout from the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

As Republican members of Congress demand answers about security preparedness ahead of the September 11 attack and clarity over what the administration knew as it unfolded, the FBI continues to try and find out who was responsible. Law enforcement also is tasked with collecting evidence that can stand up in court.

Intelligence sources have told CNN that some of those who participated in the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans are believed to have ties to an al Qaeda affiliate in North Africa, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM.

The Salafi-jihadist group has recently expanded its reach in the north of Mali, which concerns U.S. counterterrorism officials, who note that the group utilizes assassinations and suicide bombings as standard business practices.

CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen believes the most pressing threat from the group is targeted more toward western interests in the region, than against targets inside the United States.

"There's no evidence of them having ever tried an attack on the West," Bergen said. "They've been around a long time now, so American or international western targets in North Africa are possibilities for them as is kidnapping western tourists in the area."

Counterterrorism officials also believe that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, based in Yemen, is continuing to plot against Americans. That is in no way expected to slow down in the near future.

The Obama administration expanded its aggressive drone campaign against al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan to its affiliate in Yemen. Some of AQAP's top leaders have been taken out with missile strikes. But there is a lot the United States doesn't know about the group.

For example, did the organization's highly-skilled bomb maker teach others how to manufacture explosives similar to the device that was intended to bring down a U.S. airliner? That plot was disrupted this past May, but the group is believed to be continuing its efforts to attack American interests.

The threat of the so-called "homegrown terrorist" is expected to remain near the top of the list of terrorism concerns among intelligence experts during Obama's second term, even though the threat is often overlooked by the public.

According to Bergen, the fact that some of the terrorists aren't motivated by typical jihadi concepts, doesn't make them any less dangerous.

"They are rarely treated as acts of terrorism," said Bergen. "They are treated as acts of murder, yet slightly more people have been killed by right-wing extremists in this country than by jihadis since 9/11."

Other top concerns on the terrorism agenda that are talked about less-often yet still pressing, include potential bio-terror or nuclear attacks.

-Suzanne Kelly


For Mitt Romney, China was the ultimate foreign policy bogeyman in the presidential campaign, and its policies attracted some of the harshest rhetorical treatment right up until Election Day.

Chinese officials made clear any attempt to label the country a currency manipulator, as the now-vanquished Republican White House hopeful pledged he would do his first day in office, would further complicate the bilateral relationship.

But with Barack Obama's re-election secured, the relationship between the world's two largest economies is no less complex.

Chinese state media issued its own view of the election on Wednesday, saying Obama's re-election offered an opportunity to improve ties after a first term that many senior Chinese officials viewed as unpredictable.

"There is certainly an exhale with regard to continuity, in that this is the devil that they know," Christopher Johnson, a former longtime China analyst at the CIA told CNN about Chinese reaction to the election. "I would say they are sanguine, but not necessarily energetic or optimistic about the result."

The largest issue looming is the administration's so-called pivot, or re-balancing of resources to Asia following a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The policy is viewed through the prism of containment and a response to China's rise by many in China's senior leadership.

And with China embarking on a once in a decade transition in its top leadership this week, the Obama administration has an opportunity to emphasize different areas of engagement with the country’s presumptive new leader, Xi Jinping.

"We have got to get a functioning trade policy," with China says Johnson, now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Right now, we don't have one and the Chinese use it repeatedly to their advantage in the region."

While leadership at the top of the American government will not change, China's relationship with two of its most frequent U.S. contacts will undergo a change in the near future. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs have made it known they intend to step down at the beginning of Obama's second term.

-Jamie Crawford


The morning after the U.S. election, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated President Barack Obama. His message wasn’t a surprise: after all, if Mitt Romney had won, Putin would be dealing with a man who called Russia the United States’ top "geopolitical foe."

But that doesn’t mean relations between Putin and Obama will be smooth. With the "reset" fraying, Moscow and Washington still are at odds over how to end the carnage in Syria, and Russia still considers U.S. plans for a European missile defense system a threat.

But, as Obama famously said to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in comments picked up by an open microphone last March, he needed Vladimir Putin to give him some "space" to work out a solution to the missile defense standoff. "This is my last election," Obama said. "After my election, I have more flexibility."

Putin sounds like he wants to follow through on that idea.

Wednesday’s Kremlin statement noted "Mr. Putin particularly stressed the results obtained in developing Russian-U.S. relations over these last years, and expressed his hopes for continued constructive work together on the bilateral agenda and in resolving pressing international and regional issues, noting the key importance that cooperation between countries such as Russia and the USA has for ensuring the world’s stable and secure development."

Just what could Putin and Obama work out?

Thomas Pickering, the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, says Russia and the United States could re-open talks on missile defense on which both countries cooperate.

"Possible technical and practical solutions to the stalmate that could not be put on the table during the U.S. and Russian election campaigns may help to provide a solution," Pickering says.  "These could include possible greater clarity about current U.S. plans and a clear exposition of future U.S. plans."

Both countries, he says, also could go beyond the new START arms control agreement and negotiate further cuts in nuclear weapons.

"In both the U.S. and Russia," Pickering says in an article for the Atlantic Council, "experts have begun to look at a new lower limit of 1,000 operational weapons and related delivery vehicles, down from 1,550 under New START."

Both sides, however, want the relationship to be about more than arms control. Trade and investment is one area that could grow, officials say. But Putin’s increasing crackdown on the political opposition is beginning to overshadow improvements.

-Jill Dougherty

Military budget cuts

For President Barack Obama, re-election celebrations quickly turned to the hangover of realities in Washington.

Greeting Obama as he returned to the capital with another four years secured was the looming "fiscal cliff" of automatic spending cuts and tax increases due to take effect in January to tame the federal deficit absent a congressional deal to avert it.

About half the $1 trillion in proposed cuts would hit the Pentagon. One key question over the past year has been: How has the Pentagon planned for such a budget hit? The answer: Still waiting for guidance from the White House on how to plan.

The answer, of course, is political. If you plan, then it shows Congress there are real options for spending reductions. If you don't, then Congress can't see what's possible and is more likely to not take action. At least that's the theory.

So, the Pentagon continues to say, as it has for months, that there is no real planning, and expects guidance from the White House in coming weeks on how to prepare. Note: this all comes after the election.

Failure to agree on deficit package would trigger a process of automatic cuts and tax increases called sequestration. Under this scenario, the military budget would be slashed by $500 billion over the next decade.

"We do not want our programs, personnel and activities to begin to suffer the harmful effects of sequestration while there is still a chance it can be avoided," Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in September when ordering Defense Department staff to continue with regular day-to-day planning as is the cuts would not happen.

But Pentagon officials seem confident there would be no layoffs in the military's civilian workforce, if the cuts take effect. A stronger possibility would be furloughs and hiring freezes.

Obama has said automatic cuts will not happen, which sounds like he may have a solution or is betting that Congress would not allow it to happen and risk the ire of millions of voters.

The last time Congress and the White House tried but failed to reach a deficit deal, in August 2011, the gold-plated U.S. credit rating took a direct hit.

It still remains to be seen how all of this will play out in the coming weeks and with a not-so-lame-duck Congress, which remains largely unchanged following the election. High political drama is sure to bring fireworks to what is usually a boring post-election session.

– Mike Mount

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  31. Tony

    Obama does not really care about Assad killing children in Syria for him those children are white... he only sympasize with Israeli soldiers kidnaped by Hezballah or Hamas. He is a perfect example of Uncle TOM.. as African American say. This uncle TOM will not be elected if he did not pass the Zionist agenda exam... well.. enjoy the four more years in the White House Mr. President.

    November 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • Doug

      Know your facts before you open your mouth, please. I would like to point out that the president, with cooperation from both parties, has taken a stronger approach towards the entire Middle Eastern conflicts that has significantly altered our current foreign policies. In regards to Israel, our president has become more neutral and is actually much more involved in negotiating cease-fire and peace aggreements between Palestinians and Israelis, where is has actually began supporting a potential Palestinian state. The opposite, by the way, is untrue of Mitt Romney who was to take an even more close relationship in Israel where his policies arbitrarily support Israel aggression, particularly in the Gaza strip, and have been analyzed to only be more destructive than anything else. The president's policies on Israel are more progressive towards peace whereas his challenger's alternatives only breed more regional tension that would have reinforced the idea that the U.S. only cares about Israel and strengthen regional religious tensions. In regards to Syria, this policy being more bilateral from the government, has become much more active than you make it out to be. We are imposing heavier sanctions on the Assad regime, which is crippling Assad's support of the Sunni working class and the wealthier mercantile class. We are organizing troops with international support from the United Nations, particularly Turkey and Qatar, and have brought oppositional leaders together to develop a more effective approach to defeating Assad, which if you haven't informed yourself yet of, has allowed rebel forces to capture three more cities and force Assad's troops to retreat to Aleppo. Progress is highly underrated in the Syria conflict, and insofar, the approach has been highly effective and has very much likely cared towards the needs of the Syria people, including these children. In regards to the Iranian conflict, especially in regards to Iraq, you are once again, outdated as well. Iraq has agrred to abide by sanctions and embargos, that has further restricted Iran's ability to export oil and their ability to pursue their nuclear ambitions. In regards to Iraq's involvement in Syria, the same is true. Iraq has abided by embargos that have halted any sort of exchange of anything of monetary value or aid of any sort to Assad's regime. This regime has been essentially blockaded by the entire globe in every form possible. The only aid Assad recieves now is from extremists and Iran, which by the way, because of drone strikes, Obama has detterred extremist involvement and severely reduced terrorism by killing nearly every single extremist leader while also sanctioning Iran severely to also dissolve their involvement with Assad. The support Assad has is virtually nothing, and as our sanctions work to bring Iran to diplomatic engagements, this support is only diminishing by the second. Our president and his policies are progressively effective and much better than those of his challnger, MItt Romney in almost every regard. I am extremely happy he won re-election, especially because of my care for our nation's national security in how our foreign policy improves the societal well-being of myself and the rest of our citizenry. Normally I do not take the time to do this by the way, but you really ought to not voice your opinions if they are false and only further detrimental towards our country.

      November 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  32. Tony

    Obama has to face the American public and answer why?? to leaving Iraq to Al Maliki president and his group who are great collaborator with Iran. Obama has basically handed Iraq on silver plate to Iran. Iraq playing a big role in supplying Syrian regime with weapon and supply given from Iran to Syria and Hezballah. Al Maliki also facilitating Fighters from Iran and Iraq to help Assad killing his own people who rejected him. Why Israel does not see that as a big fault of Obama and keep crying loud Hezballah is a terrorist group ...didn't Israel and Natayahu see that from the first place...This world is very confusing and definately there is something else behind the scene.

    November 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  33. Steven

    Oboma was thing somessed up and he has no idea how t run anything. I bet he has never balanced a checkbook before.

    November 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • Jack

      Apparently you're drunk and can't spell or never learned how to spell properly. Which means whatever you write holds no weight.

      November 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  34. concerned human

    As a citizen of India, I congratulate Mr. Obama on his re-election.

    Wish he would take the following action in the next four year –
    1) Reconcile and resolve with Russia the European Missile shield issue.
    2) Focus on the Chinese, who in the mid to long term will be the only military threat to your country's interest.
    3) Reduce spending firstly by closing down the US military bases not serving strategic needs. 800+ is far too many
    4) Hedge US dollar or a large part of it back against the gold standard. Current reliance on dollar demand on oil trade volume is driving your country to greed and debt and wars. Printing dollars out of thin air and continual balance by growing demand for oil will stop – sooner or later.
    5) Encourage alternate energy and lead the world to a carbon free future. And who knows...how many years of carbon economy we still have at this rate of consumption?
    6) Discourage illegal immigrants – they are a strain to your resources, but do not over-react by blocking legal immigrants who are essential to your countries corporate and scientific leadership position.
    7) Beware of the radicals within – your nation has too many guns and any unrest can spiral into far bigger trouble.

    November 12, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
  35. outspoken

    The math is simple , you do not spend more than you make. So uncle SAM would have be to be frugal live within means. There is no other way around. Do not try to export ' DEMOCRACY' to other countries.

    November 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  36. Cindy

    Sure glad that Romney did not win. I heard that guy is so cheap that he cut-off the credit cards of his campaign workers right after he conseded and they could not even get a cab ride home.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Reply
    • rokon

      He always claimed that he is a good money manager. Many people failed to understand what he really meant.

      November 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  37. whitepine

    Well the wars in Afganistan, Iraq and Vietnam proved what?? And gained us what?? The NRA has flooded our country with guns.....has it made us safer or more afraid of each other? More hate towards one another??? All the millions of negative TV ads by Karl Rove won him what? Maybe the USA should change. Maybe we should talk more and try to live in peace. It would be cheaper in the long run. What's wrong with trying to be civil and solving the debt problems at home before trying to solve problems overseas.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Reply
    • rokon

      US has more than 1000 military bases around the world. This big investment is all for "the American people".

      November 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  38. steve-0

    80% of the people in this country hate the tea party. That is who lost–those miserable, dumb fools who call themselves tea party. Any normal republican could have beaten Obama.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  39. marg


    November 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Reply
    • rokon

      ...then who will work?

      November 8, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  40. athiestbob

    at least we have four years til the battle starts

    November 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  41. wolfpackbob

    It is all OK. Our friends China and Russia are happy with the election.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • Stephen

      Not to mention Venezuela and Iran

      November 9, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  42. JOE

    Maybe barry shoulda worked his first 4 years as opposed to the talk show circuit, vacationing and golfing.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  43. John

    His biggest challenge is going to be getting a budget deal past the pig head gopers in the House. Speaker Boehner showed us his intransigence 10 minutes after the election was called by saying "this isn't a mandate for tax increases":. Well Mr. Speaker hell yes it is, because whether you want to admit it or not the election would have been much more in Obama's favor if the economy had improved a little more or if he were not black. There were some people who didn't vote for him because they think the economy should have improved faster, despite the fact that he inherited the worse financial mess since the great depression and got zero support from the House for the last two years. And there are some people who would not vote for anyone black no matter if he was the best POTUS ever.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
    • 1968billsfan

      ...and there are black racist who would never vote for a non-black if a black person was running.

      November 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  44. Bribarian

    Looks like more zi0nist proxy wars with their pet monkey obongo

    November 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  45. John

    I disagree strongly the mideast peace has failed because of American leadership (from either party). Those people have been killing each other since before there was a USA.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  46. aaron

    Leadership from the U.S. for brokering a deal between Israelis and Palestinians had always involved U.S. taxpayers contributing a boatload of money basically "to buy the peace." We're bankrupt, and the rich screaming for Obama to engage both parties don't want to pay any taxes, so no idea where the leadership money is supposed to come from.

    November 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • Sorry

      aaron – don't be a moron. I am NOT rich, but I do know that the "rich" pay 90% of the federal income tax.

      But you are also correct, we are broke due to our spending problem. Cudoz to you on identifying that cause and effect.

      November 8, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
      • Jack O'Brien

        Since WHEN did the rich PAY NINETY PERCENT OF FEDERAL TAXES?????????????? You're on the WRONG board. You should be on FOXNews with this spin garbage! The patrons here, READ!

        November 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
      • Jack O'Brien

        It's the MIDDLE CLASS that pays the Lion's share of federal taxes. But NICE TRY!

        November 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  47. Arlenne

    I was a republican for 15 yrs. when Bush got us in all this mess. I am ashamed of myself. I did vote for Obama back in 2008 and this election year. cause, republicans are BS'ing around the only way I go back if they do this now if the Republicans want to get this country back on track then paying higher taxes on the RICH! not us middle class and the poor. and that will not be a problem stop raising taxes on gas,oil and food. keep our sons and daughter out of war especially where they don't belong like in Iran and Iraq. KEEP JOBS in American NOT OVERSEAS!!!! stop letting the bank have so much control lower interest rate no matter what credit score is cause with the economics most have bad credit now. banks should keep our homes til find a job in a time period six months or year with low interest. help keep health care for medicare and medicaid for the poor and middle class. and do something about our kids college its way too much most are in debt before they are out of college and working. lower the loans interest for middle class and poor and add more Grants money to the poor and some middle class if needed. If the Republican will go along with President Obama with these issues. then and only then I will go back to republicans. Obama is trying to put this country back the Republicans and Congress with a few Dems are just causing problems and trying to make Obama look bad but its them. you can fool most of the people at times but you can't fool us ALL! so I hope all Leaders and Dems & Reps and Congress put all different aside and get this country back being a proud country.

    November 8, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  48. JackDW

    It's so wonderful seeing the nation abandoning the nation-damaging policies of the republican party. I hope to see the end of the GOP as we know it in my lifetime.

    November 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • comparempls

      How is leaving 16 trillion debt to our children good. We could NEVER pay 1 Trillion back, never have and never will. We cannot even get our yearly deficit under 1.5 TRILLION. This is ridiculous, does anyone know BASIC Math.
      Obama is killing our children.

      November 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
      • steve-0

        YOU are killing our children You don't know basic math–you want record tax cuts and then whine about the deficit. Get those rocks out of your head, pack your bags and get out-This country is not your's anymore.

        November 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  49. gita

    Dear Mr. President. Firstly, a hearty congratulations! As an Indian, I would like to suggest the following to be included in your agenda. On the Middle East, use the Muslim Brotherhood's Government to a) pressure Israel to make genuine peace with the Arabs and b) create a genuine understanding and tolerance between Shias and Sunnis. This will greatly help Syria and also parts of the Gulf, where Shias are in rebellion. Secondly, start immediate dialogue with Iran and lift sanctions on innocent people. Thirdly, confront Pakistan. Drones alone will not solve the problem. They military should confined to the barracks and nuclear weapons siezed. Fourthly, engage with China. They could be a stablizing force for Asia. Finally, help Europe with another Marshall plan

    November 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • bob

      Not happening,

      November 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • Enoughspin

      I think you have just outlined his foreign policy as it stands today...with the exception of Pakistan.

      November 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • Wilson

      The naivety and lack of knowledge is astounding.

      November 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • pjusa

      You must be smoking some of that newly legalized weed.

      November 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • Chuck

      He doesnt even listen to us

      November 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • User-301

      The only reason we are even in these countries is because of money (oil-gold-whatever) These people have been fighting for as long as the world has been the world and they have lived on it. There is nothing we can do to change the way they think. Tell a true blooded republican he needs to change to Democrat and you will be trying to get him to change for the rest of your life. It's the same over there. I guess most people don't even think about that. Like we really care if someone on the other side of the world gets along with each other. We just want to make sure they don't mess up the money we are trying to steal.

      November 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  50. Michael Colson

    After Getting Re Elected I Would
    By Michael Ego
    After getting re elected I'll go to New York and Jersey and ask companies like Walmart Kmart BJ's Costcos and Sams to donate blankets socks water water dry foods and canned goods. I would also ask the surrounding states how to open up shelters to the elderly and open hospitals for emergency cases such as pregnancy dialysis and other severe cases. Also I would get with Congress and ask for a mandatory blank check for the victims of Hurricane Sandy and the snow storm. Also put into play a budget for those such as clean up men electricians and plumbers to be compensated for their time effort and energy. This would be the first step in showing that the government is for the people and that congress can finally get something done. Also it will show the world that the US cares about its people first and will always come together in times of need.This is good for foreign policy and homeland security.
    I would speak briefly in the rose garden at the white house and declare these things on Friday or Monday no later than Tuesday of next week.
    If I were re elected I would do this first
    Words by Michael Ego
    (keep smiling cause I am)

    November 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • bob

      Get a grip, he did his Photo OPs, New sign in New York today,,,FEMA close due to weather. We have four more years, hope you survive it.

      November 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
      • falcon53

        Fema also ran out of bottled water last weekend and said they wouldn't have more until Monday. And people got ticked when Romney said he would cut FEMA. LOL. Like they are functional.

        November 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • aaron

      Sam Walton's billionaire daughter coughed up $3 billion for an art gallery and $500,000 toward ensuring that taxpayers pay for private schools for the rich via the charter schools amendment in Georgia. Think she'd help out any needy people though? It appears not. The only reason Repubs agreed to a minimum wage increase was getting the go ahead from the Walton family to waive the inheritance tax on estates over $500,000 in order to give their employees enough pay for about 50% of living expenses.

      November 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  51. willie

    CNN = Obama Propaganda Machine

    November 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • Chuck

      O P M

      spell it out phoneticaly! haha

      November 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • EdwardTr

      You called, all the polls showing Obama leading, untrue and CNN propaganda. The intelligent people always knew it was the FOX polls that were a fantasy, just like the rest of their broadcast. I feel sorry for any kids you have or might have; the odds are they will be just as pathetic and dumb as you are.

      November 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • John

      Right willie boy, which is of course why Obama won the election – and would have won by much more had the economy been better.

      November 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
    • Judy Simmons

      I've actually been waiting for them to tell us who they have in mind for 2016. Hillary or Biden have both been mentioned but I'm sure they already know who they will elect for us...

      November 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  52. sithlord1

    Kind of scary that we will be in ww3 with obama president.

    November 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Asturiano

      The stupid right wingers just don't get it. America doesn't buy your snake oil.

      November 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • JediMaster1

      @sithlord ....Even scarier if we went to war with Nitwit Romney at the helm.

      November 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • ericgoestoholland

      save your prediction in a text file, or something, so that you can look back on it in four years and realize that you were wrong. you think the election of romney would have automatically simplified international conflicts? despite what some would have us believe, america is not the king of the world....

      November 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
      • John

        No we are just the ones others turn to in time of need, why because we are the one main super power in this world. I would rather be respected by allies and feared by enemies than to lead from behind.

        Too bad colleges are producing puppets of liberal teachers, we have students now who can't think for themselves it is not until they have actually lived life in the real world when they find out the world is not filled with unicorns in some fairy tale world you guys live in

        November 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • FlawedLogic

        And I'm guessing the 'real' world is how YOU perceive it John? If only if only we could have some way to cut through all the bs for our chi.dren so they could see the world for how it really is...The way John sees it.

        November 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  53. dd

    Obama is now destined to fail.There is no way he can deal with the challenges of the world. The Middle East will erupt in War! The US will enter a deeper recession. The people will start protesting Obama!

    November 8, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • SPLAT!

      Shh, Shh, take it easy little feller, let it all out. It's tough to lose.

      November 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • Derrick

      There will be human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together....mass hysteria

      November 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  54. Wilson

    Methinks 3 million out of 117 million does not a supermajority make. That was a squeek-by win. Congress is going to have to knuckle down to stop all the country damaging policies that will come from this administration. Unless Obama changes they way he does things this country is in for a world of hurt. I doubt that will happen, it is not easy for a leapard (or socialist) to change their spots.

    November 8, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
  55. Sly

    Tough job, and we have the right President to accomplish our goals.

    President Obama ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, caught Bin Laden, helped bring democracy to Libya and Egypt.

    The stock market is up 6000 points since President Obama took office, and he finally is emerging from the depths of the Bush Financial Meltdown.

    Thank God we don't have that other Tea Bagger idiot as President, because he'd already have given several trillion in bonuses to the Enron Oil Industry.

    These are going to be 4 good years for America.

    November 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • bob

      new flash Obama follow President Bush polices on Iraq, Navy Seal Killed OBL, Obama has done nothing and will do the same. I don't see it getting any better more of what happen in New York, FEMA closed for Weather.

      November 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • falcon53

      He brought democracy to Libya and Egypt? Why don't you go to Libya and see how the reception is? HAve you heard of Bengazi? Just don't ask the president for help if you get into trouble cause you will be raped and killed like the ambassador. And I would hardly call the multi trillion dollar debt emerging from a financial meltdown

      November 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
    • FlawedLogic

      Dont Worry Sly some people would just rather see America fail than see Obama succeed. They have a name for those type of people....Tea Partiers.

      And yeah Obama had nothing to do with obl death. He only made the final call to go after him against the advice of his cabinet effectively bargaining his entire (TWO TERM!) presidency on the smooth operation. So yeah he had nothing to do with that. Hypocrite.

      November 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
      • 1968billsfan

        About "fast and furious". There were two sting operations under Bush. Both involved less then 10 guns and the guns were tracked. "Fast and Furious" let 2000 guns go over the border and none of them were tracked. The gun shops and TFA agents complained about this and got no response untill the got question to US Senators who then followed up and asked questions. There has been a successful coverup with justice pointing to TFA, TFA pointng to lower TFA, lower TFA pointing to justice and Holder and Obama stonewalling and clamining executivie previlege. Where is the promse of "the most transparent administration"?

        November 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • 1968billsfan

      Obama did not end any war in Afgan. There were 20K troops there with plans to completly withdraw. He did a surge to 80->100K troops there and we are averaging 300 dead soliders a year ever since. Look it up, before handing out the Cool-Aide to drink.

      November 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  56. John

    Only 2 things I would like to see in this term for Obama

    1. Man up and start taking responsibility and stop blaming George Bush or others. You are the President of the United States stop the finger pointing. Things go good or bad it is on you no one else as Truman once said "The Buck stops here" so own up to the job

    2. The media needs to hold the President accountable and stop with the softball questions. The national media coverage of things like what took place in Libya is a joke. I don't expect any less from reporters regardless of the political party in charge. The media has an obligation to do their jobs with the First Amendment comes a responsibility so stop with the chills up the leg and stop treating the President as some idol that you worship and do your job for a change

    November 8, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • tarura

      3. Resign in lieuof impeachment (Libya, F&F)

      November 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
      • FlawedLogic

        I agree fast and furious should cause the president to resign! It was started by Bush.

        November 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  57. Ancient Texan

    There was just more school children caught up in rockstar worship, too many on the government dependency rolls, and too much biased media to overcome for Romney to win. SO let the good times roll, there'll never be another bad day, China will continue to support our overspending trek towards the nanny state status.

    November 8, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • Oh really now?

      Over half of voting Americans voted for Obama. He won. Quit whining and attributing it to stupidity and immaturity. It's the American political process that is the envy of the world. It is Democracy in action. It never ceases to amaze me that people who claim to be patriotic Americans spew nonsense like Trump when they don't get their way, and make all these generalizations about the demographics of the voting populace. Sorry your guy didn't win. Maybe next time. That's why he lost. No one believed him. Now, if you are a REAL American, an not just some ignorant Texan, how about you quit whining and actually do something positive for a change? Romney's entire campaign was based on what Obama was doing wrong. He never gave very many facts on how he'd fix things, other than saying, "I'll fix things". He constantly changed his position on things. He's on video tape, for instance, stating clearly during his run for Governor that he's pro choice. Always has been. In this campaign he's pro life because he's trying to get the conservatives behind him. Really? You conservatives don't see any problem with that? Good thing you lost.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
      • falcon53

        And almost half didn't vote for him. This was not exemplary of a landslide

        November 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • FlawedLogic

        Its nice to see another rationale thought on here. Its times when I read these comments i wish Foxnews would allow comments so all the outdated, slanderous rants could be in one easily avoidable place.

        November 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Wilson

      Ancient Texan, you hit the nail on the head. There will be buyers remorse, especially when all the new taxes from obamacare kick in, and all these children that voted for him still can't find jobs and expect handouts that will no longer come.

      November 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
  58. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    One final thought, I proposed 52 solutions to dig ourselves out of this financial mess. No not all of these ideas would be accepted, but I tried to be very practical, honest, realistic as to doing, and conservative in their nature. I sent this all off to the representatives that are from California in Washington. I never heard a word back! Oh by the way, it took me over a year to come up with all of these thoughts and I read books on this subject, talked to some very smart business savy people as to suggestions & their opinions and got positive reviews. Why the public continues to re-elect these career politicians is beyond me? Case in point, Feinstein, Boxer, Bilbary, and there are many, many more, why??

    November 8, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  59. RealityWatch

    wll this is nothing mew. The first 4 years were uphill also. It's time to talk Sh^%* now!

    November 8, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

      Please don't tell, SHOW ME! Show me a plan, lay out a vision, set some realistic goals with stages of completion and time tables. Level with us the facts as they are now, and tell us the obsticles we will all face to reach these objectives; spelled out on paper, do not mince words. the pen is mighty, not words. That is what I think we all really want.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
  60. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    I wounder how many more years the Obama administration is gong to play the blame game on Bush? For the last four years that is what I have heard and read many, many times. Oh here is another on, if you don't vote for Obama you are a racists. It is to bad that with the re-elected Obama he can't seem to put any real solutions in place for curb the mouning debt, overspending, flat economy, louzy job growth, throwing newly printed money at domestic problems that in the end don't work, continued an lossing war in Afghanistan that when we withdraw the Taliban will come back, and we will still be there as a contigency force, probably forever, higher taxes for all instead of a sound budget that will need adjusting to curb the red ink slowly, and finally to plan for American businesses to compete better globally with better goods and services and crack down on counterfitiing and piracy. No plan, no vision, no future!

    November 8, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
  61. Z_2k

    Obama and Biden coming, now loosed like dogs of war.
    Unemployment and taxes rising, this Nation can’t take much more.

    Got to get free of it, welfare is dragging us down.
    Seems like we’re all on the dole.
    Government stalemate, no one wants to give ground.
    Forcing us deep in the hole.

    November 8, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
  62. spent

    He had challenges in the first four years and failed miserably. He will do equally bad if not worse in the next four years. He went after the voters that lean towards socialism. Socialism does not work!!!!! Not enough jobs to support the majority of those that are on the dole and why should they work when BIG GOVERNMENT supports them? Bring them out of Mexico and give them all they want, drop the babies here and they are citizens, bring over children and leave them here and Big Government will care for them, as they will for any welfare state. The government does not create revenue, nor generates revenue, just recycles tax payers money and prints money that has little or no value for there is nothing to back up the money that is being printed. Enjoy the next four years, what a joke it will be.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
  63. krm1007 ©™

    We continue to monitor the economic, political and cultural bubble burst/malaise in India and are very concerned with the continued state of deterioration. At this point, we restate our view that India is in a precarious situation and that a geo-political implosion is imminent (if not already in process) and the need of the hour. As you will recall, India has an unmanageable large population mired in poverty and we are spinning our wheels trying to prop it up. Additionally, it is also too big of a geographical unit to govern. Americans now need to focus on its own people and cannot afford to handout more financial and technological aid to India.

    We believe that this defragmentation of India will unleash boundless opportunities and uber economic demand that will be beneficial to US and Europe and help pull them out of current recessionary trends. We pray for the events to unfold peacefully and in a harmonious manner for the people of India and its neighbors.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • Samuel Brinckerhoff PhD

      I continue to read with interest the thesis presented on CNN that "less is more" in a political context as applied to India. Although Mies Van Der Rohe adopted this in an architectural context, its economic and political connotations are indeed powerful. Empowering subjugated minorities in India by splitting it into smaller states would trigger uber economic demand for western nations who have given so much financial and technology aid to India with no return to show for the investment. I concur with this approach and with an economic background find the premise to be on solid footing.

      November 8, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
  64. obamaphone

    YAAA! Score for America's poor people! You poor people who dont want to work and blacks/mexicans won! Now with your foodstamps, cash for clunkers, obamaphones, obamacare, and all your 18 kids, handouts will keep pouring in at the tax payers expense while you sit on your lazy asses! Thanks to Obama! America, the new land of poor opportunity!

    November 8, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
    • Jose Lopez Garcia Azul Pedro Fernando

      Yay me like Obama and happy he won election! Now me and me 12 kids stay in country free with no deport!

      November 8, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • spent

      I second your thoughts.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:01 am | Reply
    • Tyrone JaRule

      Yo, I like dis obamaphone cuz I can now call my homies and not worry abt eva working! Obama is the shizzle my nizzle! I'm gonna be a rapstar! HOLLA AT A PLAYA!

      November 8, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • bob

      Now be nice, the money will run out. Have food and ammo because they will come to your home and take what they want.

      November 8, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  65. Sagebrush Shorty

    How about putting domestic policy first for a change and let the Islamic countries take care of themselves.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
  66. Andreas Moser

    Here is my memo to Barack Obama about what to do with Iran:

    November 8, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
  67. Chris

    I am corrected. Unemployment a true number is around 14 percent

    November 8, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
  68. O-Worst President Ever X 2

    Yeah, lets focus on foreign policy, since nothing seems to work with the economy...

    November 8, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
  69. Bcohen

    Foreign policy is #1? Not the national debt that will ultimately cripple this country? Not jobs? Not the economy? I know other commenters have said the same thing, but I couldn't help but express how ridiculous that headline is.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • jimmy

      Another promise broken, he has no intention of working on the economy, he should be barred from foreign trips until the economy is fixed.

      November 8, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
      • deb0155

        He should have been barred from a second term as President. The stock market said everything yesterday. And, I now expect the Obamas to take another 30 vacations instead of their 17 vacations, since they will not be traveling at the taxpayers' expense in 4 years.

        Obama is a liar and a Socialist! He is bringing the United States to its knees with his Socialist policies.

        November 8, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  70. Chris

    7.9 percent unemployment, low job numbers, and a 300 point loss on Wall Street the day after Obamas re-election is the number one priority period. This author needs a new profession.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
  71. games to come now from iran against soft obama?

    Read what's going to be the next delay tactic that iran will use for its nukes....

    "After winning a second White House term, US President Barack Obama aims to start direct, fast-track nuclear talks with Tehran as soon as December, even before his January swearing-in, on the assumption that Iran’s window of opportunity is very narrow – just three months, debkafile’s Washington sources disclose. White House go-betweens with the office of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warn that Iran’s campaign for the June 14 presidential election gets going in March. After than, it is estimated in Washington, that Khamenei, whose ill health keeps his working-day short, will be fully absorbed in a struggle to purge Iran’s political hierarchy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his clique. But Tehran would prefer nuclear diplomacy to be delayed for eight months until after that election. “We waited for the US election campaign to be over, so why shouldn’t the Americans wait for ours?” a senior Iranian official asked rhetorically"

    November 8, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
  72. How's this for hope and change...biden's brother gets contract?

    you wanna read what's going to be the next delay tactic that iran will use for its nukes? read this...

    "After winning a second White House term, US President Barack Obama aims to start direct, fast-track nuclear talks with Tehran as soon as December, even before his January swearing-in, on the assumption that Iran’s window of opportunity is very narrow – just three months, debkafile’s Washington sources disclose. White House go-betweens with the office of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warn that Iran’s campaign for the June 14 presidential election gets going in March. After than, it is estimated in Washington, that Khamenei, whose ill health keeps his working-day short, will be fully absorbed in a struggle to purge Iran’s political hierarchy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his clique. But Tehran would prefer nuclear diplomacy to be delayed for eight months until after that election. “We waited for the US election campaign to be over, so why shouldn’t the Americans wait for ours?” a senior Iranian official asked rhetorically"

    November 8, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
  73. hubert39

    Leave end of 2014. The Pentagon say we spend 9.7 billion a month in our Middle East wars. 25 months times 9.7 billion? Do the math. And most important? The troops that will be killed and wounded. Our troops are in war knowing they will be leaving at the end of 2014. Come hell or high water. Who will be the last soldier killed in December 2014? Was it worth it?
    By the way the 240 billion plus we will spend could help the NE and even the New Orleans area.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
    • obamaphone

      Yea and we spend 1.6 billion on free obamaphones for poor lazy people! Lets keep taking that $ that should go to protect our country (freedom is not free bubby) and giving it to lazy poor people, so more 911 style attacks can happen in our future. Good job Obama! The best welfare president ever!!

      November 8, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
      • John

        You do realize GWB was president when 9/11 happened right?

        November 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  74. bibleverse1

    Foreign policy #1? Are you serious? Chuckle chuckle laugh laugh. Domestic issues are most importance.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:45 am | Reply
  75. jonat

    Nothing "tops the list" like jobs and the economy and you are fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply
  76. mikeytost

    Now we may find out what he promised the russian president now having more flexability.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply
  77. Genty

    I hope Obama gets some time to review the legacy of the USA in the Great Lakes region in Africa, particularly for the Congo.
    It is a peaceful population which, from the onset of freedom, has seen its peace compromised.
    The involvement of America is hard to praise even for those who hope for change, let alone those ready to seek revenge.
    It is never too late, but in this case, it is an useless imbalance which is not sustainable.
    Give peace a chance through a foreign policy meant for help and education by example.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:43 am | Reply
    • tarura

      If they seek revenge – have them vote for Obama

      November 8, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  78. karek40

    I would have thought unemployment, the looming fiscal crisis and other domestic problems would have occupied first place not foreign problems. Its time we step down from funding the world and took care of our own problems.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • mattski

      Precisely, Karek40. TY.

      November 8, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
    • Anne S.

      Yes, I agree with you. Thought jobst was going to be his top priority too. What happened to the jobs again? Same old crap as last time, I can see it now.

      November 8, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
      • John

        You do realize this is CNN's list of top priorities not Obama's right. You can tell the difference between reality and media spin right?

        November 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Kelly51

      He really doesn't care about those things, Karen. He's re-elected and his job is safe, now. No worries about his nanny country. As long as the checks keep coming in his lazy supporters will be by his side.

      November 8, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply
    • Ed

      With all the domestic issues, foreign policy is first priority?? Has that laser beam on jobs lost its illumination already?

      November 8, 2012 at 8:29 am | Reply
      • falcon53

        Talk is cheap when it is done to get re-elected

        November 8, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • WillB

      Remember CNN was predicting he'd lose, so CNN predicting what's at the top of his agenda is probably just as accurate. Expect gridlock, you won't be disappointed. They'll trade no tax-cut extension for the top 2% for a slightly larger defense (contractors) budget. Afterall, the rich don't buy as many in Congress as Defense contractors do.

      November 8, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
  79. doesnotmatter

    I have trust in Obama. A man with good intentions. Glad he is my president.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:20 am | Reply
    • joeinalabama

      Have you never heard that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I'm 72, probably won't have pay all the debt back.

      November 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
      • John

        The road to hell was paved by GWB. He took the best economy since WWII and trashed it, leaving his successor (whoever it might have been) with the worse financial mess since the great depression. And despite the US being in peril, the intransigent gopers in the House refused to work with Obama during the last two years. They wanted Obama to fail more than they cared about the country.

        November 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
      • comparempls

        What a croc, 4 years and 6 trillion and you are still blaming Bush. Obama is a communist and communism does not work look at Russia, China, N. Korea. Every communist country failed and now they are embracing free market. Liberals do not know history or finance, they just know free candy and yes we can. Bunch of children.

        November 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  80. haha

    C-heads are so easy to manipulate. But take solice as they never quit cause they are always looking for the next fix.

    November 8, 2012 at 4:30 am | Reply
  81. mukaila hassan

    i wish him congratulation obama on his re-election

    November 8, 2012 at 4:01 am | Reply

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