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The President-Elect's First 76 Days

Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first 100 days in the White House has lately been the focus of renewed media interest. During that period, FDR offered a record amount of legislation -- all of which passed -- and created the New Deal.

Now, some 75 year later, the U.S. is facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and fighting a war in two countries. The transition between the current Bush administration and the next administration can't wait until Jan. 20, 2009. It has to start on Nov. 5 with a full team of economic advisers working on ways to fix the economy and a military transition to combat terrorism.

There are 76 days between Nov. 5 and Jan. 20. Both presidential candidates have to be ready to hit the ground running the day after the election.

However, a recent report in The Wall Street Journal suggests that Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) refuses to take the task seriously. According to the Journal, a senior aide has said McCain doesn't want to set up a domestic transition team, though he has focused somewhat on intelligence and terrorism.

For his part, Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) has reportedly put former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff, John Podesta, in charge and fully staffed the transition team.

Weighing the priorities, the economy should get much more attention than the war in Iraq. A cratering global economy could cause much more damage than terrorists in either Iraq or Afghanistan as consumers fear losing their jobs and watch their wealth crumble in declining real estate and stock markets.

President Bush has already announced a meeting with the G-20 nations on Nov. 11. The G-20 includes most industrialized nations and many of the new emerging industrial countries, such as Brazil, China and India. The White House commented on the agenda in a press release, saying:
"The leaders will review progress being made to address the current financial crisis, advance a common understanding of its causes, and, in order to avoid a repetition, agree on a common set of principles for reform of the regulatory and institutional regimes for the world's financial sectors."
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