It reminds me of the MasterCard commercials that tote up the price of components of an event: "Tickets, $100; parking, $20; pop corn, $15." But remember the punch line is always the sum total of the experience.

And in the case of the global impact of the election of Barak Obama as the next president of the United States, the overall impact is indeed PRICELESS!

America now has the opportunity to regain global trust in our basic principles of equal opportunity. If one picture is worth a thousand words, we have demonstrated the true strength of our democracy, with a capital D. We didn't have to go to war to spread democracy. All we had to do is demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt -- and beyond hanging chads -- our national commitment to our unique political system.

And in doing so, we have visibly inspired millions of people around the world to give us the benefit of all the doubts that have been raised in the past eight years.

Priceless, but costly

Now comes the tough part. As we try a different approach to restoring our economic growth, all the hope in the world can't deny economic reality. The jobs figures last Friday demonstrated the immediate need to grow the economy. Now there will be even greater expectations of some sort of government-directed public-works program.

The real issue is how to pay for all of this spending. And on that score, President-elect Obama may have a very appropriate role model in the actions of President John F. Kennedy.

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