Good luck, Mr. President

Published 12:52 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2009

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

When United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. prompts Barack Obama to repeat those famous words today on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, history will be made.

As the 44th President of the United States, Obama becomes the first man of color to hold the highest elected office in the greatest nation in the world.

Perhaps it’s only fitting that upon accepting the presidential oath, Obama will have his hand firmly fixed to the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln held 148 years ago when he became our nation’s 16th President. It was through Lincoln’s efforts that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, a law abolishing slavery.

We’ve come a long way as a nation since the days of Lincoln. People of color, once looked upon as an uneducated race, now prosper, many holding positions of power, locally, statewide and nationally.

Now, like his hero Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama takes power at a critical time in American history. While Lincoln is credited for leading the nation through its greatest internal crisis, the Civil War, all eyes will be on another young politician from Illinois to come to America’s rescue once again.

After the fanfare of today’s inauguration grows silent, Obama must provide firm footing as America stands on shaky financial ground. The decisions he makes in the coming weeks and months will immediately shape his presidency.

All we can ask as a nation is that those decisions are made in the best interest of all Americans, not, as has become past tradition with those seated in the Oval Office, just earmarked for the rich and powerful.

God speed and good luck Mr. President…you will need both.