The Note, 1/21/09: Day Two -- President Obama (At Last) Seeks Running Start


Will we remember the dancing if there isn’t an encore?

Beyonce and 2 million of her friends are headed home. We start caring less about what Michelle Obama is wearing and more about what Kent Conrad is thinking. Chief Justice John Roberts has plenty of time to memorize the oath for the next time around.

President Obama’s inauguration was geared toward a reinvigoration of the movement he now leads. With its clear breaks from the Bush era, his speech offered sharp points upon which he and his supporters hope to pivot -- with expectations that match the challenges of these times.

Through his election and the history-soaked excitement surrounding his inauguration, he purchased some additional political capital -- or at least some additional time to spend it. (Though, given the market performance on Inauguration Day, maybe everyone has a bit less to spend.)

Spend he must -- and quickly. The new era of responsibility starts now, and it starts inside the White House:

The key to the Obama strategy now: Putting points on the board early.

Acting immediately: “Starting tomorrow we’ll be making a series of announcements both on domestic and foreign policy that I think will be critical for us to act swiftly on, we’re not going to be able to delay,” the president told ABC’s Robin Roberts at Tuesday night’s Neighborhood Ball.

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