After his swearing in and inauguration, President Barack Obama’s second term is officially under way.
Locally, residents have some general ideas for what they’d like to see the president do over the next four years, as well as some more specific ones.
Of about 20 people questioned Monday in Larchmont, Mamaroneck and White Plains about the biggest issue facing Obama over the next four years, most said the economy. However, Josh Velson, of White Plains, said he’s not sure how much impact the president has on the economy versus Congress.
Velson added that he’s a bit skeptical that any president leading such a divided Congress can accomplish much, though.
Many others on Monday had similar thoughts on Congress.
“If he can’t get Congress to work together, nothing will get done,” said a Mamaroneck resident who didn’t want her name published. “He’s got to get Congress in order.”
Others didn’t have specific issues, though, many had conflicted thoughts. One woman in Larchmont said she felt like Obama would continue to do a good job. However, a man in White Plains said he hopes Obama doesn’t “screw things up” much more over the next four years.
A man in Mamaroneck said Obama needs to compromise more with the Republicans so they can work together to get things done. Working together was a major topic in Obama’s inauguration address, found here.
Of the issues he feels the president can have a big impact on, Velson said he would like to see Obama focus his attention on immigration. He said it’s clearly not a good think when you have people attending college in the country, graduating and then getting kicked out while trying to become citizens.
Velson added he thinks some ideas included in various amnesty plans could be a step in the right direction.
“There’s been a few Republicans who have talked about amnesty, so maybe that’s something both sides can work together on,” he said.
The other major issue Velson would like Obama to focus on is foreign policy. He said he wants to see Obama work with China; rather than thinking of China as a belligerent, insular nation, he should appeal to its rational side.
The other big foreign policy issue Velson thinks Obama should work on is the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“I don’t know what to do with that one, though,” he said.