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Tough tasks and challenges ahead for next US president

Business Times - 04 Nov 2008
By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

IN one of the famous scenes in the 1972 film The Candidate, Robert Redford who has just won a race for a Senate seat from California, surrounded by celebrating supporters during a victory party, pulls his press secretary into a room while throngs of journalists clamour outside, and then asks him: 'Marvin. . . What do we do now?'

It's quite clear that whoever wins this year's US presidential race today is not going to pose that question to his aide. Instead, he is more likely to ask his adviser: 'What do we do first?'

Indeed, after confronting what amounts to be an existential threat to US national interests - a devastating economic crisis and two long and costly wars - the next occupant of the White House might end up wondering whether his victory in the 2008 presidential race was such a good news. For all practical purposes, the winner, even before he is inaugurated as the next president on Jan…