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US to get its first black President tomorrow

world Updated: Jan 19, 2009 18:50 IST

Barack Hussein Obama will make history when he is inaugurated as the first black-American President on Tuesday, riding a wave of popularity but facing daunting challenges and huge expectations -– both at home and abroad -- that he will herald a change in the United States.

The charismatic 47-year-old former community organiser who has risen to the world's most powerful post will have his task cut out -- to bail out America from the worst financial crisis in decades and to carve a new path on the foreign policy front ensuring a clean break from the disastrous Bush regime policies of the past eight years.

As far as India is concerned, the new Administration will have two of its best-known friends -– Secretary of State- designate Hillary Clinton and Vice President-elect Joe Biden. But even as Obama talks about India as a "natural ally" of the US, recent attempts from his side to link Kashmir issue with Afghanistan are causing some concerns in the South Block.

The very moment at noon tomorrow as Obama puts his hand on the Bible once used by Abraham Lincoln, in front of an estimated two million people -– a record in itself for a presidential inauguration –- a new phase would start in the history of US as he would enter the White House as the first African-American President of the country.

Obama, in fact, has already created history as he defeated well-established political figures like Hillary Clinton to become the first black Democratic presidential nominee and won a landslide victory in the November 4 presidential elections.

But that history has been made in America will soon fade away from memory as Obama enters the Oval office facing daunting issues -- both domestic and foreign.