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Welcome President Obama

Regardless of one’s politics, 4 November 2008 was an historic night in America—the ascendancy of a black man to the Presidency. I never thought I would see it in my lifetime. His calmness, elegance and intelligence are invigorating. Simon Lenton, Vice President of Health Services for the College, has suggested an open letter to President Obama asking him to focus on the health of children, the economy and national and international inequalities. I suspect that he will not focus on healthcare until late in the second year of his presidency. Virtually every pundit—Democrat, Republican and Independent—has emphasised the importance of improving the US (and worldwide) economy. If and when the economy improves, so too will the health of children. He has said little about justice and human rights—unfortunately the last few months of the presidential campaign were dominated by discussion and debate about the economy. But I am hopeful that rather than leading with the sword, he will make every effort to reduce armed conflict around the world. Nothing threatens child health more then the twin evils of war …

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