COLUMBIA — President Barack Obama has raised high hopes among Americans that problems such as health care and the economy will be solved during his administration.
The Missourian asked people in Columbia about their dreams, what they expected from Obama and the changes they wanted to see from the new president.
"The economy is the number one issue. It's a situation that could deteriorate further, which would have significant political implications for the president and for the Democratic Party. I think he has to tackle it quickly to try to at least slow down the degeneration of the economy, if not turn it around." — Peverill Squire, MU political science professor
“The economy, whether he can do something about it. You need a good ring leader, just like a good coach.” — Tom Johnson, retired research scientist
“Hopefully he can help the economy, create more jobs.” — Latoya Coats, stay-at-home mom
"I'd like for him to stabilize the economy and see if he can work out a solution so that people don't lose their job and they don't lose their houses." — Flore Zéphir, MU professor of romance languages
“I hope they’ll go easy on those loans. I don’t want America to become a socialist country.” — Dorothy Allen, retired from Stephens College
“Obviously we are in a very serious place with the economy. The plan
for the future will need to piggyback off fixing that problem first.” — Melissa Stemme
“I would like to see a change in the economy. Also a shift in the war from Iraq and Afghanistan.” — Tony Evans
“I think the economy is tied to the war. I went to war. I went to Korea. We’ll pay for Iraq for the next 50 years.”— Donald D. Griffith, retired from Shelter Insurance
"I'm expecting change, and I'm expecting improvement. I'd like to see the war in Iraq end. I think we've been there long enough. And in Afghanistan." — Willard "Bill" Spiller III
“I’d like to see our troops come home from where they are. I’d like to see that war end.” — Dennis Stone, chef
“I have great fears about the war; I fear that we won’t be able to get out of the things Bush started.” — Amy Kyle, teacher
"I think he is very committed to addressing the economic issue and health, but I was excited about his focus on the 'inclusivity' of all classes and people." — Linda Dyer, MU department of economics staff member
“Create a more unified and cohesive government, unifying the American people.” — Kristen Ventrillo
“I will say health care, but I don’t really know what he can do about it. ” — Amanda Ewing, barber
“I worry that he will compromise. His record shows he’s given in a little too much. Offshore drilling for example.” — Maureen Stanton, MU English department assistant professor
"I would like to see him do something to protect small family farms. I would also love to be able to travel again and say that I am proud to be an American"— Leigh Lockhart, owner of Main Squeeze
Missourian reporters Pat Sweet, Dominic Immer, Julie Vaughan, Elisabeth Rentschler, Gregg Johnson and Ben Kleine contributed to this report.