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Editorial: Change is now a new reality for Obama

Americans have spoken with their votes and Barack Obama is our president-elect. Congratulations to Obama and Joe Biden on their election.

The election is over. We all -- Democrats and Republicans -- remain Americans first. Now the hard work begins trying to solve our collective challenges.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats will give Obama a free pass.

Republicans in Congress will be a more conservative crowd and a little surly. The Republicans have already started attempting to reposition their party as conservative opposition.

Many Democrats come from conservative states that had previously elected Republicans. And the Blue Dog Democrats will be focusing on spending control.

For more than 21 months, Obama campaigned on "change we can believe in." His challenge now is putting that campaign slogan into action.

What all of this change includes remains to be seen.

The new president's first challenges will be the economy and Iraq, two major issues under President George W. Bush's administration.

The economy was issue one in this election. A new stimulus package will likely be a top Obama priority. The challenge will be in the details. American business remains wary of possible changes.

Throughout his campaign, Obama said withdrawal from Iraq would be a first priority. However, the crisis of the economy and on Wall Street has changed America's focus.

The short-term priority will be building Obama's team. He faces the challenge of forming a cabinet in his own way, not just a return of a Bill Clinton administration.

We like some of Obama's ideas, but know he cannot fulfill all of his promises. We wish the president-elect the best of luck.

We hope Obama and his changes can start addressing some of the many challenges America faces today.