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Last Updated: Wednesday November 05 2008 13:45 GMT

What happens next for Obama?

Barack Obama

When does Barack Obama take over?

Barack Obama will not be sworn in as President of the United States of America until 20 January 2009 - this is called inauguration day. Until then George Bush is still in charge and Obama will be called the President-elect.

The outgoing President is often known as a 'lame-duck' during this period because everyone knows the new guy is just around the corner.

What will he do between now and then?

The next 11 weeks are known as the transition period, when the President-elect starts thinking about his new job, what he's going to do, and who he wants on his team.

He'll also have experts from George Bush's team getting him up to speed on all the topics that he'll need to know lots about for his new job.

What's at the top of Obama's to-do list as President?

Barack Obama has a big job on his hands, as people are expecting a lot from him. Here are some of the things he's talked about getting his teeth into:

  • The economic crisis

  • Iraq - getting troops out

  • Afghanistan - sending more troops in

  • Health - better access to healthcare for the 45 million Americans who don't have medical insurance - including free healthcare for all children

  • Education - more teachers and better pay for them

  • Climate change - wants to slash greenhouse gas emissions and invest in clean energy

Changes like these need money - and with the current cash crisis this could prove tricky for the new president. But the USA and the rest of the world will be watching to see how he gets on.