The List

101 Things People Want Obama to Do in Term 2

From the merely ambitious to the sublimely ridiculous, here's an exhaustive list of all the things people want Obama to do in his second term.

President Barack Obama is one of only 17 U.S. presidents elected to a second term. And ever since he defeated Mitt Romney to earn himself another four years in office, everyone from Paul Volcker to the Taliban has weighed in on what he should do now. In an effort to make life easier for the soon-to-be re-inaugurated president, Foreign Policy has gathered much of this advice into one concise list.

Obama should...

1. Think legacy

2. Go for greatness this time -- and start with the inaugural address

3. Say this during the inauguration today -- and these things

4. Resolve America's political and economic problems

5. Help Africa do the same

6. Foster entrepreneurship and innovation

7. Overturn Citizens United

8. Broker lasting peace in the Middle East

9. Stay out of Israel-Palestine peace efforts, for now

10. Meddle in Israel's election

11. Worry about Bethlehem, Pennsylvania rather than Bethlehem, Palestine

12. Intervene in Syria

13. Stay away from Syria

14. Assassinate Bashar al-Assad

15. Enact a Marshall Plan for 2013

16. Stop being so European

17. Push gun control without Congress

18. Get tough on criminals instead

19. Admit his true feelings on the Second Amendment

20. Amend the Constitution

21. Listen to the NRA

22. Tackle gun control internationally, not just domestically

23. Stay pivoted toward Asia

24. Rethink the pivot

25. Pray that China overtakes the United States

26. Not freak out about China

27. Reform the Foreign Assistance Act

28. Talk to the Taliban

29. Admit he's lost in Afghanistan. And leave. Thanks! - The Taliban

30. Stop being so reasonable

31. Stop governing like a visitor from a morally superior civilization

32. Get his authority back

33. Answer this: Are you a moralist or a realist?

34. Listen to Brookings

35. Listen to Chuck Hagel

36. Listen to Hugo Chávez

37. Forget Chavismo

38. End the Cuba embargo

39. Not end the Cuba embargo

40. Offer Iran a generous deal

41. Not expect Iran to come to the negotiating table

42. Write the rule book for drones

43. Stop using drones

44. Use drones. They're the best tool we have.

45. Keep the drones, but develop alternative solutions

46. Abandon his cybersecurity executive order

47. Reduce the nuclear arsenal with New START II

48. Stop worrying and learn to love the bomb

49. Come to the table with congressional Republicans

50. Bypass congressional Republicans

51. "Work like a third world dictator and put [the opposition] in jail"

52. "Help save [the GOP] from [its own] crazy people"

53. Break the House Republicans

54. Play more golf with John Boehner

55. Throw dinners à la Thomas Jefferson

56. Be more like LBJ

57. Be more like Abraham Lincoln

58. Be more like Bill Clinton

59. Be less like Bill Clinton

60. Be more like Ronald Reagan

61. Continue being just like Reagan

62. Be more like RGIII

63. Be more like Vladimir Putin

64. Rebuild infrastructure

65. Cut entitlements -- that's what the American people want

66. Spare entitlements --  that's what the American people want

67. Eat Ethiopian food

68. Stop eating ice cream with a spoon

69. Freeze drilling in the Arctic

70. Tackle oil like Napoleon tackled salt

71. Approve the Keystone Pipeline this time

72. Discover his inner hedgehog

73. Embrace his inner fox

74. Bring climate change to the forefront

75. Confront climate change. Here are four ways to start. Here are some more ways -- and here are some more.

76. Get with the Latin Americans and legalize pot

77. Close Gitmo

78. Deliver on America's promise as the world's foremost democracy and remove ridiculous obstacles to voting

79. Bankrupt North Korea

80. Reinstate the draft -- everyone should have "skin in the game"

81. Withdraw from Okinawa

82. Visit Africa

83. Not visit Russia

84. Look to New Mexico

85. Not accept parenting advice from the prime minister of Turkey

86. Compromise in his marriage

87. Not listen to his progressive daughters when it comes to policy

88. Not put women in combat

89. Make immigration reform a top priority

90. Do these six things to make immigration reform a reality

91. Back France in the fight against al Qaeda in Africa

92. Lead from behind in Mali

93. Pay income taxes in the foreign countries he visits

94. Learn to skip the last question at a press conference

95. Appoint at least two Latinos to his cabinet

96. Appoint a female FCC chair

97. Protect Main Street from Wall Street

98. Please Wall Street

99. Do more for D.C. than change his license plate

100. Swear in on Das Kapital rather than the Bible

101. Avoid a second-term scandal

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The List

Sashes, Swords, and Swearing In

Inaugurations around the world.

U.S. President Barack Obama will be sworn in for a second term on Monday in a highly choreographed inauguration ceremony on the National Mall. Some of the traditions surrounding the inauguration are codified by law -- the actual swearing-in occurs as close as possible to noon since that's when the last presidential term officially ends according to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution -- while others are customs that have emerged over time: the now de rigueur presidential stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue dates back only to 1977, when Jimmy Carter did it as a populist gesture; John F. Kennedy began the tradition of having an inaugural poet when he invited Robert Frost to read in 1961. But how do other countries inaugurate their leaders?

Most countries with presidential systems have some kind of pomp-filled inauguration ceremony. (Prime ministers tend to be sworn in with less fanfare in parliament.) Many presidents take an oath of office -- some more religious than others -- and give an inaugural address to the nation. Parades through the capital and military reviews are also pretty standard fare. But there are some intriguing local variations.

The inauguration of the Mongolian president, for instance, includes several days of celebrations, including wrestling matches -- the president doesn't participate, unfortunately. The cost of the celebrations was criticized in 2009, so presidential Wrestlemania may not last forever. In Turkmenistan, the president is traditionally sworn in standing on a white felt mat -- a symbol of good luck -- and is given "bread and salt as a symbol of prosperity and well being" and a "quiver with arrows symbolizing the people's unity." In Tanzania, the president receives a symbolic spear and shield when he is sworn in. Most Latin American leaders also wear presidential sashes that they receive at their inaugurations.

Presidents also frequently add their own personal touches. In 2006, a day before his official swearing-in, Bolivian President Evo Morales -- the country's first indigenous leader -- held a traditional ceremony at a sacred pre-Incan site, where, "barefoot and dressed as a sun priest, he received a baton, encrusted with gold, silver and bronze, that will symbolize his Indian leadership."

Tributes to national heroes are common during inaugurations. The motorcade of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee made a stop at a monument to Mohandas Gandhi en route to his swearing-in. The president of Taiwan is sworn in while standing before a portrait of the country's founder, Sun Yat-sen.  

Russia's inaugurations are notable for including a ceremony in which the  "nuclear briefcase," containing the codes to the country's arsenal, is handed over to the new president. In France, the outgoing president holds a private meeting with his successor on inauguration day during which the nuclear codes are handed over. In the United States, the handover of Armageddon-unleashing power is a bit more subtle. During the swearing-in ceremony, the military aide carrying the so-called "nuclear football" -- who stays with the president at all times -- crosses the stage to stand by the new leader.

Obama's also not the only president to invite celebrities to his inauguration, though they're not always quite Beyonce-level. Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama invited some of Nigeria's biggest film stars to his inauguration this year ("Nollywood" movies are massively popular in Ghana). In Iran, after several senior clerics and political figures decided to boycott Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's inauguration following the controversial 2009 election, the Iranian president filled the gaps with showbiz figures including the national football team coach, a weightlifter known as "Iranian Hercules," several actors, and a disgraced children's TV presenter whose show had recently been pulled from the air over a toy monkey named "Ahmadinejad." (Evidently, the president was in a forgiving mood.)

Inauguration rituals can often become proxy political battles. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy initially demanded to be sworn in last year in front of parliament rather than -- according to tradition -- in front of the Hosni Mubarak-appointed Supreme Court, but eventually acquiesced, which was seen as a sign of the military's continued influence. When Peruvian President Ollanta Humala took power in 2011, he pointedly swore allegiance to Peru's 1979 constitution rather than the country's current constitution, which had been put in place by his rival, former President Alberto Fujimori.

Inauguration crowds are not always particularly respectful. When Enrique Peña Nieto was sworn in before Mexico's congress last year, and as protests raged outside, leftist lawmakers unfurled a black banner inside the parliament chamber reading "Mexico in mourning" -- referring to the thousands killed by drug violence during his predecessor's administration.

Inaugural addresses are usually uplifting testaments to national unity and better days to come, though there are some exceptions to the rule. When The Gambia's eccentric strongman President Yahya Jammeh was sworn in for a fourth term in 2012, he accused his citizens of laziness, vowed to "wipe out almost 82 percent of those in the work force," and warned that "I will be more dangerous in the next five years." Stirring oratory indeed.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts might have goofed on the precise wording of Obama's inaugural oath in 2009, but in terms of drama it didn't compare to Papua New Guinea's 2012 swearing-in, when the country's governor-general -- technically the representative of the Queen of England -- refused to swear in Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, who had taken power controversially during his predecessor's illness, and abruptly walked out of the ceremony to "study the documents." He returned to swear O'Neill in three hours later.

Then, of course, there's Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, whose inauguration celebrations were held on Jan. 10 despite the fact that he was out of the country at the time for cancer treatment in Havana, and could not actually take the oath of office. Nonetheless, supporters, as well as diplomats and three foreign heads of state, dutifully gathered for the "inauguration" of Chávez's fourth term.

Some countries are a bit more deluxe than others. Vladimir Putin was sworn in at the lavish Grand Kremlin Hall, once the seat of the czars. The ceremony reportedly cost $664,000 -- half of it spent on commemorative medals for the guests -- and was followed by a $400,000 banquet. This is pretty rich by international standards and infuriated the Russian opposition, though it's pretty paltry compared with the estimated $150 million spent on Obama's 2009 inauguration. This year's event is expected to be far more modest (no Bruce Springsteen concert on the Mall, for instance). But when it comes to swearing in new presidents, the United States still goes bigger than anyone else.

AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images