Republican Chairman of the 9/11 Commission
Reach across the aisle. This has been one of the most divisive campaigns in American history, and your job now is to pull the country back together.
Former CEO of GE
Get out your veto penyou must reverse the trajectory of the budget deficit. You hate tax increases, and they should be your last resort anyway, given the fragile global recovery. But you will be forced into that option if you don't immediately start redlining spending requests.
RUTH J. SIMMONS
President of Brown University
The President should acknowledge the widespread concern among many youths that they will inherit a world unalterably damaged by environmental degradation, cultural and political tensions, limited economic growth and other factors that could impair the realization of their goals. Leaders should permit us to see their willingness to engage critics for the profit of our democracy.
Radio Talk-Show host
Appoint Senator Kerry ambassador to France.
Dixie Chicks Member
As a fertility patient, I am concerned with the average citizen's lack of knowledge on stem cells and want to urge you to help educate people instead of making this a divisive issue. Few people know that stem cells, like mine, are being thrown away every day at fertility clinics after patients have no use for their remaining embryos. Thrown away! Think of the gift we can give people through this research.
CHARLES J. CHAPUT
Archbishop of Denver
No people can build a just society on 3,000 to 4,000 abortions a day. A nation that tolerates killing innocent children in the womb forfeits any claim as a beacon of freedom. I hope the President will use his second term to limit abortion and protect the unborn child in every way possible.
CEO of Rush Communications; founder of Def Jam Records
Bush talks about equality, about how everyone is entitled to a quality high school education. Those are great ideas. Great ideas. But I'd tell him, Put your money where your mouth is. Don't write off the black community. He also needs to treat his critics better. You can't say "You're with us, or you're against us." You can't suppress liberty.
Former Democratic Senator from Georgia
Keeping nuclear, biological and chemical weapons out of the hands of terrorists must be the top security priority. The next President must build a global coalition of nations working together to reduce these threats. We are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe.
Minister and Democratic politician
Bush must change the perception that he has divided the country. He should reach out beyond his normal circles. He should meet with the N.A.A.C.P., with labor leaders. He should not be so inflexible in terms of ideas and criticism. He's really got to take to heart the reasons people oppose him.
Host of Real Time
Resign. You made your point. You got re-elected, and your father didn't. Enjoy the ranch.
Former Foreign Minister of France
Europeans want the United States to respect them, to accept divergence of position and to be ecologically responsible. The world has not become anti-American; it's demanding to be listened to. It has things to tell America if she would be so good as to listen.
GERARD F. POWERS
Director of Policy Studies, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
A priority of your second term must be to restore the moral credibility the United States has lost. Reaffirm your commitment to see Iraq through to independence, stability and democracy. But admit the obviousthat serious mistakes were made in Iraq.
ARTHUR SCHLESINGER Jr.
Get out of Iraq. Get out as quickly as possible, and respectfully. As long as we carry the burden of Iraq, a misbegotten war, it's going to be very difficult to do anything at home.
Lead Singer of U2
Brand U.S.A. is in a bit of trouble. When you call in the regional branch managers, they'll tell you you've lost touch with your customers around the world. The way you respond to the AIDS emergency and the difficulties of the developing world will offer an opportunity to redescribe America to the world in the 21st century.
Use history to lead. Throughout the Cuban missile crisis, John Kennedy struggled to ensure that global war did not start by accident, as he knew it had in 1914. Even before our Civil War, Abraham Lincoln tried to use the "mystic chords of memory" that went back to the Revolution to draw Americans together again.
DREW E. ALTMAN
CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation
Reach out to the Congress, and working together, craft a new health-reform plan that will fly. Expand coverage for the 45 million Americans without health insurance.
Co-Chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative
It is imperative that we work with all our global partnersespecially the United Nationsto ensure the planet's health, safety and security. The next President should be actively seeking friends everywhere; we cannot afford any more enemies.
Speak honestly and listen. We will let you know what is best for this country.
ROBERT B. REICH
Former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration
We cannot be strong if we're coming apart. We can't have a vibrant democracy if we don't listen to one another. Reach out to those you disagree with. Give poorer Americans more opportunities to get ahead. Be a man of faith, if you wish, but don't use faith to justify your policies. Restore civility to public discourse and tolerance to public life.
We are praying that God will guide you through the next four years in condemning all injustices, providing for the needs of the unemployed and underemployed while protecting the safety of this great nation.