Mark Rushefsky, political science professor at Missouri State University in Springfield, says today’s inauguration is historic because Barrack Obama is our first African-American president, but also because Obama faces unprecedented challenges as well.

"He’s got an econ that’s not doing very well, he’s got a war in Iraq that seems to be winding down but one in Afganistan that’s probably going to be extremely difficult, there’s the Mid-East crisis with the Isralis and the Palestinians and the Gaza attacks and that’s just kind of the beginning," Rushefsky said. "He’s going to try to address the healthcare system which many people think is not working as well as it should, not covering everybody."

Obama taking office "definitely shows a generational change," Rushefsky added.

He says younger voters, namely those younger than the baby boomers, could relate to Obama more than McCain. He says Obama takes the ideals of the younger generation with him to the White House.

Rushefsky says Obama’s presidency bears some resemblance to those in the past: Kennedy because of his age, and Roosevelt and Clinton because both of them dealt with economic woes and wars.

More than 2.5 million people are expected to attend today’s inauguration.

After that, Rushefsky says Obama will have to "hit the ground running."

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