Following President Barack Obama's second inaugural Monday, I spoke to some political experts on what the next four years may hold. Here is some of what they had to say:
Obama made clear in his inaugural address that he was going to stand his ground on policy matters, but didn't explore deeply his plan for a second term. That should be better explained when Obama talks to the nation during the State of the Union Address in February, said Bill Binning, professor and chair emeritus with Youngstown State University's political science department.
But the president can't run wild or roughshod with his policy.
''He's got to have public opinion with him, it's not just what he wants,'' Binning said.
And it's a case of the sooner the better for what the president wants to accomplish, Binning said.
Second terms for presidents, especially the final two years, aren't typically as a fruitful, he said. That's because in the last two years of a term, people begin looking at who the next president will be, making Obama really a ''lame duck,'' he said.
Paul Sracic, chairman of YSU's political science department, agrees with Binning on the last two years.
''The problem that Obama faces is that his party only controls half of Congress,'' Sracic put in an email to me. ''So his success, in terms of policy, really depends on whether he can work deals with John Boehner (the Ohio Republican and speaker of the House).
Sracic declined to forecast what Americans should expect, saying, ''It's always dangerous to make predictions in politics.
''Honestly, we don't know what challenges await us over the next four years. From Europe to the Middle East to Asia, the world situation is unsettled,'' Sracic wrote. ''The election was so focused on domestic issues that it might surprise us how much international situations might impact the U.S. over the next four years.''
I thought the tale of ex-Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann was finished in November when the Ohio Supreme Court suspended his license to practice law for six months, but the story continues.
Dann, who was practicing foreclosure law in Cleveland before the high court's discipline, was still fighting against rulings that it was wrong for him to use campaign funds to pay for an elaborate, expensive security system at his former home in Liberty.
The Ohio Elections Commission 2009 ruling that Dann broke state election law by spending $40,000 of campaign cash on a closed-circuit security system and other security improvements at the home was upheld in Franklin County Common Pleas Court and in the 10th District Court of Appeals.
He had appealed the matter all the way to the Supreme Court, which thankfully, said no thanks - the court last week decided it would not consider Dann's appeal.
The court declined to accept jurisdiction of Dann's appeal. Two judges, Paul E. Pfeifer and William M. O'Neill dissented.