Discuss as:

Obama hopes to avoid past pitfalls

From MSNBC.com's Tom Curry
New presidents have often gotten off on the wrong foot, either in botched Cabinet nominations or in policy initiatives that caused a ruckus at the start of their presidency. Obama stands to learn from mistakes made by Kennedy in 1961, Carter in 1977, Bush in 1989 and Clinton in 1993.

The Bay of Pigs fiasco is the classic case of a brand new president blundering his way into calamity. In this situation, the botched invasion had long-term consequences. Following the failure, Kennedy felt compelled to assure anti-Communist President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam that the Cuban disaster didn't lessen the U.S. commitment to fighting communism in Asia.

Barack Obama is a man nearly as young as Kennedy was when he became president. Like Kennedy, Obama is a best-selling author with a reputation for being cerebral, articulate and charismatic. As he prepares to become president, he could consider Kennedy's error.

For more, click here.