Hard heads

It started shortly before midnight Tuesday: “Now for the hard part.” That’s the phrase used repeatedly about the impending Obama presidency. It’s a headline on The New York Times homepage, and here are other examples:

  • Analysis: For Obama, now comes the hard part (The Associated Press)
  • For Obama, now comes the hard part (CBS News)
  • Now: The hard part (Detroit Metro Times)
  • Truly historic election, but now comes the hard part (Examiner)
  • So far so good: Now for the hard part (The Age)
  • After so long, the hard part arrives (Marin Independent-Journal)
  • Obama’s campaign was the easy part (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Certainly, difficult times are ahead. But can we think of new ways to describe those challenges, particularly in headlines if not the story themselves? And no, “Caught between Barack and a hard place” is not an option.