I listened to President George W. Bush’s final press conference on Monday, and I have to say I felt bad for him. Reporters hit him with questions about his failures: 911, Osama, Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, the mortgage crisis, and the economy. Bush stood his ground. He pointed to the 30,000 saved from New Orleans’ and the rebuilding of Iraq. He mentioned a stimulus package that helped working families pay bills. But he still sounded beaten down. And as I listened, I wondered if privately he was glad the whole thing was finally over.

I’ve been turned off by our politicians for awhile now. It wasn’t always the case. In college, I use to watch CSPAN or listen to presidential addresses on National Public Radio while my roommates headed to happy hour. But as I grew older I learned presidential candidates were settled on way before my two cents were added. They also rarely keep their campaign promises, but are adept at stringing the American public along in the belief that they will.

Now it’s Barack Obama’s turn. My hope is that he starts his presidency off right by making good decisions and properly prioritizing internal and external policies—starting with public safety. Harlin McEwen, chairperson of the Public Safety Spectrum Trust, hopes so too, and already has sent a letter requesting $15 billion from the upcoming stimulus package to be allocated to the buildout of a nationwide, public-safety wireless broadband network.

Such a buildout would be a complicated endeavor, and I’m sure getting multiple U.S. state and local agencies to agree on parameters, procedures and deadlines would be like pulling teeth. Why then, would our president-elect put potentially another roadblock in place with his call to delay the digital TV transition that will open up the 700 MHz frequencies that would serve as the spectral backbone for this vital network. Why add another delay and complication to a process that has been a mess from the very beginning? Already, it seems, my hope for the new administration is misplaced.

After 9/11 our government made a lot of promises—including arming our first responders with the most sophisticated, interoperable communications systems so they can respond to large-scale events. It hasn’t been done. That’s aggravating and demonstrates that public safety is not as big a priority as the government would like citizens to believe. So I have to ask, is this the president who will take this issue seriously, or, to steal from Obama’s campaign mantra, will we just have to keep our fingers cross and hope for change?

What do you think? Tell us in the comment box below.