Commentary: A modest win would be best for Obama

Here are two scenarios of what could happen if the polls are right and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama wins Tuesday and becomes the 44th president of the United States. You choose which is the most likely one.

The optimistic scenario: After receiving a congratulatory phone call from his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, in the early hours of Wednesday, Obama appears on national television surrounded by a dream team of economic and political super-stars.

With billionaire Warren Buffett, former Federal Reserve Board chairman Paul Volcker, former Treasury Secretaries Bob Rubin and Larry Summers and former Secretary of State Colin Powell standing behind him, Obama makes an ultra-conciliatory victory speech. A calm and confident-looking Obama says his administration will bring about ''a real and lasting change," adding that he will enlist prominent Republicans because "America is facing a monumental economic crisis that will demand a monumental unity effort."

A new wind of optimism immediately grips the country, and the world. The election of the first black president in U.S. history is seen as evidence that the American dream is still alive. U.S. foreign policy experts predict an international diplomatic honeymoon: It will be hard for Islamic or Latin American countries to accuse Obama of being an imperialist exploiter of the developing world, they say.

To read the complete column, visit The Miami Herald.