Getting elected the first non-white individual ever to become president of the United States will probably be the most radical thing Barak Obama ever does. Everything is pretty much a let down after that. It's not quite up there with Neil Armstrong as the first human to walk on the moon but it's pretty close.
After that, I think we can expect fairly moderate, measured leadership from him, for a number of reasons. First, he comes from the senate and you don't make it to the senate without being fairly moderate. The real nut cases on both sides are limited to the house if they even make it that far.
Secondly, Obama knows that the country will be slightly on edge with a new kind of person as president, and with the republicans being as strong as they are, if he got too wild and loose with his ideas the house and senate would turn republican pretty quickly and then he'd be a stranded president, unable to get any of his plans made into law.
Don't get me wrong, Obama is a liberal but liberalism covers a pretty broad spectrum these days and among liberals he's more center leaning than many. You hear a lot of wild talk about Obama redistributing the wealth and shutting down the coal industry and on and on, but remember a president can't just talk about something and make it law. Presidents have to work their agenda through congress and the courts before it becomes effective law.
Obama knows this and he's smart enough not to strand himself out on a limb. To get his agenda passed he has to reach out to the center and he's proven he can do that in his campaign against Clinton.
Suppose he really does become unhinged and take all the guns and everybody's money and whatever other crazy idea you've heard about him, then he has to deal with the courts and the courts right now are very conservative. He'd be shut down pretty quickly and then he'd lose whatever credibility he had and would be completely isolated.
During his campaign, Obama was pretty quick to distance himself from radicals, even if they were life-long friends like Reverend Wright. I think we can expect more of that when he's president.
Bill Clinton came to the white house with some pretty radical ideas but found out pretty quickly he had to measure, adjust or abandon them if he were to govern effectivly. I think you'll see Obama go through the same process, but probably more quickly and effectivly than Clinton because I think Obama is a more reflective and calculating person than Clinton who showed himself as impulsive on several occasions.
I could be wrong. We could be well on our way to communism by this time next year, but somehow I just don't think so.