There isn\u2019t much about IT in the average stump speech.Unless you listen between the sound bites.Homeland defense? That\u2019s really about cybersecurity and the power the government has to mine business data in search of terrorists.The jobless recovery? That\u2019s largely about whether IT jobs?an estimated 400,000 of which have disappeared since 2000?will be restored or sent offshore.Just as IT is now embedded in your company\u2019s business processes, it is similarly threaded through the decisions political leaders make about growth, defense, corporate ethics and individual privacy. Now, more than ever, decisions made in Washington about technology determine how we\u2019ll live and do business.In the two stories that follow?the kickoff to our coverage of the 2004 presidential campaign?you\u2019ll learn about the critical technology issues facing the next occupant of the Oval Office and what he might decide to do about them. In "The Next President\u2019s IT Agenda," Page 54, read up on five such pending decisions?concerning information security, jobs, privacy, corporate governance and information technology?and the politics that will influence them. Starting on Page 60, learn where each candidate stands (or has yet to take a stand) on these issues. And turn to The Exchange, Page 38, to find out what your peers have to say. As a CIO and a citizen, you\u2019ll need this information to participate (starting with the Iowa caucus vote on Jan. 19) in the decisions that will affect your life and work for the next four years and beyond.