The highs and lows of Obama's first 100 days

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by JDL, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. JDL


    Ever since FDR, the judging of the president's first 100 days is a time-honored tradition, something akin to a teacher issuing a report card. Or a fraternity hazing the new pledge.

    Luckily for President Obama, there's only one "First 100 Days." But unluckily for President Obama, the stakes are much higher: In his hands lies the future of Wall Street, two wars and a recession. Here's a look at the president's report card so far:


    Domestic policy: During the election, much was made about then-Sen. Barack Obama's lack of experience. But President Obama hit the ground running: Just days after his inauguration, Obama issued a White House pay freeze, ordered the closure of Guantanamo Bay and signed his first bill into law.

    Obama then pushed through the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, ended the ban on stem-cell research, and lifted travel limits to Cuba. Oh, and a few weeks ago, he authorized the use of U.S. force against Somali pirates holding an American sea captain hostage.

    Foreign policy: Depending on whom you ask, Obama's European trip for the G20, NATO and EU-US summits was either a successful first step toward "soft diplomacy," or as Karl Rove dubbed it, the "President's Apology Tour."

    In a meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama set the tone for his trip, telling Brown that he came to Europe "to listen and not to lecture." By reaching out, Politico declared that Obama made it clear to the world that "the Bush era of foreign policy is over." In return, various heads of state lavished praise for the new U.S. president. A sampling:

    - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: "Your first 70 days in office have changed America, and you've changed America's relationship with the world."

    - French President Nicholas Sarkozy: Called Obama a "U.S. president who wants to change the world and who understands that the world does not boil down to simply American frontiers and borders."

    - Chinese President Hu Jintao: "Since President Obama took office, we have secured a good beginning in the growth of this relationship."

    Back home, however, analysts were on the fence as to what Obama actually accomplished. The New York Times called the trip a "mixed bag," while Politico commented that Obama got "a warm embrace and a cold shoulder" from our NATO allies. The verdict? Not a solid "high," but since Obama was universally well-received, his trip falls into the "plus" column — for now.

    The White House: So far, the Obama White House might be the most relaxed — and open — administration yet. Even after he was elected president, Obama was seen in Chicago, taking Michelle out for Valentine's Day dinner. In D.C., the president was seen sipping a beer courtside watching the Bulls play the Wizards.

    It's definitely the most wired administration; Obama managed to keep his Blackberry and his weekly radio addresses are the first to be released as Web videos. In March, Obama became the first sitting president to appear on "The Tonight Show" and hosted the first virtual town hall at the White House.

    And honestly — when was the last time the president and the secretary of state held a briefing meeting at a picnic table?


    Vetting nominees: But it hasn't been all roses and rainbows since inauguration day. No less than four nominees have been flagged for not paying taxes, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, despite what the administration called a "comprehensive" vetting form.

    Geithner paid his overdue taxes and still got the job, but three nominees — Nancy Killefer, Tom Daschle and Bill Richardson ended up withdrawing their nominations.

    Missteps, mixed messages: On the way to the White House, Obama earned the nickname "No-Drama Obama" for his famously disciplined campaign. But as of late, that famous discipline seems to be slipping. In March, when news of AIG bonuses became public, Obama waited several days before making an official statement. When it became known that the White House knew about the bonuses for almost a week, the story turned into "who knew what when" — and why Obama didn't say something sooner.

    Things came to a head at a press conference at which CNN's Ed Henry asked the president why he waited so long to respond. Obama replied tersely, "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." (Watch the clip here.) Afterward, Obama sought to limit the damage, going on a whirlwind media tour, appearing on "60 Minutes," "Jay Leno" and ESPN.

    Obama's latest misstep — and one that may have the most lasting consequences — involves the investigation of detainee interrogations. On April 21, AP reported that Obama was open to a probe of the Bush-era detainee program. Days later, however, the White House declared Obama was opposed to a special commission to investigate detainee interrogations. But the president is still facing pressure from key Democratic lawmakers to establish a "truth commission" to probe abuses.

    The divider: Yes, Obama has the high approval marks, but for someone who made bipartisanship a theme of his campaign, polls also show that Obama is "a polarizing figure in the mold of Bush," says RealClearPolitics. An ABC/Washington Post poll shows 93 percent of Democrats support his actions, while only 36 percent of Republicans do.

    Pew Research Center finds that "Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades." AP reports that for every step toward bipartisanship by the White House, there has been one step back: Obama put two Republicans in his Cabinet, but when Republicans pushed for more tax cuts in the stimulus package, Obama replied, "I won. So, I think on that one, I trump you."

    According to David Axelrod, Obama's senior adviser, the 100-day review is the "journalistic equivalent of the Hallmark holiday." But perhaps because of Wall Street, two wars and a recession, these 100 days do matter, because now more than ever, people need the change Obama promised.
  2. this issue can be summed up nicely by simply saying:

    -the only things he accomplished were crap. for instance, he killed three black teens who were in a dingy

    -the media clowns and officials from abroad all said he is wonderful
  3. Were you recruited to ET by other members?