The Instant American Revolution

Barack Obama had everything perfectly choreographed for Wednesday, his 100th day in office. First he would travel to St. Louis for a town hall meeting, where he could be fairly sure of a glowing reception; then he would return to Washington for a televised press conference. His team had provided the media with insider anecdotes and graced a few correspondents with private background interviews.

Nothing was left to chance for the 100th day -- an artificial anniversary established by Obama's role model, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which also chimes with a Korean tradition celebrating a healthy baby 100 days after its birth. Obama's chief advisor, David Axelrod, called the political ritual a "Hallmark holiday" -- something meaningless that had to be observed. But behind the scenes, the White House was tightly organized.

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