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Jan 20, 2010 7:26 am


The Obama Presidency: One Year Later



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THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY: ONE YEAR LATER

IN FOCUS: STATS

  • Obama's First Year - CBS News
  • Poll shows growing disappointment, polarization over Obama's performance ONE YEAR LATER Political polarization: A year into his presidency, President Obama faces a polarized nation and souring public assessments of his efforts to change Washington, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Nearly half of all Americans say Obama is not delivering on his major campaign promises, and a narrow majority have just some or no confidence that he will make the right decisions for the country's future.... - WaPo, 1-16-10

THE HEADLINES....

  • Obama Foreign Policy One Year Later;"No Major Victories, Defeats": Haiti's the focus now, a day-by-day test of American ability to help earthquake victims survive, receive medical care and food and, eventually, begin to rebuild. President Obama's immediate and muscular response in Haiti has won bi-partisan praise, a rarity after one year of his foreign policy maneuvers.... - Fox News, 1-20-10
  • A Year After Obama, Republicans Take Stock The GOP Hopes to End its Time in the Political Wilderness, but Problems Persist as Midterm Elections Loom: ...Now, with President Obama's first year in office coming to a close, both parties are taking stock of their accomplishments. For the GOP, the calculus boils down to one simple question: Have they begun to emerge from their time in the political wilderness?
    It's a question that Republicans contacted for this story are answering with optimism, if not confidence. They say that while there has been some positive developments for the GOP, the party still has a long way to go.... - CBS News, 1-19-10
  • The Loneliest Job: There is a moment in every White House tenure when you can practically see the President walk away from everyone he's known, everyone he's been, because he now has thoughts and fears and hopes that no one else can fathom. - Time, 1-25-10
  • Rating Obama's promises at the 1-year mark: One year into his presidency, Barack Obama still has a long to-do list. President Barack Obama, the candidate who promised change, has made substantial progress in his first year in office, but some of his proposals have stalled as he struggled with the cold reality of Washington. Of 502 campaign promises, a PolitiFact analysis finds Obama has fulfilled 91 and achieved at least partial success with another 33. More than half of his promises have had enough progress to be rated In the Works.... - Politi Fact, St. Petersburg Times, 1-14-10
  • Get ready to read Obama one year evaluations over the next week: Fresh off spending the last month writing best of 2009 and/or best of the decades lists, political commentators will now begin for at least the next week writing their evaluations of Barack Obama’s first year in office... - Creative Loafing, 1-13-10
  • Barack Obama's first year: Governing is harder than campaigning. But America's 44th president has made an adequate start... - The Economist, 1-14-10
  • PROMISES, PROMISES: Many Obama pledges unkept: President Barack Obama ends his first year in office with his to-do list still long and his unfulfilled campaign promises stacked high. From winding down the war in Iraq to limiting lobbyists, Obama has made some progress. But the president has faced political reality and accepted — sometimes grudgingly — compromises that leave him exposed to criticism. Promises that have proven difficult include pledges not to raise taxes, to curb earmarks and to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba by the end of his first year.... - AP, 1-14-10
  • The Obama Way: Every presidency is the subject of competing caricatures. But almost a year into his first term, there's something particularly elusive about Barack Obama’s political identity. He's a bipartisan bridge-builder — unless he's a polarizing ideologue. He's a crypto-Marxist radical — except when he's a pawn of corporate interests. He's a post-American utopian — or else he's a willing tool of the national security state.
    The press has churned out a new theory every week, comparing Obama to John F. Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt, to George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter — to every 20th-century chief executive, it often seems, save poor, dull Gerald Ford. But none of the analogies have stuck. We’re well into the Obama era, but neither his allies nor his enemies can quite get a fix on exactly what our 44th president really represents.... - NYT, 12-25-09

POLITICAL QUOTES

  • Obama concedes he hasn't brought country together: President Barack Obama says he has not succeeded in bringing the country together, acknowledging an atmosphere of divisiveness that has washed away the lofty national feeling surrounding his inauguration a year ago."That's what's been lost this year ... that whole sense of changing how Washington works," Obama said in an interview with People magazine.... - AP, 1-13-10

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS' COMMENTS

  • Jeff Greenfield: Obama's Decline in Popularity: What Caused It?: As President Obama contemplates his first year in office, he might be forgiven for recalling the words of Queen Elizabeth II, looking back on a year rife with royal scandal: an annus horribilus, she called it, and you don't need six years of Latin to translate her sentiments.... - CBS News, 1-19-10
  • RICHARD NORTON SMITH One Year In, a Closer Look at the Obama Presidency: Well, you know, the problem is -- actually, you could look at the last year as two -- each party had its own idea of what history was being repeated. On the left, for all those reasons that you cited at the beginning of the segment, there was a sense that the country had gone overnight from being center-right to center-left, and was therefore at least receptive to a much more, if you will, activist federal government in a number of areas. The difference between 1933 and today is, Franklin Roosevelt took office -- in an essentially conservative country that had been radicalized by three-and-a-half years of despair. I mean, when you had people in American cities searching for their next meal in garbage piles, guess what? Survival trumps ideology. Ironically in part because the outgoing and incoming administrations cooperated, because they were the opposite of what Roosevelt and Hoover failed to do, because there was this consensus, you have a great recession, instead of a Great Depression. And one -- one consequence of that -- I mean, one of the really remarkable things is, because Barack Obama, who didn't run to bail out AIG or GM, did what he thought was the responsible thing, the candidate of change became the president of continuity. And that is a very politically perilous position to be in...
    I also think something that the president said in his inaugural address that hasn't been widely quoted, but I thought was extraordinarily shrewd, he said, the question isn't whether our government is too large or too small, but whether it works. And the fact is, the stimulus program, whatever you think of it -- and I think you can make an argument that it has helped to cushion the blow in a number of ways -- is not perceived to have been a crowning example of a government that works. It is widely seen as stuffed with pork. And that's a very significant...
    It could have been worse is not a rallying cry you know, that will excite folks, particularly in this hyperpartisan era. But I also think -- I think there were a number of Republicans who were attracted to Obama. They saw Obama in the campaign as a different kind of Democrat, as this almost post-partisan figure. They saw him as a reformer. And, quite frankly, the mantra of change was vague enough that you could read into it almost anything that you wanted. And I think they, beginning with the stimulus plan, were to some degree disillusioned, the sense that the president, rather than crafting an economic policy of his own or the stimulus plan on his own, in effect, subcontracted that to Democrats on Capitol Hill, and then, when it was repeated with the health care plan, it's very difficult to charge the hill, any hill, on behalf of a plan that changes every week.... - PBS Newshour, 1-19-10
  • David Greenberg"The Honeymooners": One year in, Obama's approval ratings have slipped, and they’re likely to get worse. He'll probably muddle through seven more years of partisan acrimony, small-bore achievements, and bitter disappointment. But this is okay. In fact, it’s the definition of success for a modern president...
    The reassertion of political limits and the deflation of campaign-season euphoria make it unlikely that Obama's presidency will be"transformational" in the sense that he spoke of on the campaign trail—Lincolnian in its boldness, Rooseveltian in its activism, or Kennedyesque in its uplift. More likely, it will resemble Clinton's presidency, with eight years of muddling through, frequent bouts of sharp partisan opposition, fluctuating poll ratings, and dashed hopes.... - Atlantic Monthly, Jan/Feb, 2010
  • Is Obama History?: There were five sessions on President Obama at last week's annual meeting of the American Historical Association.... - Chron of High Ed, 1-10-10
  • The Label Factor: Is Obama a Wimp or a Warrior?: Like every Democratic president since John F. Kennedy, President Obama is battling the perception that he's a wimp on national security.... - NYT, 1-10-10



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