Wednesday, April 29, 2009

100 Days and Counting


One hundred days! ALREADY?! My how time flies! And they said it wouldn't last! Got anymore cliche's?

To be honest, I thought the clock started ticking on President Obama's term on November 5th!

Allow me to take a pass on grading the past the President's performance since January. Allow me to simply say that what I have seen in the Obama administration is promise.
Obama came into office deciding not merely take on a broken economy, but to rebuild the foundation on which the economy is built.

Through his American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, he has attempted to jump start the
flow of commerce. We haven't begun to see the full result yet, although we are beginning to see a few faint signs of health.
Yes he was a little slow to tackle the banking industry; the AIG issue left some of us scratching our heads, the housing industry is moving at a glacial pace and unemployment is still rising. But, again, it is 100 days and I don't think most reasonable people didn't expect the ship of state to be righted after a shade less than 3 1/2 months. He has dealt with the issue of torture, it's role in the current warfare and responsibility of the previous administration could probably be handled, shall we say, more artfully.

Across the globe Obama's effort to reach out to alienated allies was indeed a sharp departure from previous' president's 'walk hard and carry a big stick' foreign policy stances. But those who complain about that might need to remember is that our economic woes are being blamed for the fiscal doldrums of the rest of the world. We are still engaged in two wars that are no longer popular at home and at which the world looks askance. We get a certain amount stroke because we are still America, but we've spent some capital in that area that has to be rebuilt. But its amazing that he's gotten criticism for being - well, engaging.

Is it a bad thing that foreign policy begin by getting current and prospective allies to actually like us?!

But I'm expecting neither perfection, daily amazement, nor total agreement. Here's the thing about President Obama that I find most promising. We saw it throughout the campaign: he grows into every role in which he finds himself.

He is taking on a lot of issues. The prevailing wisdom is that the first 100 days is the period during which a president establishes priorities and lays the basis for getting things done throughout the rest of his term. This president appears to have taken this to heart. But in taking on all of these issues, making the mistakes, recovering in ways that continue to inspire confidence in his leadership by most Americans, trying to fulfill as many of his campaign promises as possible, the president is showing that he intends to transcend what almost became his official title for awhile after January 20 - that of the first black President of the United States.

He's showing that he intends to be 44th President of the United States of America. To me that's been the best part of these past 100 days.

My how time flies!

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