Saturday, April 25, 2009

Assessing the first 100 days

Near the end of his first 100 days as president, Barack Obama has done an exceptional job, delivering on several key campaign promises and working towards restoring the economy.

The American people seem to agree; for the first time in over five years, more Americans believe our country is headed in the right direction, and Obama's approval rating is consistently in the mid-to-high 60s, with most Americans believing he is working hard to best serve their interests.

Have their been missteps? Of course. A big one was the tax problems that many of Obama's cabinet members have had. But for the most part, Obama has performed well, executing his duties as president with cool temperance -- not an easy task for the leader of the free world.

Undoubtedly, there has been criticism from across the aisle, from conservative talking heads, and from their followers. But this criticism is, more often than not, from the fringe elements of the conservative side of American politics. In other words, it is not mainstream (one needs only to look at petitions calling for the release of Obama's birth certificate or tea party protesters insisting he is the anti-Christ to know what I'm getting at).

Economically, Obama has shifted us left by increasing spending, but is moving us towards fiscal responsibility with plans to balance the budget through the cutting of unnecessary spending within his cabinet and other government programs. This will be no easy task; indeed, it will take more than the first 100 days to accomplish, perhaps more than a year.

It will be an exciting presidency to watch, seeing as we face insurmountable challenges yet. Obama has shown little to no fear of facing these problems head-on, and facing them all together. He has shown he is willing to work towards fixing the economy, the environment, our standing with the world, and many other issues.

For these and many other reasons, I would have to rate Obama's first 100 days as stellar; and if I were giving him a letter grade, I'd have to say he earned a "B+" overall. There's room for improvement, but he's done more than most Americans could have even asked for.

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