Saturday, April 25, 2009


As the first 100 days of the Obama administration are nearing an end, news organisations will be giving the administration a report card of their progress thus far. Since the first days of FDR, it has been repeatedly stated that the initial 100 days are the most important in any administration, and certainly the Obama administration has felt the pressure more than any other administration since.
Despite a primary and election season that touted his lack of experience in almost every area, I personally think he hit the ground running in a manner I have ever witnessed in my lifetime. He has built an admirable team of rivals (although having some vetting issues with some of his political appointees, to be sure).
He has provided more access to the Presidency and the government than we have seen in a long, long time. From his numerous press conferences to the release of the torture memos, he has shown his awareness that he does work for the people of this country.
He has also made himself visible, along with his family. They have set an example of a cohesive family unit, and allowed the press to peek inside their personal lives, up to and including the selection of a dog for their children. He has brought back a humanness to the top spot largely lacking in the past five presidential administrations. He has staged public events, and even gone on the Tonight Show, although that appearance may have been best left off his social calendar.
He has reached out across the aisle in an attempt to achieve bi-partisan support for his initial actions (largely unsuccessful), and has included the other side in his cabinet and advisers.
He has reached out to leaders of the world in a way that no other President has done, by listening and admitting our past mistakes. For his lack of hubris and arrogance, he is the anti-Bush. And other leaders have responded thus far. You may not like the caliber of leaders he has spoken to, but this is not of our choosing. He has shown a willingness to end the cold war mentality of the previous administration, and for this alone, he should be commended.
He has begun to chip away at some of the ridiculous policies of the past, such as our relationship (or lack of) with our neighbor, Cuba. He has softened our restrictions on Cuban Americans, and the financial support they can give to their relatives back in their home land. I believe he will work further to end the embargo and begin to open up dialogues with Castro in an attempt towards normalcy again. He realizes our arrogance towards their lack of human rights in their country and our denial of our own is hypocritical at best.
He has taken swift action towards stopping our financial landslides, and job losses. The results are mixed so far, but I am optimistic that he and his advisers (if they can stay awake) are on the right path.
He has carried himself with a confidence and awareness that if he cannot cure most of the countries ills, he will be a one term President. He has also made public admissions when he has "screwed up."
An Associated Press poll shows that most people in the U.S. consider their new president to be a strong, ethical leader who is working for change as he promised in his campaign. Obama's job approval rating stands at a healthy 64 percent. For the first time in years, more people than not say the country is headed in the right direction, the poll says.
What is next? Hopefully a continued agenda at adopting issues from his platform. We need to look at our economic progress, the creation of jobs (green or otherwise), the re-establishment of permanent bans on assault weapons, the beginning of Iraqi troop withdrawals, talks with leaders foreign to us (Cuba and Venezuela would be a terrific start), the current education system and the teacher layoffs we are seeing across the nation, a softening on the war on drugs, and a good hard look at the non-violent offenders currently sucking the life (and finances) of our penal system, and much, much more.
Overall, despite the fact that I was, and continue to be a huge Clinton supporter, I am pleasantly surprised at the Obama administration in it's initial days. Overall score? I would give them a solid "B," and a tremendous potential for elevating that grade within the 6 month benchmark. Is every thing perfect? Of course not. But the man is not Merlin the magician. When you are given a country full of compost, you can't expect a bed of roses within 100 days. Given time, I think he will maintain his approval rating and more, as long as he stays humble, and keeps listening.
And that is the world....."The World According to Kimba" always, thanks for reading.

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