January 29th, 2009
09:40 AM ET

Obama's Fresh Start: substance over showbiz

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/29/obama.fair.pay/art.obama.afp.gi.jpg]

Joe Klein

"It is not something we're going to be able to do overnight," Barack Obama said as he sent his Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, off to the region. Or was it when he was talking about closing Guantánamo? Or, perhaps, when he was discussing the impact of his stimulus package on the cratering American economy? Actually, the President used a version of the line multiple times during his first week in office — a week that, rather than offering the catharsis of a bright new American morning, summoned the groaning image of a supertanker attempting a U-turn in a tiny Arctic bay. The weather in Washington was cold and cloudy. The President seemed overcast as well, stowing his megawatt smile as he acknowledged one of the more depressing days in U.S. economic history — the day that major companies laid off more than 75,000 employees. I barely saw him smile all week.


soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Like Obama said – his presidency is going to be different. He knows we voted him in based on serious issues and serious disillusionment with the ways of the past. I have been impressed with his actions this last week even though I think he needs to slow down this stimulus bill and restructure it. He is pulling our nation up out of the mire so far; I'm going to try to do something totally unlike myself for once – trust the man in charge until I see an overwhelming reason not to.

    January 29, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  2. Monika

    Well, HALLELUJAH! For once, we actually got someone in government who takes his job seriously instead of just "putting on a show"!

    January 29, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  3. JC- Los Angeles

    The Obama presidency, while greatly influenced by the mainstream media and their desire for a new subject, will ultimately be judged by results.

    President Obama was going to change the way things were done in Washington and our nation would be different as a result.

    What did we get? A Clinton (again); Rhem Emanuel (again); Leon Panetta (again); a Treasury Secretary that doesn't pay taxes; a TV Doctor for Surgeon General; and Lobbyists?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  4. robyncaffrey keyser west virginia


    im not loosing it. lolololo

    yes we can

    January 29, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  5. robyncaffrey keyser west virginia

    att : president obama"

    change is coming' ( smile )
    yes we can

    January 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  6. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    The President is going to have to use more than a charm approach and applied psychology to mend the economy--and I agree–it want happen overnight. It time to place the "smile" on the shelf and get Clint Eastwood angry--make our day–Mr. President.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  7. Cindy

    It seems like to me that Obama has the same line for every problem we face and his "cure" for it. He always says It's something we won't be able to do over night and tries to down play everything about it. I guess that way if it fails he can say see..I told you it may not work. And him laying it off on us to do something is also a way for him to say well you didn't do your part that's why it didn't work. Sounds like the same ole same ole to me! Nothing new and no new change!


    January 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm |