"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.
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