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April 29th, 2009
01:19 PM ET

100 Down, 900 to Go

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Katrina vanden Heuvel
The Nation

As we mark the first 100 days of his presidency, it is staggering to consider the enormous challenges President Obama inherited from his predecessor, arguably the worst President ever. Can the devastation wrought by an eight-year nightmare be sorted out in 100 Days? Of course it can't. That's why Obama himself talked about needing to measure his accomplishments not by the first 100 days, but by the first 1,000.

Yet as we near this iconic marker - whether one is disappointed by some key appointments (read on), the size of the recovery bill, escalation in Afghanistan, the bank bailout plan or other issues - this President must be given credit for hitting the ground running and confronting challenges head on. Brutal and fundamental fights still lie ahead - on energy, healthcare, the budget, to name a few.

Obama understood the power - both symbolic and real - of swift, smart action, even within the first 100 hours of his inauguration. He pledged to close Guantanamo and the CIA black sites. He quickly passed a strong recovery bill - even if it was smaller than it should have been; that bill and his proposed budget begin to lay out a new blueprint for economic recovery and reconstruction, and a break with ill-conceived dogma about deficit reduction that has defined and limited economic policy for thirty years. He repealed the global gag order, took steps to restore science to its proper place with regard to stem cell research and addressing climate change, and has embarked on a substantive transformation to a clean energy economy.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Melissa

    Very well written and it shows the truth of things. I think he is a very good President. But he is human and humans make mistakes.

    April 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm |