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I Grade President Obama “A” After 100 Days

April 29, 2009

There is more to President Obama than just being a Democrat.  I say that to dissuade readers from thinking I grade the first 100 days of his time in the White House with some type of reflexive response.  I do not grade politicians on a curve.  They are either on the side of the future hopes and struggles of society, or they are not.  That is the test.  President Obama has proved his place on the political divide, and as such I grade his first 100 days with an ‘A”.

President Obama is smart, curious, capable, reasoned, reflective, and spirited.  He has shown in 100 days not what only leadership looks like, but what moral leadership is all about.  In spite of the economic storm that the international community finds itself,  I have long thought foreign policy is actually more important a barometer to judge President Obama by during his first 100 days.  It is there that he has used his power to show that our national ideals are important to re-establish for the whole world to witness. 

On August 8, 2008 I wrote the following.

When the United States government is dismissive of the Geneva Conventions, and believes that the prison at Guantanamo is justified, it proves to the watching world that moral leadership is lacking from the nation that once was viewed around the globe as the ‘good guys’.  While the neoconservatives have constructed a foreign policy of fear for political gains at home, the rest of the world is moving in a new direction.  The economic engines of China have been turned on high, and South American alliances have formed that run counter to our interests. 

The sad use of unilateralism as a foreign policy will be one of history’s harshest condemnations of President Bush.  It will be very important that Barack Obama as President build credibility with our allies, and open lines of discussion with those who oppose us, as a way to again show that we are not an arrogant country, but mindful that we are a part of the global family.  Iran is but one nation that we need to open up lines of communications with.  Obama understands that Syria must also be brought into the larger Middle East discussions.  It is only through a complete new beginning of international understanding and bridge building that the slippage our nation has experienced on the world stage can be stopped, and then reversed.

The start of the closing of Guantanamo, the process of ending the Iraq War, the release of the torture memos,  (though I had hoped Obama would be more insistent on punishing past crimes), and reaching out to the Middle East and Muslim world all have been correct and powerful foundations that he can build his presidency upon. 

I had hoped for a nationalization of the banks for a period of time to see what corrosive assets they had, and also to allow the government to insure that credit flowed quicker through the economy.  However I am delighted at the stimulus bill that passed, though I would have had more funds for school construction, and health care, but those were the limits Congress imposed.  I very much applaud, and support the budget as proposed by the White House.  It is gutsy, and not timid about the need to address a multitude of issues from green technology to health care now, as opposed to some point in the future.   We pay our presidents to work, and I admire the fact Obama is tackling a broad array of issues all at once.

Leadership is not something a politician should talk about.  It is something a politician does.  And thankfully President Obama understands that idea of governing.  His stand on the side of science, and his understanding for the need to explore stem cell research is perhaps one of his finest moments as our leader.

America is ready for the next 100 days!

  1. April 29, 2009 3:19 PM


  2. April 29, 2009 2:00 PM

    Great blog. Enjoyable read!

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