President Obama Prepares to Mark ‘Hallmark Holiday’ of First 100 Days

Apr 26, 2009 4:39pm

President Obama starts the week of his "First Hundred Days" milestone (on Wednesday April 29) with a 69 percent approval rating, and 50 percent of the country thinking the U.S. is on the right track — the highest rating in six years. (In October, only 8 percent of the American people thought the nation was on the right track.)

The White House calls the "100 Days" marker a "Hallmark Holiday" — a day of little actual significance, but probably best to play along and exchange cards anyway.

So here are some takes for the day:

The New York Daily News’ Michael Goodwin calls the Obama presidency "an extraordinary high-wire act. He started by pushing record spending and tax hikes, and ends under fire over charges he is jeopardizing America’s safety by releasing tough-interrogation memos and seeming to support prosecution of the Bush administration officials involved. The twin moves, bookends for the first 100 days, amount to Obama’s doubling down his bets that he is not bound by the ground rules of history. Like Frank Sinatra, he does it his way."

The president used his first 100 days to build a foundation, says Reuters’ Steve Holland, who also notes that the president has yet to bridge the partisan divide.

McClatchy’s Margaret Talev says "President Barack Obama’s first 100 days on the job exploded with activity on many fronts: the $787 billion economic stimulus, the order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year, a withdrawal plan for Iraq, an expansion of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and outreach to several hostile nations. Still, America’s economic crisis largely shaped these 100 days. It also empowered Obama, even as it overshadowed some of what he’d hoped to do."

"The public clearly likes his persona more than they like his policies," Michael Barone tells Fox News. "There’s certainly a lot of uncertainty, qualms and reservations about many of the policies."

"All new presidents get the benefit of the doubt for the first three months," adds Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. "That benefit of the doubt will evaporate shortly when the impact of his policies becomes better known."

"Much of the country has invested its hopes in Obama, and he has made a powerful first impression," writes the Washington Post’s Dan Balz. "The glimmers of optimism that go along with the glimmers of improvement in the economy have accrued to his benefit. But ahead lie major battles over health care and energy. How durable and sustainable his support, and how he uses it, will be the story of the next 100 days — and the next 100 — of his presidency."

What do you think?

– jpt

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