Question of the Day: How Is The O-Man Doing So Far?

I had a long conversation with my friend Greg The Lawyer about the Obama Administration Wednesday in New York, specifically about how the president is doing in general and Greg proposed that Barack Obama, thus far, isn’t a good president due to the fact he feels he has been ineffectual in pushing his agenda and accomplishing his goals. (He also wasn’t too impressed with his appointees.) Throughout the conversation I jokingly (but seriously) asked Greg to type up his thesis in 500 words and fire it down to BlackSnob HQ so my readers could take a gander at his thoughts. (He compared Obama in the conversation to everyone from Hamlet to fictional black president David Palmer from TV’s “24.” He argued Palmer was a better fake president and we could use a little Palmer-style governance right now.)

But until Greg gets back from his trip and can share his thoughts with you all in detail, how do YOU think the president is doing at the mid-year point? Things are still rather opaque and messy. A lot of his initiatives, like the whole healthcare bill, are up in the air. Some could argue that the verdict is still out until the year is up. Some, like Greg, would argue otherwise. I, personally, would like it if Obama would use the majority he has a la FDR and just run roughshod over the opposition rather than playing the Rodney King edition of the “Why Can’t We All Get Along” game. This is politics. Folks don’t want to get along. They aren’t getting along right now. Don’t let a little opposition keep you from your goals.

But that’s moi. What about you?

28 thoughts on “Question of the Day: How Is The O-Man Doing So Far?

  1. "I, personally, would like it if Obama would use the majority he has a la FDR and just run roughshod over the opposition rather than playing the Rodney King edition of the "Why Can’t We All Get Along" game. This is politics. Folks don’t want to get along. They aren’t getting along right now. Don’t let a little opposition keep you from your goals."I’d like that, too, but on second thought no…. What I think might be a better tactic would be to acknowledge privately to the GOP leaders that their party is in crisis and they’re fighting for their political lives, and offer to come up with a plan that would meet the goals of health care reform but somehow let the GOP take all the credit for it. You know what I mean? Recognize what motivates the opposition and respond to that — they’re not motivated by opposition to the actual policies, it’s fear for the life of their party.JMHO

  2. I think he has been very successful in foreign policy and has reversed some of the problems caused by the 8 year plague, which is an impressive thing to do in 6 mos. The healthcare issue defeated FDR (as a part of the New Deal), Truman (as unfinished business of FDR), Johnson (Medicare and Medicaid, but full coverage was shot down before committee), and Clinton before even getting a draft bill created, so in comparison he is not doing too badly for the 6 month mark. Also, the cards he was dealt (financial meltdown and global recession/depression) make getting anything done hard. And, not for nothing, his very election drove the opposition into even nuttier and more extreme territory that some people I know who voted for McCain are already planning to vote for Obama no matter who the Repubs runHowever, I do think on domestic matters he needs to be more forceful with both the Democrats (talk about a mangled cap and trade bill!) and Republicans in Congress. He needs to have a much clearer plans that he directed, rather than letting the Congressional Democrats take the lead. I am also with Regina that the time for consensus politics has passed and he needs to pragmatically present his agenda as he wants it, and arm-twist to get enough votes and if that means being partisan, then so be it.

  3. LOVE the way he has changed our face to the World. I LOVE that World Leaders coo and smile and are now more than happy to sit down at the table of reasonable conversation – as opposed to say "Bomb, Bomb, Iran"I HATE the way he two-faced his way through FISA, BAIL-OUT, HEALTH-CARE (jury still out), TORTURE, TIES TO LOBBYISTS and the ENVIRONMENT. And if he keeps insulting the ‘progressive left’ by way of Rahm Emanuel this is going to be the shortest thrill ride in modern politics. Ahem! Mr. President, twas the ‘progressive left’ that lifted you out of obscurity and handed Hillary’s primary defeat to her on a silver platter. But let’s not focus on that. Let’s just enjoy the next three years while we got ’em. Then it’s probably back to the ‘GOP Grind"

  4. I love President Obama and the First Family. I think they represent Americans well in the White House. That said, I work as a real estate agent in the Los Angeles area and pay close attention to what’s happening with the banks and I am very unhappy with President Obama’s choices of Larry Summers, top Econ Adviser, and Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary for his administration, both proteges of Robert Rubin (former treasury secretary under Clinton and former head of Citigroup). I do not appreciate that his administration is hiring executives from GOLDMAN SACKS-USA and the like instead of hiring real regulators like Dr. William Black to regulate. I’m disappointed that he’s not listening to Paul Volcker and Sheila Bair of the FDIC. I’m disappointed Obama has decided to prop up insolvent banks with taxpayer money (that my granddaughter no doubt will be responsible for – so unfair!), instead of busting up too big to fail, we’re going to prolong the pain for a decade or two while the banks try to "earn" their way out of this disaster. The folks who got us into this mess are being protected by the government and subsidized by their targets/victims, the U.S. Taxpayer. This housing crisis was the largest transfer of wealth from the many to a few in U.S. history and hardly anyone is paying attention or talking about it. I’ve heard Obama say "everything they did was legal" and this is just not true. I’m disappointed that Obama got almost $1 million in campaign contributions from GOLDMAN SACKS-USA and then promptly filled his cabinet and treasury with Wall St. executives. I am disappointed that all the criminal behavior that happened within the banks and the financial sector is ignored by the Obama Administration. I would write more about it here if it wasn’t so depressing (don’t get me started on torture, Cheney’s death squads, or health care reform). I have to get to work, if you want more information on the banks from those who know much more than I, check out these videos:pay attention to Max Keiser – about 15 minutes one is about 1.5 hours, but well worth it when you have time:The Great American Bank RobberyVideo – Lecture – By William K. Black

  5. This is true, Maggie. I still love the O-man, but he’s made mistakes. I’ve been saying since spring of ’08 that his plan to expand the war in Afghanistan is wrong. Most of the bailout and stimulus, with the exception of "Cash for Clunkers" and the health premium discount, has also been major errors. Don’t let me get started on healthcare reform. He hasn’t produced the funding for it. Nevertheless, I remain one of his staunch supporters for several other reasons.

  6. I agree with many of the comments posted. He has definitely rehabilitated our image globally and has enacted a few things domestically that are great (The Equal Pay Act for one). However, his positions on the Patriot Act-esque trampling of the Constitution have made me nervous. I also am a bit peeved at the lack of in depth investigation and prosecution of the financial scams that created the global melt down. I am pissed at the AIG and Wall Street bailouts. Not so much because of the bailouts themselves, but because the legislation didn’t include a prohibition on double and triple payment for the "toxic" assets. I understand that he is trying to be pragmatic and conciliatory, but he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Since he is going to be demonized regardless of the real intent of his agenda, he may as well shove it down the opposition’s throat.

  7. he’s not terrible, he’s not great. i disagree with a lot of the stuff he’s done, from publishing the torture memos, to forcing swiss banks to give up their secrecy. from his uninformed assertation and haldning of the gates incident to travelling to these townhalls to make everyone happy about this health bill. he hasn’t done anything remarkable or groundbreaking yet.i’d rather have hillary. or better yet, bill (wishful thinking, i know). mentally just as or more capable, and are stronger personalities. but it is what it is. "I, personally, would like it if Obama would use the majority he has a la FDR and just run roughshod over the opposition rather than playing the Rodney King edition of the "Why Can’t We All Get Along" game. This is politics. Folks don’t want to get along. They aren’t getting along right now. Don’t let a little opposition keep you from your goals."me, too.

  8. I think 6-7 months isn’t enough time to judge him. I think people’s expectations are way too high considering he hasn’t even gotten through the first year. I’m going to wait and see. I still like him, but I think my expectations were more realistic – I knew it would be hard for him and he has a lot to do – so I am just giving the guy time. We had eught years of mess, so for me, I do’t expect it to all be cleaned up in less than a year.

  9. Paitent:I agree. Why anyone think 6-7 months is enough time to judge him is beyond me. After the mid-term elections maybe a better time to judge him.

  10. I think BO is playing a chess game with the Republican Party…letting them show their true colors on the nightly news. The man ran on a platform of bi-partisianship, so he can’t simply say I tried….YET… but I think there will come a time when he says "that’s it" to the Repblicans. To do that, he will have to be able to say I tried A, i tried B, and i tried C, to no avail. Otherwise, they will say, Well he SAID he was bi-partisan but as sson as he didn’t get his way, he stopped talking to us! Then he needs to step to Blue Dogs, who I think are worse in so very many ways, and let them know – " can get with this, or you can get with that…" I think he’s done a terrific job on the foreign policy front, not over, or under reacting to much of anything, and removing the black eye we’ve had in much of the world community. I actually think he is doing okay on most of his domestic agenda, given what he has to work with. Have there been mis-steps…sure, but I didn’t agree with Candidate O on every issue so I don’t expect to agree with the Pres on every issue. Will he be historic beyond his being a first? Too soon to tell, but I think part of why the Republicans are losing their minds is because their ‘no’ vote didn’t change anthing and the economy IS responding to pieces of the stimulus package out there. If that continues, and it isn’t too slow for people to notice, then he has the potential to be great.

  11. I agree with Patient and Scott. His first 6 months in office shouldn’t keep getting compared to what only a handful of presidents accomplished after a full 4 or even 8 years when circumstances were entirely different in the country. Somehow the bar has been set so high for him that he’s somehow supposed to accomplish what not just one, but all, of the greatest presidents accomplished AND faster than they did it. After 4 years and hopefully 8 years, he will have accomplished a great deal, including health care reform. However, many people will still try to put him down, because they won’t consider it to be "enough." He hasn’t been perfect, but he is doing a great job in these short 6 months working toward repairing the disastrous state of every facet of the government that he inherited from the last Administration. However, he’s a star player on an absolutely terrible team of Democrats, who don’t recognize that they can’t lead, but they refuse to get out of his wayOur Republican corporate-run American media and their short attention-span talking heads always ignore the positive work and focus on covering trivial things (e.g. killing a fly) or framing Obama’s effots as negatively as possible. They want to discuss the stimulus as a "failure" without discussing that Republican governors with the highest unemployment rates are purposely not using the money or diverting it in ways that it won’t create jobs, as intended. They also won’t report that there was no job creation during the Bush terms, so we have to come out of an unemployment hole. They blame him when the stock market drops, but haven’t said boo about its 44% rise since he took office or all those 401k’s coming back to life or the other positive financial indicators. They minimize how much progress he’s made already toward restoring the U.S.’s image internationally, because they’d have to acknowledge how Bush destroyed it.

  12. grade = Fi have seen more hitler than hopei have seen more posturing than progresshe opulent vacation as millions are homeless and jobless = F-!shame!!!alicia banksOUTLOOK

  13. i agree 8 months in office isn’t enough time to predict how his whole presidency will turn out. but he should have went harder at bush and cheney. hell even tom ridge put the administration on front street this week. the gov’t is on the verge of losing all credibilaty if the people at the top can keep robbing us blind and face no consequence. he should have hit them before they get him. if obama keeps losing the health care debate and caving to republicans he will lose the vote that got him in the first place. if republicans somehow takes back congress in 2010 look for the next "special" prosecutor to start looking into him. if that happens he better keep the interns at arms length.

  14. It’s too soon to critique his performance. Give the man 2 years before you start getting all up and through. Dang!

  15. Serenity – if we want change, we have to push back, we have to criticize, we have to be stronger than the right-wingers who don’t want any change to our current system (unless it’s to give more to the rich/corporations). Otherwise, they’ll dominate the debate and Obama will cave to the right. Waiting two years to see how he does is bad for people who want change to the current system. We have to fight for the change that we want, we can’t expect that Obama will do it for us, he needs our help, our pressure, our criticism. What I like about Obama is that he really does listen, so even though he’s not doing what I think is right (referring to my post above), I know it’s possible to change his mind. But we have to let him and others know our views.

  16. It’s hard to say. I’m still coasting on the joy of not having Bush and Cheney in office. However, I feel like Pres. O is not pushing hard enough. Look, the Republicans want to break him. He wants to create a kumbuyah government, and that just isn’t going to happen because Republicans are too narrow-minded and inflexible. The Democrats, in general, are too weak to be his back up. When the media is still giving ex-Alaska governor and the losing veep candidate Sarah Palin airtime, it’s time for Obama to go hard or go home on everything including the health reform. No waffling, no backing down, just run them over! Push everything through while we have the majority, so we can feel like we accomplished something when the GOP eventually gets the majority again. I give Obama A for effort; A- for foreign relations; and C+ for pushing his agenda.In the meantime, I’m just going to envy Mrs. O’s clothes, beauty and intelligence because I want to be her when I grow up.

  17. I’m disappointed that it seems he has not kept his campaign promises (e.g. DADT) but I believe he’s putting all that on hold so that he does not anger anyone while trying to pass the healthcare matter. I’m hoping that after healthcare passes he will "run out of ink" so to speak signing executive orders.

  18. I think at this point, it’s too early to make these kinds of judgments about President Obama who has only completed HALF of his FIRST YEAR in office. It’s also unfair to compare his performance to date to the success or failure of other presidents who completed full four year/eight year terms. That said, given the cards he was dealt, I think President Obama has done an outstanding job in improving this country’s world image and in at least reversing the downward trend of the U.S. economy. It’s amazing to me that many people (particularly so-called liberal democrats) continue to suggest that he should ramrod his ideals through Congress overlooking the role of our nationally- elected legislators. We complained that we didn’t like the way Bush did this, yet many of us continue to whine that our current president is not forceful enough.

  19. ms. banks,how ignorant is your comment???…to use the word hilter to compare our president is tacky and racist. you must not know a thing about the hisory of the holocaust and the suffering of millions of jews. if you have proof that president obama and his administration are building concentration camps and gasing innocent americans (which you don’t, becuz it’s not happening) then go crawl back under the racist rock you came from!

  20. Alicia:Jumping on the "Nazi" bandwagon? I agree the others that such talk only undermines your argument, and, it’s ridiculous. As Jon Stewart said, "Yeah–remember Hitler’s health care plans?!…Oh wait, I feel like there was something else that happened…. What was that?"Words matter. Choose carefully.As far as Danielle’s question goes, I think we need to give it more time (like even 4 years) and recognize that he’s one man working within a complicated system with deeply ingrained powers. Meanwhile, Hilary is revolutionizing foreign policy, while quietly withstanding critiques of her scarves (see today’s Washington Post opinion section).

  21. Believe it’s perfectly reasonable to judge Obama now, even after 7 months, and for reasons mostly of his own making. His hands were full with the economic crisis and associated issues – that he took on health care speaks volumes about this guy. Obama’s bipartisan naivete is what’s hurting him – why on earth did he expect the Republicans to harmonise with him on health care? And that his plan worries about the 15% who don’t have access to care, instead of the 85% who have coverage but are under constant threat of price-gouging and corrupt insurance practices (e.g. not paying out whenever they can, etc) is why it will fail. Obama should have launched a health ‘insurance’ reform initiative from the start. And we can all figure out why he didn’t…The other reason why it’s not too early to judge Obama is because of the 2010 congressionals. By then, the GOP will likely have its act together, and by ’12 will ensure that Obama is a one-term president. Honestly!

  22. The Cynnergist:As someone who didn’t vote for Obama I have to disagree. Few presidents have come into office with such major issues looming, as Obama did with the economy and our military activities. Obama’s attempt to socialize our health care is not failing b/c of Republicans, it is the price tag and the fact that he can’t whip his own party members into line to vote for his legislation.

  23. I just love this judge the nigger contest. Really?While yall all self-importantly pontificate (yall sound so smart!) about the HUMAN that Barack Obama is I really would like to know where was all of these college big worded folks when Bush was in office? Yes Bush was a big FAIL but my oh my have our political prowess has sharpened. Now everybody thinks they know what Barack should do, what should be his next move, and how to avoid a skull dragging. There are people who don’t even know who their local assemblyman’s name but wanna wax poetic about how 50/50 Barack is. Puuhleease.Nobody knows or will ever know what takes to get things done on Obama’s side of the tracks. In Politics and business concessions will be made and not all folks will be happy. All this sounding smart shit (Cept for Snob) is like "Come. ON."

  24. ^^^^^ you’re joking, right?people are allowed to judge and have an opinion on the president, his policies, and his actions. you know, in the past 7 months. he has done some things, and many people are judging those things he’s done. so it’s not like there isn’t fodder for the cannons here. and it doesn’t have to do with his race. shhhh, don’t tell anyone.

  25. Hi Scott – Fair points on your end. Which is why I don’t understand the disagreement. Obama didn’t get elected with a mandate to change health care. He really didn’t. After that Black Week in September (Lehman Bankruptcy, AIG, BofA/MerrillLynch merger, and the CDO debacle), the financial crisis was and should have been his main concern. And I can say unequivocally that no change whatsoever has occurred towards regulation/review of risk control practices to keep the USD in top rating. (NB: No one is talking about this!!! Every trader and risk manager on my floor who hated Obama for snarking at them now don’t mind him. What does that tell you…)And he’s smart enough to have seen the historical footprint of Bill Clinton’s 1st term, which this *very* reason contributed to the 1994 congressionals going to the GOP (i.e., the health care reform from Hillary which was criticised for being too difficult to understand, etc.).It’s like what any business manager faces: when you have big problems or loads of overwhelming ones, you have to pick your battles well, in order to gain credibility for the later ones. In fact, someone else alluded to this here before I did. To me, he’s making a lot of rookie management errors which, although don’t surprise me, still disappoint.Hopefully he can turn it around, and take some pointers from Bill Clinton’s 1st term, which was not unlike what BO’s going through now, and analyse how BC turned it around to secure a 2nd term.

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