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Al Eisele Headshot

My First 100 Days

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Hey, enough already about his first 100 days. What about my first 100 days?

After all, who was it who capitalized on his 36 years in the Senate to sell Obama's $787 billion stimulus package on the Hill, and who he put in charge of overseeing how it is distributed?

And who did Obama name to head a task force to work on social and economic policies aimed at helping the struggling middle class?

And who do you think it was who convinced Arlen Specter to switch to the Democratic Party?

And who was it who told Putin it was time push the reset button on U.S.-Russian relations but the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee?

And didn't I set the stage for Obama's rave reviews on his European trip by telling our NATO allies that we're here to consult and listen and come up with a joint common strategy to deal with global terrorism?

And, wasn't it yours truly who covered for Obama when he was the first president to skip the Gridiron Dinner in his first year in office since Grover Cleveland in 1885, and who "stole the show," as Politico reported?

And whose son is serving in the military in Iraq -- and who's going to replace me in the Senate when my hand-picked successor and former aide Ted Kaufman steps aside in 2010?

And sure, he channels Lincoln. So what, I attend Jack Kennedy's church in Georgetown.

And best of all, haven't I made practically everybody forget about the evil Dick Cheney?

Look, I'm not bragging -- well, maybe a little -- but don't you think the average American voter looked at me and Sarah Palin and then said there's no way I want her a heartbeat away from the presidency? And don't you think that's why Obama has given me a portfolio that stretches from Pakistan to sub-prime mortgages to the stimulus package?

OK, so Obama's been a smash hit so far, what with the pirates and the puppy and the beautiful wife and adorable kids and the favorable polls.

But as the New York Times reported on March 29, Obama compared me to the basketball player "who does a bunch of things that don't show up on the stat sheet, [who] gets that extra rebound, takes the charges, makes that extra pass."

I like that. I never played basketball but I know that's a real compliment. But I have to admit, I'm still a little uneasy about some of Obama's aides telling the press that "the verbose vice president has struggled to adjust at times to working within a White House that prizes discipline."

Sure, I'm used to speaking my mind, but why does David Axelrod have to tell the Times, as he did on March 29, that my "public statements and appearances have been closely monitored inside the administration, and at times fretted over"?

OK, so I can learn to use the teleprompter more and use cue cards and learn to be less verbose, but why does Hillary Clinton, whom I pushed hard for Secretary of State, have to say that "I think sometimes he has to be a little aware he could literally educate the rest of us on an issue for a long time."

Oh well, I know I'm the most experienced vice president ever, and at 66, I'm not a threat to run against Obama in 2012.

After all, I spent 32 years in the Senate before Obama even got there, and I still have a private lunch with him every week, without any advisors, so I get to be the last person in the room before the big decisions are made.

Yeah, Obama's had a great first 100 days, but so have I.