One year after the election, President Obama has not: ended world hunger, brought about perpetual peace, banished unemployment, abolished crime, or even managed to prevent snowstorms and floods from occurring.
What he has merely done, however, is to: prevent a new Great Depression from occurring by rescuing the banking system and Wall Street, partly by backing a stimulus plan that his conservative opponents denounced as the beginning of socialism; ensure that Congress will pass a comprehensive health-care will be passed that his conservative opponents are depicting as full-blown socialism; preside over the beginning of the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq; push for a global warming bill; and, along the way, be everything that George W. Bush was not.
No, no, no, cry Obama's biggest detractors -- on the left. Not good enough. Bad Obama. We want more. Obama is too passive. He doesn't understand Washington. He's getting rolled. And so forth.
Don't believe a word of it.
This is no time for buyer's remorse when it comes to Obama. Compare Obama to John F. Kennedy and his record starts to look pretty good. For one thing, he's avoided disaster. He hasn't launched into a Bay of Pigs. Nor has he been taken to the cleaners by any foreign leaders. Instead, Obama is carefully thinking over the consequences of America's involvement in Afghanistan. Obama, like Kennedy, is a young president, which means that he's learning on the job.
Sure, Obama may be idealistic and underestimate partisanship in Congress. But it was a shrewd maneuver on his part to let the conservatives blow off steam in August. Now Obama has the momentum and is on the verge of getting a health-care bill. Anyway, is idealism such a bad quality in a president? It's carried Obama all the way to the presidency and may well allow him to chalk up some real accomplishments in foreign policy.
One thing is clear: anyone looking for Obama to become a new version of George W. Bush, blasting away at the opposition is going to be disappointed. After Obama has been in office for four years, however, I bet his actual record will not provide much grounds for disappointment. One year later, Obama doesn't deserve brickbats, but plaudits. Bravo, Mr. President!
So, one year after the election, what do you think Candidate Obama would think of President Obama? Tweet your response (our Twitter hashtag is #OneYearLater), or post it in the comments section.
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