There are some people who already are growing impatient with President Barack Obama, asking why is he permitting the red ink in the federal budget to continue to flow, why hasn't he been able to make the financial markets work again?
Others complain he's taking on too much by including health care reform in his overall economic agenda.
I think he's getting it just right. I cheered yesterday when he signed an Executive Order , before an audience of grateful scientists, lawmakers and patients, that reversed President Bush's order which had restricted stem cell research.
How refreshing it is to hear the President say, in the accompanying executive memorandum, that we should "develop a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to government and decision making."
As soon as I hear those words I realize how bad it had been and how eager so much of us have been to have objectivity, not ideology, be the hall mark of government policy.
I exhaled in a similar way when the gag rule, which had denied family planning funds to groups that even breathed the word "abortion," was lifted.
Yes, it's been one thing after another--a forum on health care in the White House with the President in full attendance with all the stake holders, a hint of outreach to Iran, the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act, the stimulus package which includes billions for education and renewable energy sources. I ask myself, how does he do it, going from one complex and controversial problem to another?
How does he do it when Agencies do not yet have their complement of assistant and deputy secretaries?
Yes, he is a young man in a hurry. That's why we elected him. He has to act now on these and other issues while his popularity remains high, while has has strong bi-partisan support amongst the voters, if not in the Congress.
And yes, we have not yet solved our economic problems. He's been in office less than seven weeks. I can recall no earlier time when a new president faced such financial problems at home and security problems abroad. It's a huge, imponderable situation for most mortals. He's accomplished one major challenge since his inauguration--he has changed the course of our country. Let's hope that must Americans will continue to stay the course with him long enough to turn it around.
This was originally posted at Chelsea Green.
Madeleine M. Kunin is the former Governor of Vermont and was the state's first woman governor. She served as Ambassador to Switzerland for President Clinton, and was on the three-person panel that chose Al Gore to be Clinton's VP. She is the author of Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead from Chelsea Green Publishing.
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