Robert Gibbs was asked on Tuesday to grade the president's level of satisfaction with his first 50 days in office on this... his fiftieth day in office.
The spokesman joked, at first, that he didn't have charts that he could reference as to whether Obama expected to be happier at this juncture or not. But he proceeded to give the administration very high marks.
By any reasonable estimation, what the president and the administration have accomplished in a very short period of time, even leaving aside the many challenges that we faced, the number of things the president has had to tackle, the number of things the president has moved through Congress and signed into law, I think not just this administration but the American people can be proud of getting us on a path towards a sustained economic recovery. Understanding that... not all our challenges would be met in 50 days, that there would be much work to do and that's why I guess the founders were graceful enough to extend our tenure beyond the 50-day mark.
But... if we look at how our economy grew in the first sort of seven or eight years of this decade, I think most economists go back now and tell you that a lot of our "growth" was fueled by questionable mortgage lending packages and mounds of credit card debt. I don't think any reasonable economist would also demonstrate for you that that's a long-term path towards a sustainable economy.
There is an inherent difficultly in grading the administration's early performance in office. By claiming, rightfully, that the White House is not responsible for the current economic climate, Gibbs is saying that the president should be judged on as yet unrealized achievements. The administration's real 50-day grade, in short, will only be determined months -- if not years -- down the road.