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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Presidential Grade: B+?

President Obama, in a "Christmas at the White House" special with Oprah, gave himself a B+ on his first year in office:
Obama: Good solid B-plus. I think that we have inherited the biggest set of challenges of any president since Frankiln Delano Roosevelt. We stabilized the economy, prevented the possibilities of a great depression, or a significant financial meltdown. The economy is growing again, we are on our way out of Iraq, I think we've got the best possible plan for Afghanistan, we have reset our image around the world, we have achieved an international consensus around the need for Iran and North Korea to disable their nuclear weapons, and I think that we're gonna pass the most significant piece of social legislation since social security and that's health insurance for every American.

Oprah: So B-plus--what could you have done better?

Obama: Well, B-plus because of the things that are undone. Health care is not yet signed. If I get health care passed, we tip into A-minus.
What grade would you give him, guys?

BTW - Michelle looked fabulous in purple and pearls.  She just keeps getting more beautiful all the time, I think; and she seems more comfortable in her role as First Lady now.  Here's the First Couple talking about approval ratings, family traditions, and chimney arrangements for Santa's White House visit:


Jason Hughes said...

I would say B-, verging on B...

While I understand Obama inherited a hell of a mess from Shrubya Jr., I would think he could/would find more feasible ways of "stimulating" the economy besides spending as much money as he's approved and/or asked for... Additionally, while it is all well and good to say the "economy and health care" are imminently "more important" to fix than basic equality, it's a double-edged argument--if those things are so much vastly more important, the equality of all of America's citizens should be a non-issue and thus pass without further flim-flamming on hee-hawing!

Further, on having "improved our image," that only is surface oriented, IMO. Saying we'll get out of Iraq and then saying we'll fix things diplomatically (not that I'm against these stances, mind you) doesn't mean much unless we actually accomplish these things. And while progress is slowly being made on these and a host of other issues, what kind of example are we setting--how are we actually being a "beacon of freedom and democracy" when we lag so far behind other nations on such things as health care? Equal marriage rights for homosexuals? Public education? Insane deficits?

No, I'm sorry... but not a B+ verging on A-. So far Obama has shown me slightly above average, and most likely that's only due to the fucktard W was--no offense to Obama, but flying pigs being elected after him would have been an improvement. I still have hope (if not unlimited faith) that Obama will honestly try to fulfill his obligations and promises of fighting for equality, fixing the economy, providing affordable health care for all Americans, but will he succeed?

If, in 3 more years, he can stand before us with no presence in Iraq, victory over the Taliban (not necessarily Afghanistan), 98% of Americans with insurance, DOMA gone, DADT eradicated, ENDA passed, economy on the upswing... Then we're approaching A territory... Half of that would get him a solid B, perhaps + from me...

But then again, perhaps I'm an idealistic fool who expects too much from the democratic process... :)

Thanks, Russ, for the soap box... Someone else may now step up...

Russ Manley said...

No problem, Jason, glad to hear you testify.

You're right, flying pigs would have been an improvement over Monkeybrain. And I'm not sure we can accurately assess Obama's achievements while they are still in process; like you said, by the end of his first term we will see more clearly what he has and has not done.

I'm severely disappointed over his non-leadership on gay rights; and having difficulty with that coloring my view of his other efforts.

But one thing I can say: just watching him and Michelle chit-chatting with Oprah, OMG what a refreshing thing to hear a President who is actually intelligent and coherent! A brilliant mind. Unlike some we could mention . . . .

Stan said...

I grant you brilliant mind and all that but that doesn't amount to anything other than he is window dressing to the real handlers of the country behind that curtain. Hate to keep saying this like a broken record but NOTHING has changed in the last year or so that was supposed to bring about real "change."

Heretic Tom said...

I echo Jason's beefs with Obama's job performance this year, but I'm a much tougher grader.

If C is average, I give him a C-.

Obama had a C+ until his Nobel "peace" acceptance speech, where he preached war to the world while accepting a peace prize and used language reminiscent of W.'s "them's evil, we's good and holy." Hearing Obama use that kind of language scared the hope out of me, and I'm sure it did many people in other parts of the world that thought Obama would be extremely different than Bush. Although I'd have given Bush and F- for each of his terms.

Stan said...

Well said Tom! Yeah that speach he gave at the Nobel peace prize thing was shades of Bush/Cheney again with the "be afraid, be very afraid, the terrorists are coming to get you!" Very disappointing. I thought we were finally past that rhetoric.

Russ Manley said...

I've not had time lately to read that speech, but so many people have commented about the tone of it, I'll read and blog on it soon.

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