Obama On Track To Have Best First Year Since FDR

According to Jacob Weisberg:

[The] conventional wisdom about Obama’s first year isn’t just premature—it’s sure to be flipped on its head by the anniversary of his inauguration on Jan. 20. If, as seems increasingly likely, Obama wins passage of a health care reform a bill by that date, he will deliver his first State of the Union address having accomplished more than any other postwar American president at a comparable point in his presidency. This isn’t an ideological point or one that depends on agreement with his policies. It’s a neutral assessment of his emerging record—how many big, transformational things Obama is likely to have made happen in his first 12 months in office.


Obama’s claim to a fertile first year doesn’t rest on health care alone. There’s mounting evidence that the $787 billion economic stimulus he signed in February—combined with the bank bailout package—prevented an economic depression. Should the stimulus have been larger? Should it have been more weighted to short-term spending, as opposed to long-term tax cuts? Would a second round be a good idea? Pundits and policymakers will argue these questions for years to come. But few mainstream economists seriously dispute that Obama’s decisive action prevented a much deeper downturn and restored economic growth in the third quarter. The New York Times recently quoted Mark Zandi, who was one of candidate John McCain’s economic advisers, on this point: “The stimulus is doing what it was supposed to do—it is contributing to ending the recession,” he said. “In my view, without the stimulus, G.D.P would still be negative and unemployment would be firmly over 11 percent.”

When it comes to foreign policy, Obama’s accomplishment has been less tangible but hardly less significant: He has put America on a new footing with the rest of the world. In a series of foreign trips and speeches, which critics deride as trips and speeches, he replaced George W. Bush’s unilateral, moralistic militarism with an approach that is multilateral, pragmatic, and conciliatory. Obama has already significantly reoriented policy toward Iran, China, Russia, Iraq, Israel, and the Islamic world. Next week, after a much-disparaged period of review, he will announce a new strategy in Afghanistan. No, the results do not yet merit his Nobel Peace Prize. But not since Reagan has a new president so swiftly and determinedly remodeled America’s global role.

[Emphasis mine]



  1. steve · November 29, 2009

    Yep, he’s reaching the goal of finally, completely bankrupting and surrendering the sovereignty of America. Go Obama!

  2. Mike · November 29, 2009

    I am wondering how Obama is surrendering the sovereignty of America? If working with other world leaders to accomplish international goals and getting the rest of the world involved in policing itself is ‘surrendering’ then I am wondering if you support isolationism, perhaps no international trade, no international travel?

    I must also point out that for a government to work it needs to spend money… of course we need to be concerned about what they are spending it on, but unlike President Bush who gave no-strings-attached money mismanaged-in-to-bankruptcy banks, President Obama has been working against a Conservative minority that has not floated any reasonable economic recovery bills, a recession that he inherited from the previous administration, a occupation of not one but two idealogicaly opposed and politically deadly nations and the ire of the rest of the world for years for disregard on the part of Bush for other nations and peoples rights, like anti-pollution accords and more importantly the Geneva conventions.

    I’m sorry, but Obama has done more positive change than Bush, and I don’t see your argument.

  3. Mike · November 29, 2009

    Well, I just looked at your website, and I doubt that I will be able to have a reasonable argument, as I cannot argue against conspiracy theories. That’ll teach me to comment before I research.

  4. steve · November 29, 2009

    Thank you for visiting. As far as being a ‘conspiracy theorist’ is concerned, I simply find it difficult to belive some things those within our government expect us to. I don’t buy many of the ‘conspiracy’ arguments. Being 60 years old, and having been following political events for over 30 years regarding certain developing patterns, I sincerely believe in the old saying … ‘the simple believeth every word, but the prudent man looketh well to his going”.
    Your claim that Obama has done extraordinary things to bolster the economy … which you actually fail to mention any real accomplishments, is laughable. The numbers speak for themselves and the attempt to spin it otherwise by using any term such as, “would have been worse” … is just that … spin.
    Addressing the lesson you learned … relish it; live and continue learning.

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