Thursday, January 07, 2010

Year End Review of the Obama Administration's Performance

I didn't think to link to this previously, but Andrew Sullivan posted a piece right before Christmas giving his own end-of-year review of the Obama Administration. In his own words, Andrew Sullivan remains "extremely bullish on the guy."

His thinking pretty much jibes with my own, so if you read his piece you can get the basics on my thoughts. I'll only add a couple of things that particularly stood out to me:

(1) I was, and continue to be, very impressed with Obama's level-headedness and cool temperament. This was a year that was about as heated and divisive as I have ever seen it, with Tea Partiers railing and ranting, with the birther crazies refusing to go away, with racist-joker-hitler-stalin references to the Obama's character legion, with gun "enthusiasts" bringing loaded weapons to places where Obama was speaking, and with Obama haters rudely taunting and jeering and disrespecting him (even in the halls of Congress), and he never once took the bait. The man was cool as a cucumber, and all it did was make the fanaticism of his critics look foolish. And in spite of all the rotten fruit his critics tossed in his face, Obama still aggressively advanced a very ambitious agenda.

(2) Obama's pragmatism in terms of picking his battles, recognizing the possible, and making compromises, although it many times frustrated and even angered me, always seemed like the smartest path in hindsight. In the worst economic climate in recent memory, Obama achieved. And that he did so is impressive in its own right.

He still has a long way to go, but I still have high hopes. I really believe that once Obama gets Health Care reform behind him, he will get down to a lot of other issues that I care about: ending DADT, following through on ending the Iraq occupation and the Afghanistan war, giving attention to coastal erosion problems and their solutions in my neck of the woods, etc.

What I think his biggest challenge for 2010, and what he HAS to do, is develop a credible strategy for bending the debt curve downwards. This will be tough, but not impossible -- and I think Obama will do it.


andrew said...

Obama is an intelligent fellow, but ALL of his hangers on need to go.

He does have the potential for great things, he may be a bit misguided about doing them, but with the right individuals (hint: center leaning republicans) he could do amazing things for this country.

Huck said...

andrew - I would (and I'm sure Obama would) like to see center leaning Republicans participate in governing. But in spite of his efforts in reaching out to these folks (Snowe, Collins, and that Senator dude who bailed on being Obama's Commerce Secretary (I think) -- I'm too lazy now to research his name) have all joined the "Party of No" movement. Show me a single centrist Republican who would agree to work with Obama, and I'll show you a Republican who will either be out of a job the next time they are up for re-election or a Republican who the "base" would no longer consider worthy of the name.