Almost Everyone Admits That Obama's Had A Good 100 Days

Illustration for article titled Almost Everyone Admits That Obama's Had A Good 100 Days

Today is the 100th day of the Obama Administration, which, despite having no meaning other than, as Ta-Nehisi Coates says, being a round number, means it's time to take stock.


Views vary widely, if by "widely," you mean there's a consensus within much of the mainstream media that he's succeeding, liberals love him and conservatives continue to foam at the mouth, gesticulate wildly with teabag-filled hands and construct alternate political universes when his name comes up. But let's start with liberals, since the crazies give me a headache.

Ms. has a piece cataloging Obama's achievements for women' rights: including his rescinding of the global gag rule; the signing of the Ledbetter Act; and the establishment of the White House Council on Women and Girls. Arianna Huffington has her own list, too, in which she lauds Obama's stimulus package, his reversal on stem cell research, his foreign policy outreach and his approach to the pirates. ThinkProgress' writers have the most substantial list of the bunch, celebrating everything from the pesky executive orders of Bush that Obama rescinded to his reversal of Bush Administration policies on torture and Gitmo to his outreach to the world and his support of children's health insurance legislation.

The more mainstream media people just like to talk about the anniversary as simplistically as possible. I'd mock it more, but Jon Stewart took care of that on his show last night.

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post at least, tries to break with the pack and lists the winners of the hundred days, rather than simply scoring them: he likes Rahm Emanuel, Harry Reid, populism and Rush Limbaugh. The New York Times editorial board seems to be a fan of the new President and his new direction — though, as ThinkProgress' Faiz Shakir points out, they sort of felt the same way about George W. Bush after his first 100 days. The LA Times' Peter Nicholas and Christi Parsons at least acknowledge that the 100 days meme is bullshit, pointing out some of this Administration's goals (health care reform, reversal of environmental degradation) are impossible to judge in such a short span of time. The Economist focuses mostly on the President's high poll numbers while MSNBC tracks... the boon to magazine publishers of having Obama on the cover.

Conservatives, not surprisingly, aren't particularly concerned with much but the opportunity to attack the President and his policies... and to get air time for doing so. With the except of National Review editor Rich Lowry (I can't believe I just typed that sentence) , who grudgingly acknowledges the successes of the Administration, and Kathleen Parker, who admits she's not entirely unhappy with the way the Presidency has gone thus far, today has played host to one wingnuttery piece after wingnuttery piece.


The most annoying complaint by conservatives is that Obama and his foreign policy — I'm not joking — don't show enough hubris for us to be taken seriously. Way to learn the lessons of the last 8 years, guys! The National Review has convened a whole panel of these people to reinforce the idea among conservatives that they are a special part of the universe, which of course, revolves around America. Its editorial board lauds Obama for bringing conservatives all together again as one big happy oppose-Obama family, as though that's an actual agenda (I believe Kerry and the Democrats tried that, and failed at it, in 2004). Anyway, moving on: Newt Gingrich says Obama's already made us socialists; the Family Research Council basically swears he's killed fetuses with his bare hands and House Minority Leader John Boehner feels sick to his stomach (it's not the swine flu... yet). That's what passes for constructive criticism these days.

[Washington, D.C., April 29. Image via Getty]

The Obama Way [The Atlantic]
Ms. Releases Report on Obama's First 100 Days: Giant Strides for Women [Ms.]
Obama's First 100 Days: The Good, The Bad, and the Geithner [Huffington Post]
Obama's 100 Days Of Progress [Think Progress]
How to Judge a Guy in 100 Days [The Daily Show]
White House Cheat Sheet: 100 Days Winners and Losers [Washington Post]
One Hundred [New York Times]
NYT Editorial On Bush's First 100 Days Lauded His ‘Honor And Dignity' And His ‘Sound Foreign-Policy Team' [Think Progress]
A Hundred Days Of Hyperactivity [The Economist]
100 Days: The Test Of A Leader Or A Journalistic 'Hallmark Holiday'? [LA Times]
Celeb Magazines Loved Obama's First 100 Days [MSNBC]
100 Days - a Success, But . . . [National Review]
Obama as Muhammad Ali [The Daily Beast]
100 Days Later [National Review]
100 Days of Devastatingly Swift Success [Human Events]
How the Antiabortion Movement Sees Obama's First 100 Days [US News & World Report]
Boehner Says Obama's Bills Makes Him 'Want To Throw Up' [Washington Times]
Obama Calls First 100 Days Tense But Fruitful [Houston Chronicle]



Personally, I don't know. I am glad some things have been accomplished; I am sad other things haven't. I am a little worried that no one knows what to do about the economy. I am not that optimistic about health care reform by the end of the year given that it's May already. I am not that happy about not prosecuting the authors of those memoranda. I still don't get why Geithner is in office.

I mean, you know, I didn't expect a revolution and still don't. I do find that some people seem extraordinarily reluctant to criticize Obama. It's been almost weirder being a foreigner here under Obama than it was under Bush, in some ways. Not that I don't like Obama! But I feel like people sometimes overestimate his ability to repair the place of the States in the world. Sure foreigners love Obama. But they're just as suspicious of the average American now as they were before November 5.