It’s official: Barack H. Obama has been president of the United States for exactly 100 days today. We’ve been chronicling the major events in his young presidency, but we wanted to see what our fellow media community thought about how Barack is doing in office.
Reuters: Interestingly, the experts this reporting agency spoke with weren’t all that keen on grading Barack at his 100-day mark. "There is no magic to the first 100 days," Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, told Reuters. "I think people are always looking for a marker or some sort of guidepost."
But still, Brookings Institution Scholar William Galston said, "I think we’ve learned a fair amount about Obama the human being occupying the Oval Office. But a lot of people are leaping from the fact that he’s set an enormous number of things in motion to the conclusion that those things that are now in motion are necessarily going to reach the finish line." He continued with, "It’s not a leap I’m prepared to take."
Fox News: This network focused on the economy when judging Barack, and their analysis was pretty iffy.
"Economists say President Obama and his administration nudged the economy in the right direction in his first 100 days in the White House," wrote political reporter Judson Berger. "But whether his initiatives will have significantly sped up the natural recovery of the economy and whether those gains justify the massive deficits in the years to come, will continue to be the debate for the ages."
Black Agenda Report: Out of a possible 100 points, Obama got a measly 23.5 from this news site. The categories included Health Care Reform, Creating New Jobs, Wall Street Bailout and Mass imprisonment.
Bruce A. Dixon, managing editor of the site, had this to say about Obama’s handling of America’s prison systems: "Some things are too hot for a first Black oresident with no real allegiance to African-Americans as a community to touch, but too important to the lives of millions in that community to ignore. Not long ago, Obama declared that despite an incarceration rate seven to nine times that of White America, Blacks were ‘"90% of the way to equality.’"
Not surprisingly, Bruce gave Barack zero points out of a possible five for that category.
Chicago Sun-Times: Barack’s hometown paper ran down his list of stats, and said, "Obama has been confronted with the unexpected: Sudanese pirates; floods; violence on the Mexican border, and the latest, the swine flu. His vetting team dropped the ball on several Cabinet nominees." Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet continued with, "But much of the 100 days have been marked by a to-do list promised during the campaign: wind down the Iraq war; send more troops to Afghanistan; set the stage for closing Guantanamo; reach out to the Islamic world; allow federal stem cell research; start on health care; end harsh interrogation methods of terrorist detainees."
And of course, Lynn also commented on the economy. "Obama’s major legislative success was the $787 billion economic stimulus package to jump-start the economy," Lynn wrote. "However, Obama, who pledged during the campaign to bring a new era of bipartisanship to Washington, scored the victory with no help from the GOP."
Huffington Post: On political strategy, the current administration got mostly A’s from contributor Dylan Loewe. It slips on political recovery though (he gave them a B+, they’re lowest score from HuffPo), and Dylan remarked that, "When the administration does slip up, and it has, it is gets back on its feet quickly." He cited the Health and Human Services Secretary blunder that occurred a few months back andBarack’s admittance of having "screwed up" as the main reason Barack and crew couldn’t make the straight A’s mark.
The Washington Post: In its 100 days coverage, the paper ranked some of the winners and losers of Obama’s administration. On the winners side there was Hilary Clinton (one of the nation’s most powerful women with a 71 percent approval rating–not bad!) and on the losers side the auto industry.
Columnist Chris Cillizza wrote, "With deadlines to restructure their business models fast approaching, there doesn’t appear to be a heck of a lot of optimism within the auto industry about how it can save itself. The Obama Administration is working overtime to try and salvage Chrysler but even the president acknowledged that it was touch and go."
Hear how Barack feels he fared during the first 100 days of his term tonight on all major networks but Fox (that’s ABC, NBC and CBS) at 8 p.m. EST.
– Whitney Teal