5.02.2009

100+ Days In


Shockingly, the world didn't miss my lack of contribution to the rush of 100-day evaluations of the Obama administration. A few days late, here are some of my thoughts.

Overall, quite good. First on style, since when it comes to the role, style is often more important than substance. He has managed to carry himself with a nice mix of gravitas, nuance, and competency. Not bad for someone who allegedly lacked the leadership experience for the world's highest office.

On the issues, I'll note a post of mine from right before Election Day, expressing four hesitancies about an Obama presidency: foreign policy, health care, trade, and government spending. Remarkably, on three of the four, he's warmed to, if not flipped over to, my side of the arguments: while being more cheerful and conciliatory in foreign relations, he's flexed American muscle as well; he's open to McCain's way of fixing health care (which was actually one of Obama's own key advisors' way); and he's thankfully backtracked on anti-NAFTA sorts of sentiments.

Of course, the big swing at the plate that Obama has had so far has been on government spending. And a $3.4 trillion budget, with massive deficits as far as the eye can see, puts us in somewhat unchartered territory: witness this Canadian columnist's glee that liberal Canada can now be considered global investors' free-market choice among North American countries.

But one out of four ain't bad, especially if not messing with business and trade gives us a much better chance our economy recovering and growing. So I give a solid B for Number 44. Not that anyone was asking.
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