A mixed report card for the president’s first three months in office.
His biggest success: Building confidence. For the first time in years, a majority of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction. Obama’s convinced the public he’s serious about change, and has moved rapidly on a dozen fronts. Moreover, he’s followed through on several key promises: Changing policies on stem cells, interrogation techniques and the war in Iraq. Plus he won congressional approval for an economic stimulus bill in record time.
But he stumbled on appointments, is still struggling with bank policy, angered the right for being too willing to apologize abroad for past U.S. actions, swelled the deficit and is getting nowhere with Pakistan, Iran and North Korea.
He’s willing to compromise...which makes him appear weak to some, though flexible to others.
And he’s made no progress developing bipartisanship.
Expect Obama to continue to offer bold ideas and to switch gears quickly when he hears a better one…or if it becomes clear that opposition is too great. The ranking of his priorities will remain fluid, shifting as problems ebb and flow.
Ultimately, his success depends on the economy…how soon it recovers, how much it grows…though Afghanistan and Pakistan may prove decisive, too.