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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/30/09

One Hundred Days of President Barack Obama: So Far, So Good

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President Barack Hussein Obama has completed his first 100 days as Commander-in-Chief, and overall his performance has been good. Not great... not awful... but  good!

His selection of Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was an excellent choice--one of the best he has made thus far. This single appointment helped formulate an opinion in the minds of many Americans about this virtually unknown man from Hawaii, Kenya, Indonesia, by-way of Chicago. Choosing Clinton as his Condoleeza Rice demonstrated his ability  to forge alliances--even with his enemies--for the good of the people. That characteristic will be vitally important as Obama moves to bring warring factions to the table to establish some sort of peace in the Middle East.

Obama's recent release of President Bush's torture documents and soon-to-be-released photos from the Pentagon depicting abuses of several terror detainees, has the potential to backfire and severely hamstring his policy goals going forth. His often repeated position of"moving forward, turning the page, and not wasting valuable time and energy looking back" was the one 'constant' mantra of his which made him look statesmanlike and Reaganesque. But, his obvious reversal of stance by releasing these explosive documents will be a haunting moment in history for him, his administration and the United States... for years to come.

The economy, economy, economy! The jury is still out on President Obama and his treasury team. Amanda Ruggeri of U.S. sums it up best:

"When he launched his campaign for president, Barack Obama could not have foreseen that the signature accomplishment of his first 100 days in office would likely involve spending $787 billion on an economic stimulus package. But the effects of that piece of legislation--one heavy with both expenditures and expectations of economic recovery--may well determine Obama's success as president."
Juggling his concern and commitment for the 'little man'... while keeping the financial titans of Wall Street onboard his rocky boat, has been a feat well worth watching. Obama knows that if he loses the confidence of African Americans by sucking up to or being seen as too appeasing to White establishment... or, if he loses White Americans in mass because he is perceived as being too socialistic by spreading their wealth around to Blacks and other minorities... he will be a one-term President without a doubt. Walking that tightrope is one he will have to do his entire presidency.

President Obama's foriegn policy and interactions with world leaders--while being criticized by many on the 'Right' as concilliatory--is really quite smart. It would seem that as a black male growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama probably learned at an early age that his size and color made him suspect and not easy-to-be-trusted by some in the majority. The same judgement and mistrust probably applied when he moved to inner city Chicago--talking and acting like a White person among the brothers in the 'hood. 

So, he more than likely mastered that skill of playing the underdog, the apologist, the weaker one, until he could get his peers to feel comfortable enough with him to include him in their inner circle... as he appears to be quite adept at it. That strategy seems to be working quite well for President Obama even now, as he plays on the world stage. America's size and some of its actions in the past have made her untrustworthy and hated by many around the globe. It's a brilliant move on President Obama's part to play the underdog until other nations, and their leaders, feel comfortable with the U.S. again and embrace us as the leading nation we are.

Overall, Obama has done a good job his first three months in office. His popularity among the people is his saving grace... and he is going to need to maintain that popularity as a tsunami is more than likely waiting for him, and this country, right over the horizon, and guaranteed to test the very core of who and what we are!


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Vivian Berryhill, founder of a national service organization, is a renowned speaker and travels extensively throughout the United States and abroad. She has addressed audiences in Thailand, Nigeria, Honduras, Peru, Chile, and has traveled to Kenya, (more...)
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