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Readers Debate Obama Performance

Okay, everybody knows the news. The long-awaited Obama Administration plan to battle the financial crisis lacks clarity and detail and Wall Street takes revenge.

There are a zillion articles on and elsewhere about those events, so we'll concentrate on something else: dueling op-ed columns that assess President Obama's performance so far. Kathleen Parker calls it amateurish. Ruth Marcus says, bad week aside, "It's actually going rather well."

Our Readers Who Comment, not surprisingly, line up on both sides of the question and call each other names.

We'll start with comments on the Parker column and garbage1, who wrote, "This is right-wing agitprop garbage. Obama gave thoughtful, coherent and complete responses to complex questions, unlike his predecessor. He let the Congress do its job and while the resulting package isn't perfect, it is pretty close..."

WISEOWL1 said, "Well done article, Kathleen Parker. There are many other things that the public is beginning to see he lacks. He is still as arrogant as he was when I first noticed him a year ago. I do not think he has a sense of humour...The White House is tainted now."

yellowtavern2 wrote, "This absurdly negative diatribe is condescending and sensationalist. Next time get out of the office, do some legwork, and dig up something we can use."

jethro1 said, "The the young senator from Illinois became a president overnight, before he had time to gain the confidence and wisdom one earns through trials and errors. 1364 days until the next election."

grahll wrote, "Every time I read an editorial I ask myself, how good has this person's judgment been in the past? Sometimes I search and spend some time finding out how off the mark they were in the Bush years. And unless I see some "self-knowledge" there--some "I screwed up"-- I judge what I'm reading accordingly."

dmahon asked, "Good Lord Kathleen...are you implying that Dubyah was the "real deal"? Whenever Dubyah walked into a room the only palpable feelings I got were dread, embarassment, and disgust."

beebop1 wrote, "Whoa. A journalist has returned. I am not just surprised, but stunned. If 0bama was in fact "sorry," he would have withdrawn each of Geithner and Daschle... he would have put the red pen to the "stimulous bill" that Pelosi/Frank/Reid crafted... It is going to be a bad four years..."

seldoc1 said, "Right wing propagandists like Ms. Parker constantly maintain that we'll have to wait years and years to decide whether or not George W. Bush was a successful president, but yet she's already passing judgment on President Obama after three weeks. What foolishness."

All comments on the Parker column are here.

Now we turn to the Marcus column and johay232, who wrote, "Excellent article. I think he needed the experience he has received so far. It'll toughten him up and make him even wiser to Washington shenigans and the games from even those who claim to like him (not) will play for their own self-partisan ego. I think he's doing just fine."

But kingsbridge77 complained that "Nowhere in this article does Marcus tell her readers that in polls conducted during that "lousy week" Obama allegedly had, his approval was found to be sky high (67% in Gallup and 76% in CNN)... She itched to pretend that Obama had a bad week. And she failed miserably."

judithod said, "Oh, please. What Obama's demonstrated is that he's infatuated with the trappings of the presidency--Air Force One, Camp David, hosting parties--but he's not interested in leading. Pelosi and Reid created the stimulus boondoggles while Obama read teleprompter threats of economic destruction...Face it, Obama's looking more and more like the empty suit that some predicted him to be."

zcezcest1 wrote, "The rookie is doing really well -- for a rookie. Trouble is, Obama inherited a situation as problematic as any president in decades. Getting all the pieces in place, from phones and email to cabinet and major legislation, its a tall order... He's being tested right away and he won't be a rookie for long."

knuckleroad said, "This nonsense about Obama's bad week is ridiculous. The media, especially tv, has created this canard by using Republican talking points... Anything positive is always offset with negative right wing comments... It has been incredible how out of touch most of the pundits are with what American people are thinking and feeling."

But cfpplp wrote, "The apologists from the Obama loving media are moving into high gear the stem the potential political losses only 2 weeks into his term. BHO has lost control the message by allowing the left wing fringe of congress to tee up the stimulus. It will get much worst for BHO as the buried socialist items in the bill come to the surface."

Jeff-for-progress said, "...I particularly like Obama's candor and depth in his outreach to the public and his in-depth response to the press's questions. His strong suit is the bully pulpit. That he is having some problems with bullies is predictable and in character-- for them..."

All comments on the Marcus column are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  February 11, 2009; 7:24 AM ET
Categories:  Obama  | Tags: Marcus, Obama, Parker  
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Next: Readers Split on Unemployment Benefits


Doug really has a great job. You know the majority of people reading/posting these comments are doing so at work, but Doug is actually supposed to be doing it at work. It's actually his job. He can sit just there and cavalierly read the hell out of WaPo comments threads without pretending to do something else. And the best part is, he doesn't even have to write a column--all he has to do is cut and paste what other people wrote! Genius! Where do I sign up for a job like this?

Posted by: ComfortablyDumb | February 11, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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