Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Wag the Blog Redux: Obama's First 100 Days

President-elect Barack Obama's first 100 days will be among the most heavily scrutinized in the history of the presidency as his supporters, his opponents and reporters see whether he can translate his soaring campaign rhetoric into effective governance.

In this week's Wag the Blog post, the Fix asked readers to weigh in on what lessons Obama might take from the rocky first 100 days of President Bill Clinton and how he might avoid the same pitfalls.

Here's a look at the most insightful responses of Fixisstas -- as culled by post.com politics producer Sarah Lovenheim:

Can't Echo Clinton on Health Care
"Barack Obama has already demonstrated he has learned the mistakes of Bill Clinton's first year in office. Instead of delaying health care reform legislation to his second year as Clinton did, Obama seems intent to seek Congressional approval of a major health care reform in his first year, realizing expanding health care coverage is important in sustained long-term economic growth of this country..." --Aprogressiveindependent

SHOULD Address the Issue of Gays in the Military:
"I hope that Obama doesn't take the wrong lesson from Clinton's 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' fiasco. When Clinton attempted to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, a majority of Americans were opposed to the change. Now, over 70% of Americans want to get rid of Don't Ask Don't Tell..." -- Barclay1

Make a Top Six List
"In his first hundred days the President should be able to:
1.Sign a new bailout package
2.Close Guantanamo
3.Get DC Vote legislation passed in the House
4.Move the Matthew Shepard Act -- aka -- hate crimes through the house.
5.Sign S-chip children's health care expansion
6.Get his entire cabinet approved

If he does these things he will be viewed as a success." --peterdc

'Slow Down, Clinton Moved Too Fast'
"The Clintons were too ambitious with trying to push through controversial items- and wound up compromising and pleasing no one with things such as 'Don't ask, Don't Tell' -- it is important to do the morally right (correct) things and the things that are universally popular first -- so the following is a list of things:
1) Remove the "Mexico City order"- allow funding to women's health organizations that support more than abstinence.
2) Freeze interest rates on variable loans- allow for renegotiation for people in danger of losing homes
3) Close Guantanamo- put people into the regular justice system- laws are laws- we can not torture and if that means people go free- we need to keep track of them after
4) Halt all illegal phone tapping
5) Pass CHIP
--nycLeon

Set an Honest Tone
"The best way for Obama to proceed is to set the tone with his inaugural address by promising his honesty to the public... If he's square with people, they should be able to grant him wide berth while he gets his feet under the Oval Office desk. (In comparison, Clinton entered the White House with people somewhat suspicious of him, based on the implied sex-capades and shady business dealings. He entered the White House with a thin reserve of public goodwill, that was quickly dissipated with the help of the rabid right wing Republicans..)" -- RickJ

By Washington Post editors  |  January 9, 2009; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: More Senate Republican Retirements?
Next: SNL Takes on Burris, Blago AND Rachel Maddow

Comments

edit:

"their" for "there".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 11, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

RickJ's Rx is the one BHO seemed to follow this morning on "This Week". On a few occasions he was refreshingly honest, and where he was guarded, it was appropriate.
----------------------------------
I will add this thought: it is beginning to seem to me that BHO really understands the concept of being "President of all the people"; that the "post-partisan" rhetoric had some substance. I believed that McC and JB understood how to rise above polarization from there many years of working across the aisle in the Senate, but I merely hoped that BHO really could. I am becoming more confident that BHO can.
He seems to have the right temperament and the right touch.

Of course, in these times, all of that may not be enough and he may fail. For all of us, I ask that we think not in terms of "100 days", but in terms of years and decades, so that we together can retain our vision of America.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 11, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Is Clinton really the appropriate frame to place Obama's first one hundred days into? Is W.'s current position that much closer to his dad's than Hoover's?

Clinton inherited a sluggish economy, but nothing close to what we have today. Hoover's and W.'s poll numbers parallel each other's much closer than W's and his father's.

While it is easier to compare Obama's first 100 days to Clinton's because they are closer to each other, historically we should be looking at FDR's first hundred days.

Posted by: kane1 | January 10, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

armpeg said:
"Barack Obama's first 100 days will be no different between when he first announced that he was running for president, and when he'll run for re-election 4 years from now. It'll be a continuous MSM honeymoon, with everything going wrong during his administration being blamed on President George W. Bush. The MSM is in the Obama and Democratic Parties hip-pocket, and no matter how much his Socialist and Marxist policies fail; no matter how deep our economy goes into the tank, and no matter how much the American people will suffer, their little tin-foil god they've elected won't do anything wrong."

It amazes me how a party that prides itself on not blaming others for their lot in life and each person can make himself in this country. And quick to criticize people who cite external factors as the cause of their failures as being lazy whiners who need to work harder. But when they fail at something (like running for Pres), they are quick to lay blame elsewhere. Must be good to only have to take responsibility for your successes. But I guess that's the party mantra: "Privatize the gains (profits) and socialize the losses".

Wake up and smell the coffee Repubs, the overwhelming majority of Americans are sick and tired of what the Repub party has come to represent.

Posted by: PeixeGato1 | January 10, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou said:
"Republicans don't stand a chance against Obama. Obama is a 21st century politician and they don't even begin to understand him. He keeps them off balance all the time. He did the same to the Clintons (and they are not political neophytes or without political talent--but they are still 20th century pols) in the primary and McCain (gramps didn't even lay a glove on Obama) in the general."

I just hope we Progressives allow Obama the chance to do his thing. Otherwise, we'll just be shooting ourselves in the foot and it will be the Repubs who will stand back and watch and laugh at how the Dems once again found a way to ruin a sure thing.
It will be fun watching him and his team operate the next eight years.

Posted by: PeixeGato1 | January 10, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

O has eight years, not 100 days, to get 'er done. Looking forward to universal health care, return to diplomacy and a search for world peace, FDR-type stimulus packages, complex sentences, and cool sunglasses. O and Joe's excellent adventure.

Winners of the week:

Roland Burris (he had a plan to stick it to the Man)

Blago (for continuing to play the game out; it's not over 'til it's over)

Illinois Supreme Court (for ending the madness over certification created by IL SoS Jesse "IQ" White)

Madoff the Great (for stealing a cool $50 billion, allegedly, and yet staying out of jail)

Gene Hackman (for going back to 'Nam (with Fred Ward and Patrick Swayze) in "Uncommon Valor" and winning it, unbelievably great)

Ed Reid (two-thirds of the Earth are covered by water, the rest is covered by NFL's Ed Reid)

Dean Smith

Losers

IL's Secretary of Hate Jesse White (for wasting the Nation's time by refusing to certify Blago's appointment of Burris, later claiming the certification didn't matter, and then, after the IL Supreme Court confirmed you were a total fool, turning around and signing it (that was mighty White of you); estimated IQ: 38)

Phalin (for not going away)

Clint Eastwood (for, since "High Plains Drifter", making a series of unwatchable movies where he scowls and growls for 1 1/2 hours, and for wasting time yelling at Spike Lee)

Coulter (simply an embarrassment to the human species; hate is not a family value)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 10, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama's first 100 days will be no different between when he first announced that he was running for president, and when he'll run for re-election 4 years from now. It'll be a continuous MSM honeymoon, with everything going wrong during his administration being blamed on President George W. Bush. The MSM is in the Obama and Democratic Parties hip-pocket, and no matter how much his Socialist and Marxist policies fail; no matter how deep our economy goes into the tank, and no matter how much the American people will suffer, their little tin-foil god they've elected won't do anything wrong.

Posted by: armpeg | January 10, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think the importance of the first 100 days may be overstated this time around. Most of us understand there will be no quick fix to the economic problems or the situation in Iraq/Afghanistan, so as long as Obama seems to be moving in a positive direction (passes a stimulus package, sets a new strategy for wars and terrorism, etc.) I think he'll be given time to see if his policies come to fruition.

What intrigues me the most is how many of his initiatives (e.g., health care reform, energy independence) can succeed by being framed as part of a package to improve the economy. It may be a bit perverse to view the economic crisis as an "opportunity" but I hope the economic crisis will provide an opportunity (finally!) to move those programs forward.

Posted by: -pamela | January 10, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Obama's administration will not be comparable to Bill Clinton's. The initial part of his administration will be driven by events on a scale that Bill Clinton never had to deal with. It is not particularly likely that the first 100 days will be the key to Obama's success. The big question is whether Obama will really succeed in building a bipartisan effort to move forward on our major problems and succeed in sustaining that effort through eight years.

Posted by: dnjake | January 10, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Republicans don't stand a chance against Obama. Obama is a 21st century politician and they don't even begin to understand him. He keeps them off balance all the time. He did the same to the Clintons (and they are not political neophytes or without political talent--but they are still 20th century pols) in the primary and McCain (gramps didn't even lay a glove on Obama) in the general.
It will be fun watching him and his team operate the next eight years.


Posted by: DrainYou | January 10, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 9, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I was interested to see that S-chip dominated all of the first 100 days ideas. CHIP is alive and well, the S-CHIP expansion was a universal health care power grab, the act would have made those eligible both those neither children nor poor and was ill placed. A more honest approach to health care reform is needed than sneaking S-CHIP through the back door "In the name of the children."

Posted by: political_junkie1 | January 9, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company