washingtonpost.com
Is Obama Overloaded? Let's Chat

By Dan Froomkin
9:26 AM ET, 03/11/2009

I'm Live Online today at 1 p.m. ET, taking your questions and comments about all things White House.

One possible topic: Are those who are suddenly worried that President Obama is overreaching actually concerned that he will fail? Or that he'll succeed?

Here's ABC's Jake Tapper Monday night on Nightline: "It's the media's new question. Is the president attempting to do too much?"

Here's NBC's Brian Williams last night on the Nightly News: "Today marked President Obama's 50th day in office. Halfway through his first 100 days, the president's first seven weeks have been a whirlwind, with often dramatic movement in all directions, on all fronts: the economy, health care, two wars, and today education reform, which raises the question talked about on cable all day long: Is it all too much for any one administration?"

Where is this concern coming from?

Here's ABC's George Stephanopoulous on Monday night: "The phrase is 'overloading the circuits'....It's coming from a lot of different corners, especially Republicans like John McCain, and the White House is pushing back very hard against this criticism."

And as Carl Cameron reported for Fox News last night: "Republicans across Capitol Hill today complained that President Obama and Democrats are taxing too much, spending too much, and borrowing too much. They say this is their mantra for the weeks and months ahead."

As for Obama, here's what he had to say on the subject yesterday, as a preface to his speech on education:

"I know there's some who believe we can only handle one challenge at a time. And they forget that Lincoln helped lay down the transcontinental railroad and passed the Homestead Act and created the National Academy of Sciences in the midst of civil war. Likewise, President Roosevelt didn't have the luxury of choosing between ending a depression and fighting a war; he had to do both. President Kennedy didn't have the luxury of choosing between civil rights and sending us to the moon. And we don't have the luxury of choosing between getting our economy moving now and rebuilding it over the long term.

"America will not remain true to its highest ideals -- and America's place as a global economic leader will be put at risk -- unless we not only bring down the crushing cost of health care and transform the way we use energy, but also if we do -- if we don't do a far better job than we've been doing of educating our sons and daughters; unless we give them the knowledge and skills they need in this new and changing world."

© 2009 The Washington Post Company