Sunday, May 03, 2009

Blogs on the Obama Administration at 100 Days

The 100 Day is the landmark to end the honeymoon period between new president and the whole nation. No other president has drawn such an extensive attention than Barack Obama at the 100 Days. That is because of unprecedentedly high expectations to this young and brilliant president, which is coincided with anxieties about his inexperience and political stances. In addition, America is at crossroads with the economy and national security.

The following two blogs discusses interesting points on President Obama’s 100 day job performances.

Christian Science Monitor compares the approval rate of the Obama and the Bush administrations at 100 days, based on communities classified into 11 types (“Obama vs. Bush at 100 days”; Patchwork Nation; April 27, 2009). According to this blog, Barack Obama is more divisive than George W. Bush. While Obama enjoys higher national approval rate than Bush did at the 100 days, people in conservative communities such as Immigration Nation, Military Bastion, and Evangelical Epicenters are critical to the new president. On the other hand, Obama captures the heart of liberal bases like Industrial Metropolis.

Quite importantly, Obama’s biggest advantage lies in support from centrist swing voters in communities like Monied Burbs and Boom Town, both of which are populous and wealthy.

Foreign Policy’ s blog quotes comments by leading experts to review President Obama’s achievements since his inauguration (“Questions for Obama at 100 days”; Shadow Government; April 28, 2009). Many of them quoted here express their concern with Iran, and they are right to point it out as the Department of State has released The Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 that says “Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Iran’s involvement in the planning and financial support of terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia had a direct impact on international efforts to promote peace, threatened economic stability in the Gulf, and undermined the growth of democracy” (Chapter 3; Country Reports on Terrorism 2008).

Kim Ghattas, state department correspondent of the BBC, says the new US administration may be trying to engage Tehran, but Iran is still described as the most active state sponsor of terrorism as mentioned by the previous administration (“Iran 'leading terrorism sponsor'”; BBC News; 1 May 2009).

In the post on Shadow Cabinet blog, Dan Twining, Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, mentions a critical point. He questions whether President Obama believes that the Founding Father’s belief of America exceptionalism is a force of good or not. This is the vital issue in domestic politics as well. Conservatives make the case against President Obama, because they worry that his socialistic policies interfere individual freedom. During the election, overseas media were so obsessed with the Bradley effect, but race was not a primary agenda.

Despite popularity of President Obama, conservative backlashes from the grassroots are immense. The rise of student movements to counter radical multiculturalism, socialism, and mass immigration illustrates divisive nature of the Obama administration as mentioned in the Patchwork Nation. Among such groups, the Youth for Western Civilization and the Leadership Institute are growing more and more influential (“Right-Wing College Group Riles Students on Campuses Nationwide”; FOX News; April 29, 2009).

Statistically, President Obama wins high approval rate, and his popularity abroad may be of some kind of help to American foreign policy. However, conservative bases that are the most loyal to the Founding Father’s belief are critical to Barack Obama. As long as America is America, the President faces this challenge, whether in domestic or foreign policy.