As a candidate who promised "hope" and convinced many supporters that he could remake the face American politics, Obama has faced unusually high expectations since winning the presidency a year ago. Though he’s actually been in office less than ten months, pundits are taking the opportunity of this anniversary to offer thoughts on the trajectory of his administration. Is the presidency living up to the hype?
Obama’s strengths as a candidate haven’t translated: It’s been a grim year, says Simon Heffer in Britain's Telegraph. Obama's "expertise in managing image" helped him get elected, but has proved "useless" in governing the country. Perhaps its just immaturity, but if the president doesn’t get on track next year’s election will be ugly.
"It's Barack Obama's first anniversary -- but there's precious little to celebrate"
Given the hurdles, he’s accomplished a lot: Barack Obama is "a president, not a Hollywood action hero," says Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. He can't just leap over the inherent limitations of Washington process and an oppositionist GOP. But Obama has accomplished a world of change in just 287 days in office, including recasting the country’s foreign policy and bringing us to the brink of "truly meaningful" health care reform.
"A world of change in 287 days"
The first year doesn’t mean much: "What history really teaches about presidential first years is not to take them too seriously," says Larry Sabato at The Daily Beast. "Johnson, Reagan, and Dubya had wildly successful starts [...] but only Reagan ended up popular." The defining events of a presidency tend to come "midtenure."
"Dangers come after Year 1"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The lessons of Japan's latest recession
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
Subscribe to the Week