s 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
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
Subscribe to the Week