Monday, April 27, 2009

100 days

Yes, it is true, Barack Obama, one hundred days have passed since you took the oath of office and Feckless Leader rode off into the sunset.

While such a short period of time is insufficient to resolve many of the doubts, hopes and fears we started out with, it is enough time to be given a first assessment in the Blog Simple Presidential Report Card. We'll use the traditional American A-F grading method. We do not grade on a curve, nor will we compare him with his predecessor. That would be a short and unfair path to a 4.0 average.

We also use the Kingsborough Community College (an institution that has no connection to Blog Simple) GPA calculator to translate the grades to a GPA, where 4.0 is tops. Here we go:

General Foreign Policy - C
A reasonable tone has been set. Clinton seems a bit lost. Trips abroad were great PR. The 900 lb. gorilla, the Israel/Palestine has not yet been confronted.

Iraq war - C-
Announcing a delayed departure is better than none, but little progress had been shown on the ground. The generals have quieted down their delaying talk, probably put in their place by Gates.

AfPak war - F
More troops, more drone attacks. Pakistan gets repeated lectures, but oddly enough, continues to act in what it sees as its own self-interest. Pakistan wants to convince the US that the problem with Pakistan is Afghanistan. The US thinks the opposite.

Economic crisis - F
F for FAILURE. A total shipwreck, trillions are spent to delay the day of reckoning. Geithner was a terrible choice for Treasury Secretary, Summers on the staff is even worse. No one seems to be able to admit the extent of the damage, including Obama, so the half-assed policies are doomed to failure.

General Domestic Policy - D
Apart from the economic crisis, there hasn't been much done here yet. But the health care approach taken by Obama will, if not make things worse, only marginally improve them. He seems reluctant to expend any political capital to try to do the right thing.

PR - A
The guy is a master, at least so far. Following Bush just makes it all easier.

Justice - D+
Holder is taking his time on a lot of things. Why? Getting rid of corrupt US attorneys seems a no brainer. The torture issue is being handled like PR problem. Leaking memos is a strange strategy, if that's what they're doing.

Environment - C+
A good correction in course, but without any sense of urgency.

National Security - D
Caving on Freeman was very bad. Panetta was ridiculous choice to head the CIA. Gates is competent but little more than a apparatchik. He needs direction, but seems to be giving it.

GPA: 1.4 - Failing, Obama, time to buckle down.


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