How Do You Grade Obama’s First 100 Days?

Tired of the routine 100 days analyses? Salon asked a wildly diverse compendium of opinionated pontificators, including me, to grade the president’s foreign policy, economic policy, and overall performance. Oh, in 200 words. Check ’em out.

How do you grade him? Please share your thoughts by clicking on comments below Here’s the report card I sent to Salon; they cut my last, and best (IMHO), paragraph:

Remember in elementary school we got grades for both content and conduct? Obama’s first 100 days need a similar grading system: what he substantively accomplished and the way he accomplished it.

Economy: Content: C, Conduct: A.
He hasn’t turned things around but he’s made us feel lots better. Geithner and Summers were uninspired appointments. His stimulus mimics FDR’s roads and bridges approach, which doesn’t fit today’s information (and less gendered) economy. Sadly, he’s missing his moment to lower health care costs 25% by failing to bite the single payer, everybody in the pool, bullet.

Foreign policy: Content: A, Conduct: A.
The world sighs with relief that the U.S. has a culturally competent president who can string a cogent sentence together and chooses handshakes over Cheney-esque snarling. Plus, Hillary Clinton in the bargain. Woot!

Extra credit: Reversing the global gag rule; liberating stem cell science from ideology, Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Council on Women and Girls, multitasking, smiling.

Demerit: Failing to push the Prevention First Act when 90% of Americans support access to birth control.

Overall: Content: B, Conduct A
Obama grasps that 90% of success is taking action. He understands the power of communication. He’s on our television and computer screens more frequently than any previous president, making us feel we’re in this together, we’ll pull through. Which means, perception being reality in politics, most likely we will.

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

17 thoughts on “How Do You Grade Obama’s First 100 Days?

  1. In response to Obama’s first 100-days. It has been found to be in line with what he promised, which is an extreme disappointment. It appears we have a neophyte teenage in office who cannot be trusted and will find the next 3 1/2 years to be very difficult as public opinion goes solidly against him.

  2. Signing the order to close Guantanamo Bay without a Plan of where to put the prisioners (F)
    Welcoming British Prime Minister Gordon, our closest ally, with a bag of DVD’s that won’t even play (F)
    Going to Europe to apologize for our “arrogance” without referencing the good ally we have been in saving them during two world wars (F)
    Refusing to visit the Cemetary at Omaha Beach, something every president has honored (F)
    Going to Turkey without acknowledging their role in the Armenian genocide and again apologizing for our faults (F)
    Domestically signing a stimulus bill that only continues to stimulate the deficit (F)
    Signing the 2009 budget without anyone in the Congress or White House reading it (F)
    Allowing over 9,000 earmarks to pass in the 2009 budget after campaigning against them (F)
    Going through 17 briefings before authorizing the Navy Seals to take out the Somali pirates (F)
    Appointing tax cheats to his cabinets (F)
    Taking over private companies and firing CEO’s (F)
    Pledging a “post-partisan” administration and locking Republicans out of budget negotiations (F)
    I have more examples, but need I say more?

  3. Gloria, I gave Obama an F on the ECONOMY. he has paid GM already for donating and helping him to be put in the WHITE HOUSE and he paid them with our grandhildren’s and childrens money also ours. It was 20 bilion dollars from the stimulas .

  4. In looking at your site you give Obama A’s all around, what about the “CHANGE” he promised us all? We (you know the CRAZY racist TEA PARTY people) are pissed at Bush and Obama, we are getting more pissed at the Government as a whole because we were told we would get change and all we are getting is MORE of what we already had. Your blind to the truth.

    1. Like I Said Gloria “When the people are afraid of the government Its Tyranny”
      ” When the government is afraid of the people its freedom” If you cant see whats this adminisration and its far left supporters is doing to this country, you must be blind! China Don`t want any more of our bonds, who else will buy them ? They just keep printing money and spending with nothing backing the money , where are we going to be? People better start paying attention , before thats all they have left to pay with, One party rule is syre good for us isnt it !!!

      1. Lkdawind–did you like one-party rule when it was the Republicans? Surely you aren’t saying they did everything right?

        I hope that the Democrats a re smart enough not to apply the same excessive tactics. Generally speaking, the Democrats aren’t disciplined enough to keep all their members in line anyway.

  5. I agree with a portion of that, but never did they approve a 3.5 Triillion$ Budget , let alone approve that kind of a budget in the time they did it in,
    There seems to be such a rush to bury us in debt that our grandkids, kids wont get [aid off, if this country still exists, but I guess by that time the big spenders will all be gone ( excepy madam Pelosi, she will be totally covered with wax and preserved somewhere , but at any rate the debt wont be their problem, I think its time to quit the party system, only thing they can do is fight over party . they should all be thrown out!!!

    1. lkdawind, this reminds me of the time my sister complained to my mother that “Gloria hit me back”. Republicans can’t very complain about the budget given that their profligate spending on starting a war while cutting taxes for the wealthiest while allowing the financial markets to run wild got us into this mess. You could argue that there two ways out of such an economic disaster, allowing the red in tooth and claw markets to go down as far a they want to go and eventually come back or growing our way back out of it. Either way there is pain, but growing our way out of it is both more humane and more sustainable over the long term.

  6. Obama has far left supporters? Who could those be? If that was ever true, it is not today. Obama has disappointed me mostly for not bringing about enough change. In the foreign policy arena, where you grade him so highly, Gloria, his approach is different, refreshingly so, but his actual policies, not so much. Soon enough it will become abundantly clear that his attempt to purge Afghanistan and/or Pakistan of Taliban and al-Qaeda “extremists” will meet the same fate as the attempt to free Vietnam from the Communists.

    It really is not saying much to say Obama is an improvement on George Bush. I was hoping for so much more, though realistically, Obama has turned out much as I expected, far too middle of the road for my taste.

    Perception may be political reality, but do you really think political reality bears any resemblance to actual reality, Gloria? Political reality is all spin doctoring. It can manipulate reality only so far. People can believe whatever they want to believe, but eventually reality will assert itself. I just hope enough people realize what is really going on before it is too late to do anything about it. The economic collapse is just a prelude to ecological collapse.

  7. I forgot to add, if embryonic stem cell therapy ever proves out, where are all those embryos that will be needed going to come from? Will this not create yet another market for young women, who would produce the healthiest embryos, to sell their bodies? There are so many potential sources of stem cells. The most promising may turn out to be menstrual and placental blood.

    1. I hate to be overly philosophical, Aletha, but what we perceive to be true in politics becomes true, or at least it serves the function of being true because people act upon what they perceive to be true. I’m not justifying the smoke and mirrors that we sometimes get from politicians. However, I am saying that when people begin to think that the economy is getting better and that their government is making better decisions than in the past, that becomes the reality that can help things get better in actuality.

      With regard to your stem cell point, certainly the avenues you suggest as promising for stem cell therapies should be explored. The overarching consideration is that the scientific process be allowed to proceed.

      1. Smoke and mirrors that we sometimes get from politicians? You must have a lot easier time believing what you hear than I do. It appears to me that most of the time when people think the economy is getting better, it is because another bubble is inflating. Things can get better when politicians make better decisions, but that is dependent on decisions actually being better. If people merely believe the decisions are better because of more convincing oratory, or a stock market rally, reality will bring that illusion crashing down eventually. The bank rescue sham is a case in point. Why is Obama bailing out these thoroughly corrupt financial institutions at taxpayer expense?

        Some scientific processes should not be allowed to proceed. Nuclear energy and genetically engineered crops (both supported by most politicians, including Obama) are prime examples of the “scientific” process trampling on the precautionary principle. I am not saying there should be no research in embryonic stem cell therapy, but the overemphasis on it I think is misguided and extremely dangerous for women in the long run.

  8. If you could give someone a mega-fail grade (that completely eclipses an “F” grade), then I’d give Obama one of THOSE across the board. By the way, in order to achieve a “mega-fail” in my mind, it would be as if some nit-wit lab hand dropped a veil of bacillus strain that would assure that the entire human race would be wiped out to two weeks. THAT is my opinion of Obama’s idiotic policies.

    There’s a fundamental problem with Obama, and that is he has everything wrapped up in an ideology, but he’s ignored one key element–HISTORY. He’s getting us all tangled up in policies that have FAILED MISERABLY EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD, and we’re going to suffer for it. And, when I say “suffer,” I don’t mean some folks are going to have no jobs, and life will be rough-going for a while. I mean that there’s going to be REAL THIRD-WORLD MISERY for people, and that misery will be directly caused by Obama’s idiotic policies.

    Obama will be such a complete failure as president, it won’t surprise me if Washington, DC is in flames, and he’s hunkered-down in a bunker before his four year term is over. If there’s anything left of the United States as we once knew it before he’s finished, I’ll be VERY surprised.

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