If you aren’t a member of the mainstream media, you probably expressed confusion last year during all the excitement about “Obama’s First 100 Days in Office.” Like me, you probably thought this number seemed a bit random and certainly not enough to start judging a four or eight-year presidency by.
Sure, during that time Obama ended torture, approved funding for stem cell research, relaxed restrictions on Cuba, made it easier for women to fight pay discrimination, etc.- but there was nothing useful for voters to do with this information.
There were no other races approaching, and the presidential election was so recent and polarizing that few impressions could likely be swayed in any case.
But today, Barack Obama’s 448th day in office, things are slightly different. Some Democrats have grown disillusioned with him, and some Republicans even seem to have acknowledged that he might not be an extraterrestrial. In any case the 2010 Congressional elections are fast approaching, a good reason for everyone to start reevaluating.
By far Obama’s greatest accomplishment has been health care reform, but making fewer headlines was the landmark student loan reform that streamlines the process for students while saving the country tens of billions of dollars. Within the next few days, Obama made history again by signing the most comprehensive nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia in decades.
More revealing than any of this, are the indicators of the country’s overall economic health.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, monthly job losses steadily moved from positive hiring in December 2007 to 800,000 jobs lost in January 2009. In the equivalent amount of time since Obama took office, the losses have tapered off back into growth. During that same overall period, every major stock index steadily lost value but has now been consistently gaining since the election.
I don’t claim that any president single-handedly controls such factors, but our country is currently moving in the right direction and that is too obvious to ignore. Hopefully, America will choose to capitalize on success in November and elect Democrats who can keep the trend going.
Along those lines I again invite you to attend our next Campus Young and College Democrats meeting this Tuesday at 8 p.m. in LC 180, where we will be holding our executive board elections for next year. Please send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Parets is a second-year law student. He may be contacted at email@example.com.