Mark Halperin: Obama Is Underappreciated Success
The right never liked him and never will. The left worries he’s caved to the right. But the Obama presidency is a great success, says Time‘s Mark Halperin.
It is too early to assess the ultimate measure of victory: whether the President’s actions have been prudent and beneficial, domestically and internationally. But by Election Day 2010, Obama will have soundly achieved many of his chief campaign promises while running a highly competent, scandal-free government. Not bad for a guy whose opponents (in both parties) for the White House suggested that he was too green in national life to know how to do the job — and whose presidency began in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis that demanded urgent attention and commanded much of his focus.
Besides a competent staff of team players, there have been some real accomplishments.
Obama acted decisively to stop the world from going into economic depression, after inheriting a mess from his predecessor. Quibble all you wish about the dimensions of the stimulus law or the administration of TARP or the Detroit bailout, but the actions taken were professionally handled, apparently necessary and, so far, constructive. Strikingly underrated by the Washington press corps are Obama’s gains on education policy, including a willingness to confront the education establishment on standards for both teachers and students. Overseas, Obama has snagged an arms-reduction deal with Russia, managed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq exactly as promised, eliminated numerous terrorist leaders through an aggressive targeting operation and laid the groundwork for dealing with Iran and, perhaps, North Korea.Click here for reuse options!
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