Streams

Obama Inauguration: One Year Later

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Today is the one-year anniversary of Barack Obama’s inauguration. Reflecting on this day are guests John Heilemann of New York magazine and author of Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime; poet Kahlil Almustafa, author of From Auction Block to Oval Office: 100 Poems in 100 Days of Obama's Presidency (and appearing tonight at the Greene Space); David Sanger of the New York Times, author of The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power; and Matt Miller, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, host of Left, Right & Center and author of The Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Letting Go of the Old Ways of Thinking to Unleash a New Prosperity.

Assess Obama's First Year Do you remember your thoughts one year ago today? How do they compare to your thoughts today? Comment below!

Also, we asked you one year ago what you predicted Obama would accomplish as president. Peek into the time capsule!

Guests:

Kahlil Almustafa, John Heilemann, Matt Miller and David Sanger

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Comments [153]

Judy Stadt from Spring Valley, NY

I'm fed up with the American public. They forget the past, they have no patience to persevere with tenacity toward a goal, no stick-to-it-ness, they are not loyal and they are ignorant. The problem is that we are a quick fix society. Too bad the media gives them such importance. Our founding fathers never really included the "masses" in their vision and workings of our government anyway.

Jan. 25 2010 11:13 AM
hjs from 11211


eva
i saw.
we have to take what we can get.

people said gore and bush were the same. today i'd say they were dead wrong.

there's no bully pulpit because everyone has a pulpit now. and too many people truly hate him (those crazy teabaggers for example)
and with the mess bush left did he really need a fight with the congress. i could go on but what's the point. if he's lost the base then we are doomed. i just am finding this a bit childish, and I need to get back to my escape plan. I'm not sinking with this ship.

Jan. 21 2010 01:52 PM
hjs from 11211

gaetano
he is young. he can do that as well. we can only hope.

Jan. 21 2010 01:38 PM
gaetano catelli from downtown manhattan

@98, re: "probably better suited to being a university professor."

in fact, he did quite well as an adjunct professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago's law school.

imo, he'd have made an outstanding Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. but, that role does not seem to have been important enough to suit his vanity.

Jan. 21 2010 02:51 AM
gaetano catelli from downtown manhattan

@4, re: "That's what we get when we pick candidates without experience (or even a previous full time job) just because their identity makes us feel good about ourselves and oh so self-righteous."

well said, Martin. this was obvious all along to any grownup (ditto the analogous adulation of Ronald Reagan, btw).

but, i am embarrassed to admit that, beyond the points you make, i did not realize just how "Chicago" President Obama would turn out to be, even after he got to the White House.

Jan. 21 2010 02:46 AM
Susan Sparks from Somerset County, NJ

I think that the "message" regarding the democrats loss of the MA senate election and other negative feedback is largely due to the results of the WEAK health care reform bills. MA has a "universal health care" system enacted in 2006. The national plan would have added costs for MA residents to help fund the national system, when MA already has a good start on reform.
Obama wanted Universal health care or at a minimum a strong Public Option to be able to bring down the costs by making it very competitive. The US is at the bottom for health care compared to other developed nations. US pays on average 2 times as much money per capita, with consistently poorer results.
The Republicans would NOT cooperate with anything. The Democrats tried to appease them, and instead of sticking together and passing real, strong and effective reform, Dems striped the bills down to cover more people, but little to control costs.
All states should at minimum have access to all health care companies and a public option.
Health insurance evolved 40-50 years ago to manage risk with statistcal data. They are NO longer needed as a good software program can perform that function. Hence, the health care companies are sucking money out of our wallets
and bankrupting our economy, and are just parasites!
The message is that people want real reform and are angry at the corruption which harms us all. Obama and the Dems should be much bolder. The reforms are badly needed and this may be our only window.

Jan. 20 2010 08:56 PM
eva

Hi hjs,

I've been enjoying reading your posts in recent months, just too swamped to reply.

But not so agreed on the PhRMA nego's once I learned he was also nego'ing with insurers.

And just because McCain would have been worse, well, no question. But that doesn't give me reason to support Obama again.

I guess what I don't understand is why you say "there is no bully pulpit." He is the most (or was the most) charismatic and popular politician in decades. What happened? Why did he just walk away? Well, the backroom deals provide an answer. And to me he's not moderate. I am moderate. (You and I have gone head-to-head on all sorts of social issues.)

But yeah, Obama is setting us up for President Palin - all the activists I work with are so disappointed and disgusted they don't even want to vote in 2010. We're also tapped out! I spent thousands of my own money over the last year on this, and I'm hardly alone. I don't mind the loss of cash, I'm just shocked that he said we don't put anything back through the senate without seating Brown first.

Why doesn't he think it matters what his own base thinks?

Don't know if you're even going to see this, will check back tomorrow. Anyway, hope NY is treating you well!

Jan. 20 2010 06:00 PM
hjs from 11211

eva
nice to hear from u, been a long time.
too few have followed your lead, but thanks for supporting the country and helping the elected president.
he did not sell me out to phrma , they were negotiating (when we negotiate some times we win and some times we lose, depends on all the factors) (just think, as rough as last summer was, if phrma was on the other side, even rougher i would guess)
banks, well that was a big mess and suppose mccain was pres, maybe we'd still be in depression 2.0, but that's a maybe we never have to know.
i'll save the rest of your list for another time. BUT i will say the president has to govern from the center because that where the people are, anything else is just naïve. there is no bully pulpit. if the left wants power they need to be better represented in the house of representatives. the left doesn't know how to govern, we should just be happy when we get a moderate pres, next up will be palin thanks to our failure to see a good thing when we see it.
ps maybe i'm wrong he is just like bush but I see a difference, for those who don't please don't vote for him in 3 years.

Jan. 20 2010 04:22 PM
MeMeMe

"From Auction Block To Oval Office"

Wow, I never knew Obama had been on an auction block. This definitely deserves more attention.

Jan. 20 2010 03:45 PM
Richard Williams from Larchmont, NY

This country of ours needs new leadership. We need third party representation in all aspects of government. Republicans and Democrats need to bow out.

Jan. 20 2010 02:56 PM
Linda from New York City

I say this with remorse, but unfortunately Obama is a much better speaker and campaigner than he is a leader. He has given in to the the banks and Wall Street, the insurance companies, big business and to the lobbyists. He didn't take a strong leadership role on healthcare, but passed it along to the Dems in congress, who didn't include Republicans, and now look what a mess it is. I'll bet Hillary is rolling her eyes and Kennedy is rolling over in his grave. And speaking of Hillary, I think she should run for President again in 2012.....not as a challenging Democrat, but this time as an Independent.

Jan. 20 2010 02:56 PM
eva

holy moly

i just read this

it is over for Obama

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/01/obama-senate-will-not-vote-on-health-care-before-brown-is-seated.php?ref=fpa

Jan. 20 2010 02:46 PM
eva

hjs also wrote:
"the most foolish thing people have said is he's just like bush. i don't have the time to make the list but please think before u type. HE'S NOTHING LIKE BUSH the lesser!"

Indeed, per Jeremy Scahill, he's relying on military contractors more than Bush ever did.

On banking, he's no more reform-minded than Bush was. The new proposals are just window dressing. Ask Simon Johnson.

Don't get me started on the auto bailout. Even Eliot Spitzer has better ideas for that.

He pointed out the path to HCR, and said he'd catch up with us later. We went down the path, treacherous as it was, but he never showed up with the rest of the troops. The troops a President rallies through the bully pulpit. Meanwhile, he cut secret deals with PhRMA and insurers.

In the meantime, the HCR distraction was used to disguise the heightened lobbying that the banks were involved in.

Let me be clear: if you don't reform the banking sector, we will crash again. The banks are only bigger and taking worse risks than under Bush.

Again, I want to support the President. But not if he doesn't support the American people through the effort at real reform.

Jan. 20 2010 02:38 PM
eva

hjs wrote:

"hindsight is great. progressives: after the election, how much work did u do to support our president? where were u in the summer when they lynched him on TV? you were a fool if u thought he was a god. he's only the president. we let him down and showed that corporations always have greater power when the people are silent.
go drive your SUV off a collapsing bridge!"

Hey, hjs, good to read your comments. But I want to respond here:

I worked my ass off even after the election for Obama and his stated policies, even going in person to convince tea partiers that Obama's stimulus was GOOD for the country. And I was partially successful at that on an individual basis, dependent on which event I went to.

I worked 24/7 on health care reform since August. I organized over a thousand physicians and small business owners on a grassroots level to support the public option. And I went out to tea parties to try to argue the case for the public option. And I took my friends and fellow health care workers.

But the reality is that, for all our work, the President sold us out early - to PhRMA and the insurers.

In other areas we were sold out to the banks, just as Clinton had sold us out with NAFTA, repeal of Glass-Steagall and the CFMA.

I want to support the President. But he has to stand up for the American people, and not just the CEO class. And he has to use his bully pulpit. I was there when he came to speak at a $15K a plate fundraiser (I didn't have to pay, thank God), surrounded by single payer and public option supporters, and he couldn't ONCE say the words "public option."

He's not leading yet. But we are trying. And we need a leader. Not a waffler.

Jan. 20 2010 02:31 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn

Hello, I think that Obama has had and still has to fight the Republicans and a lot of other problems. For my part, I wish there was a way for me to get my money back--a lot of money. while I still miss the condo I lost in Atlanta due to mortgage fraud and foreclosure, I would be more than happy to get back money I no longer have and sorely need. I was not greedy. I just wanted a home. Eugenia Renskoff

Jan. 20 2010 01:47 PM
seth

David Axelrod and Rahm Emmanuel must be fired ASAP. They are the George Costanza and Cosmo Kramer of presidential advisers and their degree of incompetence is mind boggling.

Jan. 20 2010 01:36 PM
Rosie

Wow....what amazing poetry from Kahlil Almustafa!! I appreciate his optimism....his words are powerful.

Jan. 20 2010 01:25 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn

Hello, Obama has to fight the Republicans. That is a big job in itself. Personally, I do wish there was a way to get the money, a lot of money, that I lost in Ga due to foreclosure. Eugenia Renskoff

Jan. 20 2010 01:23 PM
greg caulfield from New York

i have a poemy
OBAMA IS light in my eye, hope is turth we words of the hart.

Jan. 20 2010 12:46 PM
Dmiri from Brooklyn

My Obama hope is strong!
People are Delusional if they think a president can magically fix everything on their own.
We did not elect a king.
Throughout his campaign and all his speeches I thought he made clear that change can come only with the participation of all Americans.
He is the first president in my lifetime to genuinely engage the Populous and tackle real challenges that have plagued us.
He has not set the bar too high.
civilizations can be measured by the basic needs provided to the people. eg. Health care.

Obviously health care and the economy are intertwined. How can we compete in a global economy with such a great economic and social expense to our people and companies.
We have to hold our government accountable.
Republican, Democrat or other?
We don't have to concede to a bill manipulated by lobbyist and special interest. Let's challenge our politicians to actually work for us or vote them out!
Citizens must participate.

Jan. 20 2010 12:26 PM
Mary MK from Ossining, NY

I was very happy and proud a year ago that the we voters had chosen someone with the integrety and intelligence of Obama. I am not disappointed with him -- what happened to the voters? I don't hear intelligent debate about issues. I hear a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding. Why are people wary of government but not of large corporations (including banks and insurance companies)? Please, voters, get the facts!

Jan. 20 2010 12:18 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Hey, Isn't this seat up for grabs again in 2012?

Mr. Brown can moo all he wants, he'll only have the seat for two years.

Jan. 20 2010 12:17 PM
the truth!! from BKNY

LOL - I love it my backup finally showed up Get 'em guys and girls! Tryy to open their eyes to reality. The campaign promises were to span 4 years not 1 year!

Jan. 20 2010 12:14 PM
Anthony Lang from NY

To everyone who doesn't understand why people are as selectively obtuse as they tend to be about politics and many other things. It's because at the end of the day nothing really matters to many people but self-actualization. What side am I on and is he or she on my side or not. No matter what they do or what they can do.

Jan. 20 2010 12:07 PM
Edward from NJ

From this thread I've learned that Obama is a radical, tax-and-spend liberal bent on destroying the America of my youth. Oh...and...umm...he's just like George W. Bush.

Jan. 20 2010 12:05 PM
Joel Hubbard from Long Island

The day President Obama became the leader of our great American experiment,I tearfully hung President Lincoln's portrait on my front door.Because dreams deferred can come true, democracy is a brutal,long slow,bloody,painful process.but it's still priceless and it works.

Jan. 20 2010 12:03 PM
hjs from 11211

the most foolish thing people have said is he's just like bush. i don't have the time to make the list but please think before u type.

HE'S NOTHING LIKE BUSH the lesser!

Jan. 20 2010 12:00 PM
Carmine from NYC

It would be very difficult for ANY president to undo 8 years of damages done by the Republican Party in one year. I supported Obama and I still support him. Obama did not cause the current financial fiasco, the economy (and Republicans) did. Obama did not tell us to spend beyond our means, we DID it on our own. As with the healthcare system, just talk to a middle-income family whose earning is above poverty level (not qualified by government medical assistance), yet, not wealthy enough to buy own health insurance (with all the restrictions). We do need healthcare insurance for all Americans.

Jan. 20 2010 11:58 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

The crazy part is if he would have just let the ECONOMY CRASH, you people on the right would STILL have had something to say!

He should have let the mistakes of the previous administration play themselves out!

Jan. 20 2010 11:58 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Obama has made some mistakes. I bet he would love to have a mulligan for using the tax get of jail card on Geithner and thereby not having it to use for Daschle. Obama's stimulus has kept the recession from becoming a depression. Bush's bail out of banking was so badly crafted as to have enabled the bonuses we are seeing being paid on Wall St. Is it fair for tax payer money to be used this way?

Simple facts...US GDP is about $14.5T. Feds spend $3.5T about $1t of which they borrow. If half of GDP is income, the inferred income tax needs to be 50%. We are at least spending that way. Something has got to give.

Healthcare is between 14%-16% of GDP. (One dollar out of 6 or 7) and though the level of care for the insured can be very high 15% of the citizens are not covered. Most developed countries with a national health plan are spending 10-11% of GDP and cover all of their citizens. So why are we spending more on health care but leaving so many uncovered?

Managing the transition to full coverage for all citizens is going to see costs decrease overall but it will increase for some. Also, the general reduction in GDP could be economically destructive if not managed very, very carefully.

Let's not forget the policies that got us here. Laissez-faire, the market knows best, over-leveraged, illogical greed. And the fear that Al Qaeda or Saddam Hussein could or would kill us all.

As I see it, a little more finger pointing - while also providing sound alternatives for the way out - are in order.

Jan. 20 2010 11:58 AM
joelle from NYC

I'm surprised at the impatience and, without wanting to sound critical, immaturity, of my fellow Americans.
Mr. Obama has only had one year to try and solve almost insurmountable problems. We have only ourselves to blame for letting the extremists lead the discussions we should be using to solve problems: The TeaBaggers, the Republican machine that will use any lie to distort the issues.

Jan. 20 2010 11:57 AM
claudia in nj

I am very discouraged --- but not by Obama. I give him enormous props for his style - thoughtful, intelligent, self-reflective. I am very discouraged by the role and the rise of Republican demagogues (Glen Beck, etc.); the continuing media coverage of politics as a horse race; and the fact that much of the discourse seems to downplay the ENORMOUS CHALLENGES that the Obama Administration inherited. It frustrates me no end that people who talk about government being too large in regard to the health care debate without getting the fact that BIG insurance companies
are controlling the agenda today.

Maybe Administration will need to turn to talking about jobs 24x7 to appease those who think nothing is being done to address THEIR concerns.

Jan. 20 2010 11:57 AM
Franco Milazz from Westchester County

I have been listening to your show this morning and I've heard people make comments about President Obama needing more time and that he deserves a chance to bring about change but one year in office cannot possibly make up for eight years of the Bush/Chenney administration. Also I think that Obama not being financially savvy has relied on his advisers to guide him through these extreme financial times and regretably those advisers have been too pro big business and have turned off part of his grass roots base that thought he might try to change the balance of the have/mores and have/less. Also I am a middle class white male and from my experience of the people either at work or family or people I encounter in Westchester, I can honestly say that a lot of anger aimed at Obama is racist based.

Jan. 20 2010 11:57 AM
haym from manhattan

What happened to the community organizer ?

The bail-out should have been the 'all in the same boat moment'

Jan. 20 2010 11:56 AM
Ingrid from Brooklyn

Goals that were set for a four year time span should not yet be judged; is it fair to have already opened the time capsule? It's too soon for cynicism!

Jan. 20 2010 11:56 AM
yasadora from Merrick NY

SAD...just sad. Just sad… people are angry upset…etc.. but one man can’t fix it…the system is broken…is this the end of the roman empire?..is this the beginning of another dark ages?....it feels like nothing positive can get done….the negative reactions to the healthcare debate frustrate me…they appear to be fueled by the aggressive right wing, but taken on by well meaning Americans….how could something so positive be seen as so negative…it is like the book “1984”…I am scared for myself but more for the generations to come…..

Jan. 20 2010 11:56 AM
ismael ramirez from nyc

It is exceedingly unfair, if not sensational of the BLS to quote a four prediction in the first year.

Jan. 20 2010 11:56 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

Alexa 101 - SPOT ON!

Jan. 20 2010 11:55 AM
Mary Carroll from Hawthorne, NJ

The day I cast my vote for Barack Obama, I left the voting booth with tears in my eyes. I was so full of love and hope that day. It was such an emotional moment for me. That night my husband and I waited up watching the results and I was sobbing when he took the stage with his beautiful family. His speech inspired me to want to reach out to the whole country and give it a big hug. When he gave his inauguration speech I had hope that the whole world would see that we were not evil and that we wanted to repair our image. I think I wanted to hug the world that day. Today, one year later, I still love this president. I wish he would forget about the bipartisonship though. He spends too much time trying to be fair. Even though this was one of the things I loved about him when I voted for him. I still have hope though I confess I no longer wish to give our country that hug. I am very disappointed in the tea baggers, the birthers, the fox news hosts, and okay, maybe some of the republicans and democrats as well. I'd still give the world a hug. They "get" it, even if we do not.

Jan. 20 2010 11:55 AM
Mike Long Island from Huntington NY

I feel that one year later Obama is in a tough position due to the fact that he climbed into a vehicle that was headed off of a cliff we are in mid air still but have not totally hit the ground when other countries that hold our debt start turning there heads to us and the value of the dollar really goes down we shall really feel the true impact of our mismanaged government and the puppets who have been "running" it?

Jan. 20 2010 11:55 AM
Carol Scudder from Brooklyn

Why isn't anyone talking about the fact that the reason Obama made healthcare reform the centerpiece of his 1st year, was that he believes it is one of the keys to our economic recovery? That still makes a lot of sense to me. As a nation, we're so incredibly uninformed and reactionary. Most people don't bother to inform themselves about the issues. We take no personal responsibility for anything. And we seem to have the memory capacity of ... I don't know - a hamster maybe?

Jan. 20 2010 11:55 AM
Jackie cuscuna from Nyc

It's so sad that the right has waged such an effective campaign against health care and other democratic ideals! What are the democrats doing? Why not fight back? My hope was a real argument from the democrats and that has not happened.

Jan. 20 2010 11:55 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

Make shorter comments please.

Jan. 20 2010 11:51 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

... and a follow-up to my earlier note, the tone of so many of the comments on this blog page is exactly what I was referring to: short-sighted; overly hostile to "the other side" (whichever one that is); ridiculous expectations; lack of any real sense of history or perspective; and a world-view that seems to say "the world revolves around me and MY desires.

We have to acknowledge political opponents without villifying or trying to marginalize them. Not everyone who disagrees with us wants to destroy the country or the world. We may even have the same goals, but disagree in the best way to achieve them.

Tone it down folks! For those who strongly supported Obama, this is what he is about. If you support him, you do a disservice to his vision by ranting angrily against the right. And the right has to stop imparting false motivations to Obama.

In other words, a pox on both your houses!

Jan. 20 2010 11:51 AM
Leon Freilich from Park Slope

SHORTING THE NATION

He moved Americans immensely,

A leader they were glad to greet,

But then Obama went and moved

The White House down to Wall Street.

Jan. 20 2010 11:48 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

Who cares about dont ask dont tell?! I am more concerned with my health care premiums!!

Jan. 20 2010 11:48 AM
kb from Upper West Side

I, too, like our President, was once a community organizer; I have never abandoned those values.

But, having lived much longer than President Obama, and having worked as an investment banker (no longer), I originally defended Mr. Obama's choice of Summers and Geithner for key appointments to his cabinet -- they are so exceedingly smart, so very experienced, etc.

But, I was wrong.

I suspect that President Obama's range of experience (limited by virtue only of years lived) hasn't enabled him to see clearly enough how deeply rooted Geithner and Summers are in the system that caused the problems. I do not believe that either of them works from a malicious point of view, but I do think they are both unable to conceive of the changes that are necessary to right our country.

The gap between haves and have nots will only continue to widen if people with broader perspectives are not brought into the advisor circle.

Without such change in his administration's approach, I fear the growth of dangerously marginal movements. This country will change dramatically if 10+ unemployment (not counting the discouraged workers) and relentless increases in foreclosures (leaving many homeless) continue for years into the future.

Add to that vision the news of bankers' bonuses on Wall St and you've got a genuinely combustible mix.

This is all so terribly sad. kb

Jan. 20 2010 11:46 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

Did she say "Obama idolater" You people are so disrespectful!

Jan. 20 2010 11:46 AM
Mark

Of course he can't bring change in one year but he's not even trying! All his positions are straight Bush.

Jan. 20 2010 11:46 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I'm going to be one of the few here who is not going to bash him. All through the 2008 campaign I thought that people were seeing him as they wanted to, not as he was. After examining his record carefully, I saw a cautious, risk-averse partisan who has a wide streak of pragmatism. That is exactly what he has proven to be. Anyone who didn't see this was not paying close attention to the facts in my view.

Jan. 20 2010 11:44 AM
Jill from Westchester

What about Don't Ask Don't Tell for example -- there's a campaign promise that, it seems to me, could have been kept w/ a single stroke of the pen. And yet, Obama is still saying it's in the works or that he's GOING to make it happen. What's the delay? I'm losing patience on that issue and much faith in the President as a result -and I'm not even gay.

Jan. 20 2010 11:42 AM
michael daner from New City,NY

Obama's critical mistake was appointing Summers and Geithner instead of Volcker. They favored Wall Street and the Banks which doomed Obama to be seen in the pocket of Big Biz and not the People

Jan. 20 2010 11:42 AM
Alexa Kelly from NYC

Brian--I love your show, but am shocked and disappointed that you are trying to feed people into saying that he has not accomplished in ONE YEAR what he promised to fulfil in FOUR. It is unlike you, and TOTALLY UNFAIR to Obama.

NOW is when people should keep the faith in him, not buy into Republican propoganda.

Jan. 20 2010 11:41 AM
David from Montclair, NJ

It may turn out that the special election in Massachusetts is a blessing in disguise for the Obama agenda. President Clinton had to wait two years to find out that he was in trouble; by then it was too late to prevent a Republican takeover of Congress. Obama now has a year to make the tactical changes necessary to avoid the same fate.

I had enormously high hopes for Obama. I still am hopeful, but I blame most of his problems on his underestimation of the intransigence of the Republican party. It is clear that they have had only one agenda: oppose everything Obama wanted to do, and make him fail in the eyes of the American people. Obama and his people have been too idealistic about the possibilities of bipartisanship. They need to change their tactics, if they can, and do so quickly.

Jan. 20 2010 11:41 AM
Peter Richards from NYC W. Village

I believe that President Obama is still the right choice to lead us through the quagmire of the present. I do wish he would be more progressive in his approach to the changes we need, but he is a member of the establishment, and without a radical approach, his hands are tied. I believe he has a rational, compassionate and informed understanding and approach to the problems we face, unlike the opposition party, which has nothing but negativity and hate to offer as an agenda, and this from self-professed christians (lower case intended)

Jan. 20 2010 11:41 AM
mike p from NYC

Pres Obama is a weak... ineffectual leader...
probably better suited to being a university professor.

Jan. 20 2010 11:40 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

I am a life-long middle-of-the-roader and I think Obama is great. It just shows how dysfunctional our politics have become that critical issues that have been festering for years, cannot be broached, approached, let alone really solved, despite strong will to do so, and a real willingness to work in a bi-partisan fashion.

Our society is going downhill and it is accelerating, because we cannot put heated partisanship behind us for the good of all.

If a boat has a hole it in it, it really doesn't matter who's side of the boat it is located in. Eventually the entire boat will sink.

Jan. 20 2010 11:40 AM
Simone

Completely concur with your present caller. It's only been a year and there seems to be a sense of complacency along the lines of "we voted you in now miraculously make these things happen." Obama was elected through a movement and all of the sudden the movement quit. WE need to engage and WE need to continue working for health care reform. The Democratic leaders, not the President need to put their personal interests aside and get in line and make a move on health care. Republicans seem to be able to close rank. Why can't we?

Jan. 20 2010 11:40 AM
Nora from South Salem, NY

Oh he promised! He promised! He PROOOMMMISSEDD! What are we, a bunch of impatient children pissed off at our father? This country has the collective attention span of a toddler. Obama didn't promise sweeping change in the first year, he didn't promise in the first term. People are acting like he promised to walk on water. How quickly we grow bored when the change doesn't happen instantaneously. Change. Takes. Time. And monumental change that requires some of the stubborn, childish me-first people of this nation to start thinking in a new way takes a LONG TIME.

Digusted by what I hear out there. As if he's no better than Bush. Please.

Jan. 20 2010 11:40 AM
John from Bergen County NJ

Brian, why do you give callers like Maria time on the air?
The Xmas under pants bomber was stopped. The president did NOT need to comment. It is not the Daddy & chief.
Rushing resources to help the millions of people affected by the Haiti disaster was the right thing to do.
At the end of her call Maria showed you she does not really deserve time on the air. She did not vote for Obama. She seems to be a person who has no convictions or party affiliation.
An opinion is like you-know-what everyone has one.
You should not let wild comments go unchallenged.

Jan. 20 2010 11:39 AM
Meryl Hirsch from Nyack, NY

I totally agree with what Andrea just said. After being left with the mess that Bush and the GOP cronies created, I think Obama has been doing a great job. What do people expect to happen in one year, especially with so many fighting his every move? I think he's been too conciliatory, though.

Jan. 20 2010 11:38 AM
Mike from NJ

In response to the caller who claims that she no longer recognizes her country, I think that many of us would say the very same thing concerning the Bush years.

Jan. 20 2010 11:38 AM
hjs from 11211


the whole country is failing apart and u are blaming one man. grow up. the caller maria tell us all we need to know about the future!

i'm not sure what people think should happen. less will happen now that the tea baggers are coming!

Jan. 20 2010 11:38 AM
Edward from NJ

I'm disappointed -- but more by progressives than the President. Conservatives have whittled away at their agenda for the past 40 years. They've come so far that many of Obama's so-called liberal social policies are slightly to the right of Richard Nixon's. I'm hardly shocked that Obama hasn't managed to reverse that in twelve months. Take a long view people!

Jan. 20 2010 11:37 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

CHANGE has, can and WILL STILL HAPPEN!

Don't give in to NEGATIVITY

Jan. 20 2010 11:37 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

"It's been a year."

And in another year, it'll be two years, and then three and then four.

So for how many years do the Obamapologists -- the Obama-istas -- grant President Zero a pass?

http://apocalypseroad.blogspot.com/2010/01/president-zero.html

Jan. 20 2010 11:36 AM
Michael from Brooklyn

Congress & senate are cesspools. Pres. Obama and fellow Dems don't seem to want to get dirty. Can't be done. They can't fight in that swill and not get dirty. Republicans recognize that. That's why they are successful.

My hope is fading every day

Jan. 20 2010 11:36 AM
Jennifer from NYC

It's only been a year... what have the rest of us done this year?

Jan. 20 2010 11:36 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

Exactly! We are not all idiots, we were not all expecting this to happen in a year Brian Lehrer!

Jan. 20 2010 11:36 AM
Leah from Manhattan

Honestly, Brian, you allow uninformed and unsophisticated people a ridiculous amount of air time. The last guest, Maria, had an anemic understanding of both politics in general and of the Constitution in particular.

Jan. 20 2010 11:36 AM
carol markel from Manhattan

Out of the gate, I was disheartened by his choices for economic positions. More Bush policies.

I think he made a mistake focusing on heath care now; and I want a heath care plan that cuts costs and does not compromise to the benefit of insurance companies.

He should have taken a page from Bill Clinton; "It's the economy stupid."

I am shocked at the disfunction in national security.

All that said, there have advances on the environment.
He's smart, well spoken, and liked abroad.
I'm proud that we elected a black person.

Jan. 20 2010 11:36 AM
Ann from nyc

On inauguration day I shared the experience at a community center and was thrilled that the Bush regime was over.
When Obama announced Geitner & Summers as part of his economic team my heart sunk.
That very act signaled that we were not going to see significant change in halting the Reagan/Clinton/Bush economic policies that brought us to the brink.

Jan. 20 2010 11:36 AM
Jennifer from NYC

Enough air time for the idiot - thanks Brian...

Jan. 20 2010 11:35 AM
kevin davidson from New York NY

Why do people think that a president can wave a magic wand within one year and fix everything? This is a democratic republic that requires voting by elected representatives. There's argument, infighting, compromise, and slow slow change. This is not new, its how our system has always worked.

Its not a monarchy, its not an oligarchy, and the president simply does not have a magic wand. His job is to set the tone and try to set the agenda, and I think he's been very positive and forward-thinking towards the future.

Jan. 20 2010 11:35 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

I AM STILL HOPEFUL! He will still make a CHANGE!

Dont give in to the NEGATIVITY! Yes I am yelling

Jan. 20 2010 11:34 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

This hysterical EMILY chick is Brian's dream caller.

Jan. 20 2010 11:34 AM
Anthony Lang from NY

How do I feel about USA President Obama? He is doing a fantastic job.

Jan. 20 2010 11:34 AM
Jay from Sunnyside

One year is not enough time to recover from eight years of mis/non-management and intense corruption.

With regard to health insurance reform, Congress should be allowed to pass whatever health care reform they want, so that Obama can quickly veto the bill with the rationale that it is too tainted by special interests and doesn't do anything for the people except force them to buy insurance from private companies. Then, let the Republicans filibuster (not threaten, but actually do it) everything, unimpeded, so that the media can focus on that and the Dems can then attack them for being anti-American and obstructionist.

This would demonstrate leadership and ownership of the issue where nobody else will (aside from the insurance industry). With some evidence of leadership (i.e, what I voted for), my faith would be restored.

Jan. 20 2010 11:32 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

HE IS WHITE TOO! Hate this "Black President" thingy soooo much!

Jan. 20 2010 11:32 AM
plp

Where's the hook for that fake poet fool.

Jan. 20 2010 11:31 AM
George from West Village

For a start Bernanke, Emmanuel, Geithner, and Napolitano should be replaced.

Jan. 20 2010 11:31 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

No one is asking for a "PASS" just use you common sense to realize 1 yr negative assessment is a joke!

Jan. 20 2010 11:31 AM
Isaiah from Philadelphia

Not to say I haven't had my own disappointments with Obama's first year, but I remain very hopeful. What really disappoints me, though, is how quickly my fellow Americans, liberals in particular, lost that brief surge of imagination and sense of possibility. Obama is just the president - what I was really hopeful for was Americans regaining some sense of purpose for our country. Instead, I see a lot of cynicism. If being a liberal just means constantly whining about everything, it's not much of a thing to be.

Jan. 20 2010 11:31 AM
Chriss from NJ

Here's my Obama poem---

Day 365:

Woke up this morning with my Obama swagger...

But no one noticed.

A year later, no one cares..

Up in the Bay State, a man came in a pick-up truck

He took my swagger, my gusto and my Mojo

Damn I hate Massachusetts!!

Jan. 20 2010 11:31 AM
Thomas Harper from Brooklyn

This reminds me of the Carter administration as far as scale of interest in change. Carter tried to avoid the internal politics of Washington to push his agenda of reform and conservative spending in government. Obama's administration also had high hopes, however I feel he had learned from the Carter administration to listen to all of the voices of politics, but has seemed to spend to much time listening to it.

I still see hope but am worried that there are to many people becoming solidified in opposition for him to be a successful president for him to be successful.

Jan. 20 2010 11:30 AM
Alexa Kelly from NYC

GROW UP CHILDEREN!!! Clearly Obama has tried everything he said he would do--did you really believe that he could turn that corrupt right wing organization around in one year???

His heart and mind are still in the right place. Republicans DO NOT CARE about the populace, or the deficit, that is all a joke. Obama is still the man he said he was. SUPPORT HIM!!!! Do not buy into the media negative right wing bull!! SUPPORT OBAMA--he still has to work through the chanels that are there--get rid of some of the evil nay-sayers!
BELIEVE IN AND CONTINUE TO SUPPORT OBAMA!

Jan. 20 2010 11:30 AM
john from the office

Brian, this is the worst guest ever, close to the Gore Vidal interview.

Jan. 20 2010 11:29 AM
Krista B. from New York City

I believe that Obama is doing a fine job, considering that he has not been in office that long and has been left huge messes, both wars and a financial crisis, to clean up. He has seen beyond those immediate issues and put his focus on domestic issues, including health care and the environment. I honestly do not understand the enmity expressed against him on this page. Any form of political change is, and should be, a slow process, and we should be happy when the boat is turning in the correct direction slowly, instead of crying for mutiny.

Jan. 20 2010 11:29 AM
Daniel from queens

What people dont understand is that Obama is like a star player of the polictical team. He does the most important job BUT is nothing when his team does not work with him. The Republicans refuse to work to with him for some unknown odd reason and people must understand U.S democracy is a painfully slow process when there is so much opposition on both side. This last decade has shown me that the electorial college is a flaw now. I still believe Obama is trying his best but he's only ONE person who needs help from everyone, including the Republicans,

Jan. 20 2010 11:29 AM
HarrisG from Astoria, NY

I think the GOP has stymied Obama. There wasn't much that he could get through the Senate. Also, he has always been a moderate. He's also pragmatic.

It's worth noting that the GOP have stymied many of Obama's administrative appointments including the TSA administrator. Then they complain about airline security! With a party like that in opposition, it's amazing that Obama can get anything accomplished. The GOP stands to the far right, but they are united. The Democrats are all over the spectrum and far from united.

I think that Obama has done a credible job considering the circumstances. I fear that now things will get worse. I also think that unless the Democrats get their act together, the November elections will be a disaster. I don't even want to think of 2012. It may be time to move to Mexico after that election. It's scary.

Jan. 20 2010 11:28 AM
patrick lindsey from brooklyn

mr oboma can be summed up in two word:
Brand Oboma

Jan. 20 2010 11:26 AM
hjs from 11211

it's the economy stupid!

Jan. 20 2010 11:24 AM
RLewis from bowery

Everyone wants Change, but no one can agree on what exactly is Change.

Obama is trapped between those who say he needs to come back to the center and those who say is needs to be true to his base. Which is it?

He's getting clobbered by trying to please everyone, and really pleasing no one.

Jan. 20 2010 11:24 AM
Marc from Upper West Side

I think the Daily Show's Larry Wilmore addressed this issue well last night in his satirical report by pointing out to host Jon Stewart and the audience that Obama is not "the magic negro."

That said, I'm still disappointed with Obama's first year.

Jan. 20 2010 11:23 AM
Alison

Re: Health Care

It *does* make economic, as well as political sense to rein in health care industry *profits*, because *price inflation* in this sector is out of control viz incomes.

If only the current bill actually tried to!

Prices outpacing wages: true for nearly all of the new service industries since the Clinton years (real estate and rents, privatised utilities, new utilities like cable and internet, education(!), and interest rates on unsecured debts).

Which is why the comparison your guest made with the mid 1990s is no longer valid.

Jan. 20 2010 11:23 AM
CJ from NY

He doesn't get a pass because he inherited tough problems. He knew what he was getting into when he ran for office.

He hasn't handled the problems. He's not a good policy-maker. He's not a good decision-maker. He's not a good staff-picker!

Jan. 20 2010 11:21 AM
gerogina rodman from West Village

wow! a bunch of people want to support this Prez, just like I do. Heartening. Thanks folks

Jan. 20 2010 11:20 AM
Maria #2 from Brooklyn

I am not surprised. I admit, I was swept up in the emotional moment of Obama's victory, because it seemed like there was a possibility of change from the Bush presidency. However, I was worried that unless all the people who helped elect Obama kept right on pushing for change, but this time directed their energies against Obama (or, if you will, helping him do what they think he wants to do), we'd get more of the same.

We've made progress on a few small symbolic things, but honestly, did we really expect so very much from the latest corporate-backed Democrat? Especially one with Rahm Emannuel as his closest advisor!

It is our own fault, and by us I mean Obama's base, for not pushing him. Unless and until there is a true movement of people pushing Obama to do the right thing, and by movement I mean an ORGANIZED movement, Obama will continue to slide from moderate to conservative Democrat.

The independent organizations that could make up a movement in this country, whether unions, feminist groups, civil rights groups, or others, MUST stand up to Obama. Without pressure he'll continue to make decisions that benefit the wealthy elite (banks, insurance companies, etc.) and the American public is smart enough to see that he's not really helping us. Unless we have a true New Deal style intervention in the economy to increase jobs, like a huge second stimulus, we're toast and so is Obama.

Jan. 20 2010 11:20 AM
Glenn from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Obama should encourage Supreme Court Justices Stevens and Bader-Ginsberg to resign NOW so that he can try to replace them with like-minded Justices BEFORE the 2010 elections.

Jan. 20 2010 11:19 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

He did not makes a mistake on wallstreet...where would we be if the gov't did not bail out AIG? You people are all criticism and no SOLUTION!

Jan. 20 2010 11:18 AM
plp

It doesn't matter who gets in office, the reality is that the person is facing the same political structure.

Jan. 20 2010 11:17 AM
john from the office

Obama is a good president. The expectations were just too high. The man has a great intellect. Unfortunatly, a high intellect may not be what leads to good leadership. Look at Carter, a failed president with the highest IQ of any president.

Jan. 20 2010 11:16 AM
Crescenzo from NJ

Perhaps the election of President Obama WAS the necessary one to help our citizens come to their senses. I'm not saying McCain was necessarily the answer, but regarding the clip you started out with: when you vote with your HEART and not your BRAIN, THIS mess is what you get!

Jan. 20 2010 11:16 AM
jade

I was late to support O, although I am a life-long democrat. I've always been cautious about him, the overhigh expectations of others etc. Still, despite my low expectations, he is disappointing. He's worthless, a wimp. His interest in "conscensus" (sp?) has allowed the Republicans to walk all over him. Healthcare reform is a joke. Clinton got the FMLA passed in what, the first week?! He's an ass. He'll be a one-term president for sure.

Jan. 20 2010 11:16 AM
Robert from NYC

When I write to the White House I write to President Rahm Emanuel! I know that a good manager hires good people but also keeps and eye on them. I don't think Mr Obama either picked the "right" people and has left it all in their hands without controlling the reigns!

Jan. 20 2010 11:16 AM
Julia from Skillman, NJ

Quite frankly, I have not seen such a hard working president. He came into office with the right wing bent on seeing him fail. He has tried very hard to move this country in positive direction with with the right wing just out to get him. His stimulus bill has had positive results; everybody but Fox News believes that. He said that he will clean up Afghanistan. Afghanistan is in process. He really had done a fantastic job at trying to meet some very big goals. I have to say, I believe he has been the best president I have seen serve.

Jan. 20 2010 11:16 AM
hjs from 11211

hindsight is great. progressives: after the election, how much work did u do to support our president? where were u in the summer when they lynched him on TV?

you were a fool if u thought he was a god. he's only the president. we let him down and showed that corporations always have greater power when the people are silent.

go drive your SUV off a collapsing bridge!

Jan. 20 2010 11:16 AM
Susan from Somerset NJ

I am offended by this whole assumption, which seems as media-whipped as the Tea Party events. There was a time when I did not so easily imagine a Jon Stewart parody of Brian Lehrer's questions and comments -- now, the perhaps natural complacency and self-congratulation from a long-running show make the commentator un-circumspect. As was reported last night, the media's jumping on the positive poll during the Christmas holiday on Brown made his run's efficacy a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why assume all of the listeners' attitudes toward Obama have changed? My own remains relief that there is someone smart, careful and judicious at last as our president. After so many years of wondering if the burdens of the job would ever attract this again, we don't necessarily forget what a gift this is.

Jan. 20 2010 11:16 AM
gerogina rodman from West Village

Mr. Obama and his administration have my unqualified unwavering support...and i am a centrist somewhat conservative Democrat. We handed over a landfill of garbage --- ranging from the economy (what happened to the Clinton legacy of surplus funds?) to the wars to an embattled gridlocked Capital Hill ---
The Massachusetts special election is not a referendum on Washington but on our electorate. The same electorate that could re-elect Mr. Bush suffers from memory loss and the need for immediate gratification. I am more concerned about us as a populace, unable to engage in civil and forward moving dialogue. The great divide is not just economic, it is laced with fundamentalism of all types.

Jan. 20 2010 11:16 AM
Alex from Brooklyn

the way Obama handled the "economic problem" is wrong and now he will pay with health care reform.

Jan. 20 2010 11:15 AM
Matthieu C from Brooklyn, NY

I am disappointed by this first year, but I still have hope for Obama. What has become clear to me is that the American people are too receptive to fearmongering arguments; too impatient to recognize the folly of penny-wise, pound-foolish measures; and too selfish to see that what is good for the country is good for them. I hoped a year ago that Obama's spirit of bipartisanship would unify a divided country. Now I see that Americans seem to seek that division, and that I was foolish to hope for uniting towards progress. So, I hope Obama changes tactics: take the reins firmly and lead us forward; invite all to join you, but don't wait even one second for those who drag their feet against progress.

Jan. 20 2010 11:15 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

SPOT ON CALLER! HRC or anyone else for that matter would NOT have had anymore success put in the same position!

Jan. 20 2010 11:15 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Too late to be looking back at the Bush administration? In 1988, George H. W. Bush ran against Jimmy Carter!

Jan. 20 2010 11:14 AM
David from New York

Days before the 08 Election I travelled through the Swing States of New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio asking voters "Who will you vote for in the 2008 US presidential election and why?" and photographing them.

Here is the resulting slideshow:
http://www.davidbrabyn.com/swingstates/slideshow/index.html

Jan. 20 2010 11:13 AM
Nico from Crown Heights

Obama has to realize he FINALLY must take on Wall Street. It's time for a cabinet re-shuffle, starting with Rahm Emanuel. Geithner and Summers should be replaced NOW. If not, 2010 will be 1994 all over again!

Jan. 20 2010 11:13 AM
Rachael from Brooklyn

I just found out that my landlord is going into foreclosure. Thanks to OBAMA'S May 2009 legislation, I am legally able to stay in my apartment for 90 days, or the end of my lease. Before May 2009, there was no such protection for renters, who were being evicted by banks with 10 days notice.

REAL CHANGE is happening—has happened. Obama is getting A LOT done, but the spin machine just goes on and on with the message that nothing is happening. FALSE.

Jan. 20 2010 11:13 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

How preposterous! How does one become the "worst President ever"? When they cannot even get to their own agenda for cleaning up the manure from the previous administration??!!

I think all who say otherwise are prejudiced and narrow minded!! Calls em!

Jan. 20 2010 11:13 AM
Anthony Lang from NY

One year is nothing in the best of times it is even less after the unprecedented failure's of the republicans. If there was a third party choice for those that aren't zombies of either party then after at least two years give those guys a try, but to put back the proven misguided republicans now is insane.

Jan. 20 2010 11:12 AM
Pablo Alto from da' Bronx

My hopes for President Obama are as high as ever. My expectations for the United States as a country have lessened as I have watched as ignorance and fear continue to motivate the actions of a significant percentage of the people.

Jan. 20 2010 11:11 AM
Leah from Manhattan

Brian, I feel like you're "disappointment- baiting." If this year has been a let-down it may be because we had unrealistic expectations for this president--which is something the Obama campaign exploited and capitalized upon. There is so much pressure on these artificial milestones (first 50 days! first 100 days! first year!) that distracts from real issues facing real people. In his first year in office George Bush had suspended the Bill of Rights with the Patriot Act, so I'll call this year a success by comparison.

Jan. 20 2010 11:11 AM
Robert from NYC

Listen to this...

http://action.change-congress.org/page/invite/yearone?utm_source=full&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20100120

I think it sums up year 1 quite well.

Jan. 20 2010 11:11 AM
Nick Patterson from NYC

Hope is just a word. And, an empty one, these days. Actions speak louder than words.

Wow, imagine if this ends up giving birth to the most cynical generation ever, after seeing all of the things that somehow seemingly can't/won't be changed.

Jan. 20 2010 11:10 AM
CJ from NY

This is what concerned me from the beginning. ENOUGH SPEECHES. Yes, he is a pretty talker but ENOUGH talk! I want action!

Jan. 20 2010 11:08 AM
Michael Z from Manhattan

With the loss of a Democratic seat in the U.S. Senate and a Republican from Massachusetts on his way to Capitol Hill, maybe, President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, got the message from the Massachusetts voters that Americans are fed up with the government process on Capitol Hill. The way the Democrats handled the health care reform legislation was appalling.

There's NO CHANGE on Capitol Hill. It's business as usual -- done the same way as it was done during the 8 years of Bush and Cheney.

I've lost all hope for Obama's agenda for CHANGE that he convinced me to vote for him in November 2008, because he can't deliver nor defeat the power of special interest groups.

Jan. 20 2010 11:08 AM
Andrew B. from New York City

Obama is a tone-deaf empty suit.

He kept the Bush/Goldman Sachs team running the economy- and they enriched the crooked investment banks who brought down the economy while doing nothing as the jobless rate rose.

The stimulus was a joke and the President keeps on giving speeches about non-existent "green jobs", while his chief ally and fund-raiser Chuck Schumer keeps pushing to have TARP-receiving companies bring record numbers of foreign guest workers into the country to put EVEN MORE Americans out of work.

Then they try to change the subject by focusing on a complex health care bill that nobody understands.

Massachusetts just sent a message as subtle as a sledgehammer. Anyone listening?

Jan. 20 2010 11:07 AM
Betty Anne from UES

I wouldn't say Obama hasn't lived up to his promises because he is governing exactly how he said he would. He is a center/mostly right leaning Democrat not a liberal.

I would say he has not lived up to his promise. Maybe he doesn't truly understand his impact or responsibility. His bowing to the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies will destroy his 2012 campaign. The public optional is not and was not optional.

Jan. 20 2010 11:07 AM
hjs from 11211

hopeless.
the american people fail.

the dark ages are coming and your grandkids will ask u why u did nothing.

thanks

Jan. 20 2010 11:05 AM
Colin from Manhattan

Yesterday on All things Considered, a pundit was quoted complaining that even though we now have a black man as president, still, African Americans have higher unemployment and higher mortality rates than the average. Do we really think that Obama can affect the mortality rate of African Americans in 1 year? Patience please!

Jan. 20 2010 11:05 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

President Zero lost my vote with
- his tacit approval of torture at Bagram,
- his support of extraordinary rendition,
- his coddling of Wall St & Health Insurers,
- his denial of habeus corpus and other basic due process rights to prisoners held by the US in these insane wars
- his escalation of the war in Afghanistan
- his indifference to civilian fatalities in drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan
- his utter failure to support any real, substantive health care reform,
- and the list goes on.

So far, contrary to the crap offered by "Politifact", The Big 0 has failed to deliver on any key promise.

Jan. 20 2010 11:05 AM
Nico from Crown Heights

Most others have expressed my own sentiments. Obama CANNOT keep ignoring his base! Initially, I was devastated by this but really the Dems' super-majority – which included the abominable Lieberman – made party leaders think they could get away with ramming through bills that nobody but their donors and lobbyists liked. You want health reform, Obama? Turn Tuesday's calamity into an opportunity – take another look at single payer!

Jan. 20 2010 11:02 AM
annie from Bronx

If the Democrats don't pass this healthcare bill soon it will never pass. It's not perfect, but it's better than what the Republicans have to offer, which is nothing but the same old tax cuts for the richest and "cutting spending" by screwing the poor, who have less ability to fight them.

Do the Republicans offer any agenda besides the same old taking care of their rich friends? No, they have publicly stated that they will vote against ANYTHING Obama proposes because they simply want to assassinate him politically.

Did anyone fact-check the lies "charming" Scott Brown stated in his speech last night? No, you're too busy talking about his truck.

Jan. 20 2010 10:58 AM
CJ from NY

What did people expect from a not-even-full-term senator? It was too soon. He wasn't ready. Now, we are no better than we were with Bush.

Obama has changed nothing. He's wasted a bunch of time on an ineffective, unsuitable health-care plan; accepted awards he hasn't earned; commented on pop-culture that shouldn't even blip on his radar; appointed innapropriate staff; started a new war; wasted more human life; dropped the ball on National Security and seems to value his vacation time as much as Bush!

Jan. 20 2010 10:53 AM
carolita from manhattan

a year ago I was happy but thinking "I hope they don't take Obama for a god and then get bitter when he can't change the world for them," and now I"m thinking "I love Obama, but there's a bunch of morons out there disappointed that Obama didn't turn out to be a god, but rather is just a human, and they're blaming him for their every woe, regardless of the bare facts facing them." People don't want to pay for anything in this country. Well, guess what? The government can't go out and rob a bank and pay for everything we want and need without getting money from us, the people. When will people get that? They get it in Europe.

Jan. 20 2010 10:53 AM
Jenn from Upper East Side

I think the major problem with Obama at the moment is that in his effort to be bipartisan, he has taken the exact wrong approach. He has started every major discussion in the MIDDLE. When you go to buy a car, you don't walk up to the salesman and say "I'd like to pay sticker, if that's okay with you." You have to start with a better deal than what you actually are willing to pay. There is no reason for the Republicans to do anything.

Jan. 20 2010 10:48 AM
joe from LI

until democrats can show and convince the joe the plumbers of the world how the evaporation of the middle class is due to republican policies and not a progressive vision of a better fairer society we will see more scott browns

Jan. 20 2010 10:47 AM
Anthony Lang from NY

The thing that really bothers me is that the reps are treated by most Americans like a family member , even if they burn the house down, after a short scolding they are forgiven and put back in charge. Where as the dems are treated like cindarella , even after doing great in past admins and while we try to clean up the reps mess and rebuild the house if it isn't done impossibly fast the dems get whipped and put in the shed.

Jan. 20 2010 10:47 AM
Alex from Brooklyn

OBAMA time to clean house... you need to fire your advisors, staff and get some new blood or you will be the useless one term president

Jan. 20 2010 10:45 AM
asdf from

In 2004, Dubya's supporters claimed 9/11 happened "too early" into his presidency for the national security lapses to be considered a mark against his presidency, instead laying blame on Clinton. 9/11 took place 19 months AFTER Dubya took office.

Now Obama's opponents argue that all America's problems are Obama's fault because he has, after all, been president for 12 months.

So, is this just meathead politics -- or are we seeing a BLACK tax?

Jan. 20 2010 10:43 AM
Natalie from Brooklyn, NY

Most of the comments above reflect my own opinions. I voted and worked hard for Obama but feel totally fooled. He has continued the worst policies of previous administrations and their links to Wall Street, Big Pharma, Big Insurance Companies and all the infamous rest. The Democratic Party still does not "get it." After many years (decades) of liberal Democratic thought and action, I am becoming an Independent. From the beginning, I was convinced that Obama's primary focus should be on the economy and jobs. Beyond that, I will defer to the above comments.

Jan. 20 2010 10:41 AM
Christopher from Westchester County

Its fitting that on the day that marks his first year in office. Obamba awakens to the fact that his administration is a joke and he lied to all those that elected him into office.

Hope for change, has proven to be "the same old, same old" with a little "Chicago style" politics thrown in for a little flavor.

The only way is which he can possibly save himself and more importantly this country from further decline, is to embrace the politics of working with BOTH parties to get anything accomplished. A little bit of humility would also serve him well too.

If not, we could possibly finally see the end of the Democratic Party as we know it.

Jan. 20 2010 10:39 AM
Alex from Brooklyn

Obama - lack of leadership.. Looking at one side and looking at another side and going in the middle is not LEADERSHIP....

leadership takes courage and taking a stance in what you believe not finding a compromise for the sake of compromise....

Jan. 20 2010 10:37 AM
aliveinNJ from New Jersey

If only. . . government courses were required for all citizens; Americans had a substantive and sophisticated understanding of how the goverment works; would be willing to get out and do some of the legwork of government; if citizens could take the long view! It is simplistic and naive to blame President Obama for not having eradicated all the ills in twelve months! Wouln't it be great if Democrats could work together, Republicans recognized that they have a responsibility for governing, all citizens upheld their responsibility as citizens!

Jan. 20 2010 10:35 AM
Alex from Brooklyn

Obama - Disappointment walking

Jan. 20 2010 10:35 AM
Anthony Lang from NY

A good health care bill is essential to get the economy back on track. The problem the president and the Democratic party has is primarily due to their over insistence on bipartisanship. If from the beginning the democrats had followed the law of the constitution and gone for a 51 vote majority heath care bill the electorate would have been impressed with how efficient and complete the bill itself and process would have been. When in power The republicans never concern them selves with bipartisanship. As far as Scott Brown being seated, the reps fully intend to filibuster which is an underhanded trick the dems should go for reconciliation and pass the bill that the people really want.

Jan. 20 2010 10:31 AM
Benjamin from Brooklyn

The Democrats would be foolish not to pass the Senate health care legislation through the house for Obama's signature before the State of the Union. Once they pass the bill, Obama needs to sell it! There are many many problems with the health care bill from the Senate, but not passing anything would be a disaster.

Jan. 20 2010 10:31 AM
Mabel from Manhattan

While Obama ran a tight campaign, but he is running a really sloppy administration. His campaign astutely utilized the corporate backed media, just like the Bush administration, to deliver a carefully crafted image and message. But the Obama administration is anything but that. They need to tidy it up. One, stop believing that the Republicans in the legislature want to co-govern, they want only want to RULE no matter what it costs. Don't be fooled. Two, get out the message - he needs to bring in George Lakoff for some team building. How about a campaign to the "care" back in healthcare? Three, ditch Rahm Emanuel, remember he dueled with Dean about the 50 State strategy and get rid of Summers, a brilliant bully responsible for this financial meltdown. I voted for CHANGE, make some! Otherwise this well-educated black woman will be seeking employment in Canada or elsewhere!

Jan. 20 2010 10:07 AM
Robert from NYC

Simply he gets a D from me. A party in the majority and the minority got their way. Yes they did. I will not vote for any of the incumbents including our (your) beloved senators Schumer and Gillibrand nor my rep Maloney. The democrats are the democraps in my eyes and THEY lost this because they don't stand up against the republicans but cower or give in to them, yes, STILL as the majority.

Jan. 20 2010 10:05 AM
jjl from

as an american who really does believe in the power of free markets, i had hoped that obama would give us some relief of the bush kleptocracy.

while the economy is no longer as out-of-control feeling as it was during 2000-09, in my opinion, obama doesn't have what it takes to try something new, like let the banks fail and clean out the bush and clinton money men.

he doesn't trust our system enough to let it work.

Every time Obama says how many "jobs he's created or saved" I cringe. I'd say we need an MBA president but we tried that, phooey. Brian can you give Stiglitz a call and ask what he would do if he were Treasury Secretary? He just came out w a new book and Lopate is through w him.

Jan. 20 2010 09:56 AM
Joe Denaro from Manhattan

Mr.Obama has yet to truly utilize his use of the "bully pulpit" that is a perogative of the Head of State. He's right, the "buck stops with him". He needs to "step up to the plate" next Wed. night and take responsibility for his agenda: explain his philosophy beyond the need for change. His election validates that change! "Challenge" is what the American people yearn for and only a true Leader can summon them!

Jan. 20 2010 09:49 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from manhattan

One year later....what a failure!!!!
Just for starters....

ISRAEL/PALESTINIANS - Aren't even talking to each now other and the "peace process" has been MIA since the day he took office and started making naive, historically dubious demands.

IRAN - One whole year lost to stalling by the regime...while Obama got nowhere with his half-hearted attempt at engagement. The "player" got played. Thank heavens for the courage of the Iranians.

BIGGEST SUCCESS - Single-handedly revived the moribund Republican Party in just 12 months!!!

THANKS, BARRY !!!!!!

That's what we get when we pick candidates without experience (or even a previous full time job) just because their identity makes us feel good about ourselves and oh so self-righteous.

Jan. 20 2010 09:47 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Worse President ever!!! Obama and the Dems have tried to wreck this country, but the people just won't have it. Obama has none nothing right. His admin is an expensive and wasteful joke.

Scott Brown’s upset election last night, shows how badly he’s doing. I recall that after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor several hundred thousand Americans showed up along the Pacific Coast armed to the teeth with rifles, shot guns and handguns to defend their nation. Last night heroic Americans showed up again, in droves at the ballot box in MA. Once again Americans rallied to save their country, this time from the liberal fascists and Maoists that would wreck and ruin this country.

There is a God and he’s on the side of true democracy and not on the side of closet Commies and Islamic terrorist apologists.

PS - the view from the ground among R&R, relief, diplomatic, military and intelligence folk is that Obama’s response to the Haitian earthquake is far worse than Bush’s response to Katrina. Only 1200 plus folks died in Katrina. 50,000 people will die because of the slow response in Haiti, in addition to the 10s of thousands who were killed immediately. And once again the media is silent.

Jan. 20 2010 07:41 AM
joshua

a year isn't very long but i must confess my sentiments are well stated by maria (tho i was not as hopeful on day 1)

Jan. 20 2010 07:02 AM
Maria from New York

In the inauguration of Obama, I was expecting the new FDR. Instead Obama has been more of
the same - a combination of Bill Clinton (he hired the Clinton cronies), and George Bush (
he kept Bernake and continued with the war in
Afghanistan). I hope the election of the republican NJ governor and the recent Democratic loss in Mass. shows Obama that he is
losing his base. I wanted single payer Health Insurance, and instead my teacher's Health Insurance is being taxed. He needs to represent the people who elected him.

Jan. 20 2010 06:30 AM

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