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Barack Obama's 100-day report card

US President Barack Obama has completed 100 days in office - a traditional moment for taking stock of progress.

Here we attempt to assess how has he done, measured against his own pre-election pledges and goals.

A BBC summary of developments is followed by a comment and scores out of five from Prof Iwan Morgan of London University's Institute for the Study of the Americas. One star indicates a poor performance, five stars an excellent one.

Obama's 100 days: Report Card

Issue Summary Score
Economy Mr Obama threw himself into the task of rescuing the stricken economy, drawing up a $787bn economic stimulus plan, bailing out banks and offering help to struggling homeowners. But will it work? The Congressional Budget Office says the stimulus package should reduce the severity of the recession. But critics say it is too costly, contains too few tax cuts, is too slow to direct money where needed, will not create jobs quickly enough and will pile up future debt.
Iwan Morgan: Good start on the fiscal stimulus but less sure-footed when it came to revitalising the financial system.
****
Climate change Mr Obama appears to be delivering on a promise to make climate change a priority. The stimulus plan includes $23bn for renewable energy and Mr Obama is backing a draft Democratic-led energy bill designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency has already decided to regulate CO2 emissions, in a major shift from the Bush era. But big battles lie ahead with industry and political opponents.
Iwan Morgan: The bar was set low after George Bush but Obama has got off to a good start.
****
Healthcare Mr Obama pledged to reduce health insurance costs while offering a new affordable public plan for some 46m Americans who do not have cover. He signalled his determination by nominating Tom Daschle as health secretary. But Daschle was forced to withdraw in a row over unpaid taxes, and Mr Obama's next nominee has not yet been confirmed, so the president remains at first base.
Iwan Morgan: Three stars is a generous score, largely for intent, but the White House has been largely silent on the issue of healthcare entitlement reform (essential for control of long-term public debt).
***
Building a team The new president lost two cabinet nominees to tax scandals and another turned down the job. But two key appointments - Hillary Clinton at the State Department and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner - hit the ground running.
Iwan Morgan: Obama has put in place good teams for national security and economic policy - though there are concerns about competing lines of authority in each area. It is also a concern that the Treasury, a key department, has still not had appointments made to key posts immediately below the Secretary. The Daschle affair was also a significant embarrassment.
***
Guantanamo Mr Obama promised to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp quickly. Within days of taking office, he signed an order demanding closure "as soon as practicable". Dozens of detainees have been cleared for release. But the administration faces big legal and diplomatic hurdles as it deals with the remaining 245 men held.
Iwan Morgan: As good as can be expected in the first 100 days.
*****
Torture Mr Obama stated his opposition to the harsh interrogation methods of the post-9/11 Bush era - such as sleep deprivation and water-boarding - in his inaugural address. He was quick to ban them, and released memos detailing how they were used under the Bush administration. He has absolved CIA interrogators, but officials who approved the techniques may yet be prosecuted.
Iwan Morgan: As above - as good as can be expected in the first 100 days.
*****
Afghanistan Mr Obama promised to step up the battle against the Taleban, and has sent an extra 17,000 troops to join the 38,000 already there. He has also proposed a big spending programme on infrastructure projects, and pledged 4,000 troops to train Afghan security forces. But his efforts to persuade European Nato allies to shoulder more of the burden have yet to bear much fruit.
Iwan Morgan: It is difficult to score this one more positively because of setbacks in the area.
***
Iraq Mr Obama promised the withdrawal of most US troops by the end of May 2010. That timetable slipped just a little when he took office - he now says the US "combat mission" will officially end by August 2010, with up to 50,000 of 142,000 troops now there staying until the end of 2011 to advise Iraqi forces and protect US interests.
Iwan Morgan: Obama scores well for reassessing US priorities but the timelines are likely to slip further.
****
Iran Mr Obama promised to engage with Iran and - possibly - to meet its president. A shift in tone was immediately clear: he talked of extending a hand if Iran "unclenched its fist", and sent a video message to the people of Iran offering a "new beginning". The US will now play a full part in international talks with Iran over its nuclear programme. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made clear that if dialogue fails, the US will seek tougher sanctions. No results so far.
Iwan Morgan: This score is for good intent, but little actually achieved as yet.
****
Middle East Mr Obama promised that peace in the Middle East would be a top foreign policy aim "from day one". Israeli, Egyptian and Palestinian leaders have been invited to the White House for peace talks; seasoned negotiator George Mitchell has been appointed envoy to the Middle East; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the region herself. US officials have also made diplomatic overtures to Syria, long out in the cold.
Iwan Morgan: The US has not done enough to appear an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians.
**
Arms control Mr Obama has outlined an ambitious vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. He has called for a global summit on nuclear security, and pledged to reduce the US nuclear stockpile. He and his Russian counterpart have agreed to seek a new arms control treaty. Mr Obama has already stopped funding for a new US nuclear warhead. But he has made clear that the US will keep its arsenal while others have one.
Iwan Morgan: Again this score reflects words rather than deeds.
****
Bipartisanship Mr Obama made a lofty pledge to bridge the bitter partisan divide in Washington, but has only two Republicans in his cabinet. His Republican nominee for the post of commerce secretary refused the job, citing "policy differences". Republicans argue that Mr Obama's choice of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff - a man they regard as "highly partisan" - was unhelpful. Whichever side is to blame, talk of bipartisanship does not seem to have become reality.
Iwan Morgan: US politics is more polarised than at the comparable stage of the Bush presidency - though this is not necessarily Barack Obama's fault.
*

Iwan Morgan is Professor of US Studies and Director of the US Presidency Centre, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London.


Some of your comments:

Compared to the first hundred days of LBJ's administration, the actual number of significant laws passed has been paltry. Like LBJ, his party dominates every part of government but the Supreme Court, so it is a surprising lack of accomplishment. I would give him 3's and I's for "incomplete."
Jim, Baltimore, USA

I agree with all the scores given in this article. Overall, I would have to say he deserves a good 4.5 stars out of 5... Considering the enormity of the mess that was left behind by the former admin. He was handed a train-wreck and a lot of broken tools, along with a disorganized crew to 're-assemble' it.

All that, and he is doing a bang-up job of re-initializing healthy relations with the rest of the world. Another train-wreck left to him by the former admin.

4.5/5
Crow, Minneapolis MN, USA

I think Professor Morgan's assessment is more than bit rosy. On Middle East issues he has done nothing or even worse: he hasn't reassured our ally Israel and he hasn't reassured the Palestinians or the Arabs. He is doing exactly what he always does trying to take both sides of the issue and then claim victory with whoever wins. He is completely polarizing; I don't know one conservative who is happy with what he is doing. For everyone's grandiose praise of his presidency and his talking of bipartisanship he has accomplished nothing and is actually even worse he tries to bully the opposition with a grand mandate which isn't true. He won 52% to 48% that is not a grand mandate. The country is bitterly divided and he is the main reason why. He is trying to socialize or even worse bring a form of communism to our country. He doesn't like to be labeled but that is how a lot of people see it.
Kevin N, Herndon, VA

not a bad start for obama.

but i did not see any assessment on his relations with africa or any attempt at tackling africa's poverty.

i feel africa is not in his agenda. too bad i must say.
asieco chuks, Akure, Nigeria

The modern 100-day frenzy to 'get things done', even if they subsequently turn out to have not been thought through in any way, shape or form, brings inevitable comparison with the infamous saga of the Ouzelum Bird.

How pleasant, therefore, to contemplate Mao Tse Tung's alledged remark when asked to comment on the consequences of the French (1789) revolution: 'It's too soon to know'!
Dr Tim Howell, Mohammedia, Morocco

I would not give Obama a high score on any subject. He is trying to turn our country into a socialist government. He will make sure we have no choice in the matter. So far, he has gone gangbusters on every thing, without thinking about what he is doing.
judy, lucas Texas usa

I think he is an honest man with his feet on the ground and an understanding of the ordinary man in the street and the poor image the USA had in world politics under the Bush administration. He needs a strong and loyal team at his side. I think he has got the majority of countries support in the world.

He is a breath of fresh air and I give him 5 stars so far and wish him Luck.
Grahame Smedley, Le Pouliguen, Loire Atlantique, France

Obama has started well.No president ever faced so many intractable problems,at the same time.He sounds sincere &he is the best suitable person to tackle world problems.I wish him well.I rate him 4/5.Will he succeed in Iran & Pak-Afg ?
N.Radhakrishnan, chennai,India

Economy *: None of the root problems of the crisis are really being addressed. Instead we are throwing band-aids and rhetoric at the problem.

Climate change **: Subsidies were a big part of the problem up until now. More subsides are not likely to be all that helpful in the long run. The corn to ethanol disaster is an example in point.

Healthcare **: As the American healthcare system has become more socialized it has increasingly broken down. We need to help the poor get access to the system, not turn it completely over to political control.

Building a team *: One hundred days! The team should of been in place long ago.

Guantanamo *** : I am not sure he could of done much better or worse. The system is bigger than the president. Its mostly rhetoric with the reality being swept under the rug.

Torture **** : It needed to be stopped; he did. He has muddled a bit on the prosecution side of things.

Afghanistan *** : He could be doing worse. He could be doing better.

Iraq ** : He is trying but if Iraqis die as a result of a to hasty pullout then that would be a crime against humanity in my opinion. Rhetoric is great in politics but not when it comes to peoples lives. In this case hard cold pragmatism is required.

Iran *** : The real test will come after, or if, the talking runs its course. This could be the biggest test of his Presidency.

Middle East *** : Once again; average. Lots of rhetoric, but concrete actions are still mostly lacking. He has made a good start on the diplomacy front though.

Arms control **** : It is good to state that the ultimate goal is a nuclear free world. The realities of the world are going to take a bit more than pretty words to deal with successfully though.

Bipartisanship * : On this one he can talk the talk but he can not walk the walk.

Overall ** : If you put aside the glamor, charisma, and the propaganda machine surrounding Obama and just focused on the actions of the administration so far; then I would have to say he is scoring below average. I think he is trying to do well and it is still early in his administration but a good President has to deliver more than great speeches.
Bret, Portland, OR U.S.A. /Tartu Estonia

Mr. Obama has been making an honest attempt to resolve a lot of issues from the Bush Administration. I give him a lot of credit for offering an olive branch to the Republican Party; yet, they have been the ones not accepting it. The only issue I have with Mr. Obama's Administration is the continuation of the "No Child Left Behind" Law. Even in it's modified form, children are still being left behind. Otherwise, I give him an "A" for afford.
robert schaefer, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA

His foreign policy is pretty fine.
Linda, Kisumu

Within a mere 100 days, President Obama has begun tackling thorny and very complex problems which affect his country and the world along the lines he promised not just in words but in deeds. Only very learned people(not journalists, not laypersons, nor the "public" can "grade" a President. To grade him with justice, the proper yardstick would be to compare his 100 days with the accomplishments of other Presidents for the same time frame, not public opinion nor polls. In my opinion I would grade his performance on average as "Excellent", with five *****
Sheila Thadani, Toronto, Canada

Broadly speaking, Barak Obama seems to be making every attempt to deliver on election promises, and sometimes may be unseccussful, but to me the most striking thing is the change in the whole culture of politics in the US. Would that such a change could be brought about in the UK...
Grizelda Cockwell, Fox Bay, Falkland Islands

This is still the right man at the right position at the right time. I'm still amazed at the speed with which he is moving on these issues and the moral quality he has brought to the White House. For me and my generation, I hope he'll continue to change the world for the better. It's a big thumbs up for Mr. Obama.
Geronimo Duck, Utrecht, Netherlands



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