Obama criticism: Much ado about nothing

I am not a fan of anniversaries. And right now, I doubt our president is either.


It has been a year since America elected Obama. But the media has taken this sudden awareness of time (a year! not 11 months!) and created all kinds of ruckus about his progress.

Cream of the crock:

1) Fox News – Promises to Keep: Candidate Obama vs. President Obama.
“With the president coming up on the one-year mark since his election, now’s a good time to take a look at his track record.” — In this article, Fox pulls out Obama’s biggest statements (promises?) from his campaign and then analyzes the related issues, ranging from Afghanistan to health care reform, to rank the “promises” as “kept,” “partly kept” or “broken.” The result is a clearly intentional Jekyll and Hyde stigma for the president. Unnecessary. Presidency is a four-year deal.

Time – The Case for Modesty, in an Age of Arrogance
In this essay, Nancy Gibbs focuses more on the cultural evolution and psychology of personality traits than the president, although it effectively puts him in context. “Modesty in private life is attractive, but in public life it is essential, especially now, when those who immodestly claimed to Know It All have Wiped Us Out,” she says. An interesting but frustrating read. Just when you become hopeful about Obama’s modesty, Gibbs closes with “But I heed Jane Austen’s warning that “nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.” …Shit.

The Christian Science Monitor – One year after his election, what has Obama achieved?
“Early failures don’t always portend a failed presidency. ‘A president whom we all admire like John F. Kennedy had to get through the Bay of Pigs before he moved on to his record of accomplishment,’ says Mr. Widmer of Brown University.”

Montreal Gazette – Obama, Year 1: Reality takes a toll on optimism
Includes interviews with former supporters that are having doubts and a timeline of the president’s popularity vote.

How can so many in-depth yet opinion-saturated articles spring up about, well, nothing in particular? People are naturally worried about the state of our nation and drawn to journalism that backs up their beliefs. But if we can hype ourselves up this much when nothing is happening, we can count on all hell breaking loose at the first sign of downfall. Right now, lets all look to our president not for instant magic but for a level head.


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