Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010

A Mixed Record in a Crisis-Filled Year

A year in the White House can make even life on the campaign trail look sluggish. Since he took the oath of office a year ago, Barack Obama has faced a near constant stream of crises, with mixed results. The Dow Jones industrial average has gone up 33%, but the unemployment rate — now at 10% — has risen at the same pace. The credit panic has mostly abated, but monthly home foreclosures continue to grow. Obama sent more troops to Afghanistan, while planning to draw down troops from Iraq. Americans still praise the President as a "strong leader" who is "honest and trustworthy," but about half of the country thinks he has been irresponsible with federal spending and not focused on their top priorities — jobs and the economy.

By far the biggest issue now facing Obama after a year in office is that his time for doing things may already be running out. The surprisingly narrow Senate contest in Massachusetts on Jan. 19 seemed to nail home the point: America still wants change, and Obama is not the only vehicle. On his anniversary, as Obama's aides recalibrate for the years to come, here is a look at what the President has been able to accomplish and what he still hopes to do.