Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009

Barack Obama

He arrived at the White House wearing a mantle of change but quickly realized that his job description, at least immediately, would have more to do with damage control, with the country having just lost trillions in savings and millions of jobs. Instead of slowing down, President Obama decided that the crisis was an opportunity. Under his guidance, the banks returned to stabilization, the economy began to grow again, and the American auto industry did not evaporate. But a toll has been taken. In addition to his graying hair, the President now faces approval ratings below 50%, the prospects of long-term unemployment, concerns over a deepening military commitment in Afghanistan and a midterm election around the corner. His work is just beginning.

— Michael Scherer