Еssay on Barack Obama’s 1st 100 days

Since the times of Franklin Roosevelt, first 100 days of a new administration were considered to be the index of intentions and efficiency of President of the USA. In his interview with 60 minutes, Barack Obama said that he studied attentively Roosevelt’s “100 days”. However, he also added that “100 days are important but only first 1000 days can change something” (CBS News). Nevertheless, Obama’s first 100 days were obviously the subject of interest when he became an actual candidate from the Democratic Party.

In his first speech as the President Obama said the following: “Today I’m telling you that the problems we face are real. They are serious, and there are a lot of them. They will not be solved easily and in short time”. On Tuesday after administration of the oath Obama declared: “But know, America, they will be solved” (Meacham B01). And Barack Obama gives the impression of the man you can trust.

First 100 days of the 44th President of the USA Barack Obama will end on April, 29. But now we already have the possibility to analyze his first steps and define basic directions and priorities of the new policy which, to my mind, can lead the US out of the critical situation we got into.

Obama’s Administration Chief Rahm Emanuel has already declared that many of the last orders of the ex-President Bush would be passed to the Congress for their abolition (Greenberg BR12). This will demand the introduction into operation of the Law of executive orders revision, which is quite a radical measure: over its long history of existence it was applied once only. But what one can do, when such tense times have come, “granting” to the 44th President such a difficult heritage.

Barack Obama started to sort it out during the first days of work. We should admit that the “Obama start” was incredibly energetic. At first, he called his economic advisers, and then all force and military authorities (Beaman). In a break between economic and military consultations, Obama conducted negotiations with the authorities of the leading Middle-East countries: Palestinian leader Makhmud Abbas, then the Premier of Israel Ekhud Olmert, the President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak and the King of Jordan Abdullah. Simultaneously, the White House has already published the basic foreign policy theses on the site in the Internet (“The 44th President 100 Days”).

Foreign policy priorities of Obama’s administration, if compared to Bush’s, are changing very sharply, which is undoubtedly good for all of us. Iraq went down to the last place and deserved only confirmation that the “coming team will complete the war in Iraq in a responsible way”. Obama promised to withdraw the American troops by the middle of 2010. The United States will also start active diplomacy for providing peace and prosperity in Iraq (“Jumping the gun” 23).

Anyway, Iran is now in the first place, and the new administration is ready to “conduct strict and direct diplomacy without any preliminary conditions”. Tehran is ready for such a dialog, so we should wait for meetings at the negotiating table (Seib A2.).

In the area of nuclear armaments the Obama’s White House promises to halt the development of new types of nuclear weapon, while at Bush’s rule the government on the contrary intended to start the new program of nuclear war-heads development (BBC News). Washington intends to solve the nuclear problems in even closer cooperation with Russia, including assistance in returning of fissionable materials from the countries of the former Soviet block back to Russia, for the proper processing and safe storage (Greenberg BR12.).

War with terrorism will now be carried to Afghanistan, where the USA prepare to send about 20 thousand troops more for stabilizing situation in the safety field. The new strategy of the USA in Afghanistan and Pakistan is aimed at liquidation of terrorists’ networks, but it will also use the wide spectrum of measures from strengthening of regional safety forces to activation of diplomatic efforts, and international cooperation development.

Obama appealed to the Congress of the USA with a request to accept the legislation, supposing an appointment of 7,5 billion dollars for providing a direct support to Pakistan during the next five years. He also called the Congress to accept the legislation aiming at creation a possibilities zone in the area of Afghanistan – Pakistan border, which will allow the producers develop local economy and will provide stability in districts suffering from violence (Vallach).

Dealing with the economy, Obama has worked out an efficient action plan. First of all, he is going to ask the Congress for about 825 billion dollars for the plan of economic stimulation and renewal (Weisman A2). This plan is expected to allow creating or saving more than 3 million workplaces in the next two years. What is important is that it is enough to stop the unemployment rate growth by 2010 (Baker A20.).

Of course, this package is still has to be accepted in the Congress. And when the conversation drifts to additional expenditures from the budget, you will hardly get the approval at once. Nevertheless, the Democrats seem to support this step (Allen). “Economic, not political, conditions will drive the pace of another economic recovery package,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra. “It could be in a week, it could be in a month, it could be in three months. Right now we need to let the 700 billion dollars get to work, and we need to hold these hearings to find out what exactly the best way forward is from here.”(Allen)

In April the Prime Minister of Great Britain Gordon Brown will conduct the second of the series of meetings of countries leaders G-20 devoted to the discussion of measures for overcoming the global economic crisis, and Obama is going to make some radical but useful suggestions (“The Obama effect” 13).

In general, Obama so far executes all the promises from his list one by one. Unfortunately, the situation now is such that Obama will not too long be going up the stairs built exceptionally of electors’ hopes and expectations (Baker A20). The problems of the USA are serious and require individual approaches and operative flexibility. Obama will certainly have to make steps aside and back to achieve all the goals (Shear A02).

The worst of all clichés about any politician and Obama in particular is a deep idea that so many hopes are connected with their work, that it’s impossible to satisfy all of them (Vallach). If all Presidents led the way of answering electors’ expectations, there would be even more losses, than there are now. And there are quite a bit of them. And it’s even not taking into account that Obama will have to solve many serious problems accumulated in the USA during previous years. He needs to settle the world economic crisis, solve the Middle-East puzzle and the problem of global warming (Allen).

But Barack Obama is rather decisive and enthusiastic about his tasks. In one of the interviews Obama said: “We can in one voice declare that nobody but the Americans can determine their destiny. We can choose useful ideas instead of ideological fights and structural work instead of protection of political interests. We can take firm steps to turn the crisis into the source of new possibilities, together add a new chapter to the history of our country and pass the test of contemporaneity with dignity.”

During his first 100 days on the position Roosevelt “changed the psychology of the country making people think that ”˜we are going to get through it’” – said Cary Covington, political sciences professor in the Iowa University. Sharing his initiative with the society will become one of Obama’s main tasks. “If he instills the idea ”˜Yes, we can’, he will restore the trust again” – said Covington. “A great deal will depend on how he will present what we are facing now.” (Meacham B01)

In my opinion, Barack Obama’s first 100 days are surely not a failure. And though there are many problems to be solved in future, a good first stroke is half the battle.

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