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Institute for Policy Studies

Report Info

  • Released April 27, 2009

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Report

Thirsting for Change: Obama’s First 100 Days

Every administration promises great change, how does Obama stack up?

thirsting for changeIt is difficult to evaluate an administration after only 100 days. George W. Bush, who ended his two terms with one of the lowest grades of any U.S. president, received quite positive evaluations after his first three months in office. The Obama team is still bringing people on board and identifying its priorities. Still, the crises facing the United States and the world require immediate and comprehensive action. And, as no less an authority as Aristotle once put it, well begun is half done.

This report inaugurates our Change Index. Every administration promises great change and must deal with the messes created by its predecessor. In the report, the president scored high marks for his rhetoric. At the level of action, however, the record so far is mixed. In general, the Obama administration has acted cautiously in its foreign policy even as it has moved quickly to institute some far-reaching changes at home.

In our overall evaluation of the first 100 days, we gave the administration a score of 7. President Obama has certainly raised the level of U.S. foreign and domestic policy. Yet, we’re still a long way off from reaching the top.