Somewhere in November, President-elect Barack Obama found out just how much trouble he was going to be in the day he took his oath of office. He had announced several major initiatives, not the least of which was health care reform, and was putting together teams to focus on and move those initiatives forward. He had no idea that the most destructive distraction possible, short of nuclear war, was about to scramble every plan he had announced. In fact, NO ONE knew, until the melt-down started, that the banking industry had bet itself out of money. Unless something was done, and it had to be something he could continue after he took office, the looming depression was going to swamp the depression of the '30s. So he negotiated a workable version of President Bush's bail-out plan, and came into office with a plan and policy in place to fix a problem he hadn't known about until AFTER his election.
In the face of the economic disaster facing the country, the President laid quick groundwork for his previously announced plans, and turned to focus on the looming economic juggernaut. He amended and revised his stimulus plan, solidified the plans for automobile company bail-outs and bank recovery, and put the necessary structure in place within about four months... in Washington, four months translates to "instantly." Then he turned to his original agenda. He began pushing forward his health care expectations, planning for the closing of Guantanimo Prison, setting forth his plans for prosecuting and ending President Bush's wars (despite some of my fellow liberals' hopes and desires, once America's might and word is committed by one president, the next one can't just send in the C-10s and bring everybody home).
He also undertook to ease the tension between America and the rest of the "free world." He apologized for his predecessors bullying and trampling on the sovereignity of our allies... and promptly found himself the target of the haters of the moonbat right. Did they think he undertook this tour without making sure he knew how our allies felt? Were they truly so stupid as to believe he was being subservient (instead of just polite) when he 'bowed' to foreign leaders. I doubt it, but they used it to stir up the ignorant hyper-con base.
He came home to lies about, and mischaracterizations of, the health care reform package. Democrats in the Senate were giving away the house to Republicans who were lying through their teeth about supporting ANY health care reform. The house was hopelessly scrambled and Speaker Pelosi was allowing too much public wrangling about nonsense. Finally, and perhaps too late, the President got a bill out of each house of Congress, but each bill has a poison pill that has guaranteed votes against the bill if it stays, OR if it's pulled.
In an attempt to short-circuit the Pharmaceutical and Insurance opposition, he gave them both a free ride, and abandoned his support for the "public option." This may have been the most useless betrayal he has ever made, or will ever make. They STILL spend millions daily to kill the attempt. If they lose, they have carte blanch. if they win... ALL bets are off.
So, my assessment of President Obama's first term? I give him an average of C+ to B-. He gets an A- on Iraq, a B on Afghanistan, but a C on everything else... except Health Care Reform, on which he gets a D+ from me.