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Politics and Media Headlines 4/29/09

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Yesterday was my birthday, so I took the day off. My birthday present to me was a webcam, so if I can ever figure out how to get YouTube to accept an upload, we may have some visits from Granny Bee.—Caro

Most See Obama as Different Type of Politician (Political Wire)
New York Times/CBS News Poll: "More than two-thirds of the poll's respondents call Mr. Obama a different kind of politician, while just 1 in 4 say he is a typical politician. When those who called him different were asked what sets him apart, most said it was more a matter of his style of governing and his personal qualities than his policies."
Because it doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters how you act and what you say.—Caro

And what others say about you:
OBAMA'S FIRST 100 DAYS: How the President Fared In the Press vs. Clinton and Bush (Project for Excellence in Journalism)
As he marks his 100th day in office, President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George Bush during their first months in the White House, according to a new study of press coverage.

Obama Redefining What It Means To Be A “Strong Leader”? (by Greg Sargent at The Plum Line)
[T]he public seems to approve of Obama policies that his critics — most prominently, Dick Cheney — have tried to associate with weakness. Seventy one percent approve of his willingness to engage hostile foreign leaders. Fifty three percent back his release of the torture memos. A plurality of 49% support Obama’s decision to nix torture. Meanwhile, ninety percent credit Obama with being “willing to listen to different points of view” — a sharp contrast with his predecessor, whose single-mindedness and swagger were often hailed by his supporters as a sign of strength.

At a minimum, the public sees Obama as a strong leader despite the fact that his policies and personal attributes are regularly derided by critics as signs of weakness. The question is whether the public sees Obama as strong because of those policies and personal attributes, and whether those perceptions will harden and endure — something that could redefine conventional media definitions of leadership strength.
SO FAR, the public has tuned out Obama’s critics. They might not always. Didn’t the public once think that George Bush was a “strong leader”?—Caro

Obama's First 100 Days "Remarkable": Plouffe (by Sam Stein at the Huffington Post)
In an email blasted out to supporters Tuesday morning, Barack Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe framed the president's hundred days in office as a "largely symbolic" metric but one that contains "remarkable" achievements. In the Organize for America email, Plouffe also announced the launch of a new website that provides a state-by-state breakdown of the benefits bestowed by the administration's policies (though the source of the data isn't noted), as well as personalized stories of struggle and recovery from around the country.

Obama's Report Card (Foreign Policy)
We asked some of the best foreign-policy minds in Washington and beyond to rate the U.S. president's first 100 days in office. The result? 11 As, 16 Bs, 7 Cs, and a D.

[From] Ivan Krastev… In my view, a recent joke best summarizes his achievements. In the wake of the G-20 meeting, Obama, Sarkozy, and Putin were walking around a beautiful lake. In the middle of the lake, there was an island. "Let's go there," Obama suggested, and started walking on water to it. Sarkozy followed him. Medvedev also followed, but started sinking. "Should we tell him where the stones are?" Sarkozy whispered to Obama. "What stones?" Obama replied.

Obama's first 100 days showed rhetoric loftier than actions (By Vince Warren, The Progressive Media Project)
As President Barack Obama hits the 100-day mark on Wednesday, it's time to take stock. Many of Obama's words have been inspiring. His rhetoric represents a relief to those who watched with horror as the Bush administration systematically dismantled the U.S. Constitution and ignored international human rights standards. Yet in many areas of critical importance – like human rights, torture, rendition, secrecy and surveillance – his words have been loftier than his actions.

Obama Has Missed His Moment (by Chris Hedges,
Barack Obama has squandered his presidency. He had a fleeting moment to challenge the casino capitalism and financial recklessness of our economic and political elite. He could have orchestrated a state socialism that would have provided a safety net for tens of millions of Americans faced with dislocation and misery. The sums he has doled out to Wall Street could have been used to force companies to keep workers on the job or create new banks to open up credit. But he lacked the foresight and the courage to challenge entrenched power. And now we are headed down one of two frightening roads—massive deflation or hyperinflation. Neither will be pleasant.

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Carolyn Kay

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Submitted by hipparchia on

that's a wonderful picture! another day brightener.