Barack Obama's first 100 days


The Importance of Being Cool

Barack Obama’s temperament has been the subject of much analysis throughout his first 100 days on the job. On Saturday Night Live, there are recurring skits about Obama and how cool he seems to be. Throughout the primaries and in the campaign, Obama regularly displayed what used to be called “grace under pressure” during the Kennedy years. A close study of Obama shows a consistency of habit, a discipline and a general disposition to be reflective and not impulsive in moments of stress. His performance following the discovery of Reverend Wright’s diatribes against white America stand as sterling proof of his calm in the face of adversity. His ‘coolness’ has characterized the early stages of his presidency more than any other trait. But how important is it to be ‘cool’?


Redefining the Presidency: Obama’s first 100 Days

Ever since FDR, new presidents face the scrutiny of how well they begin their mandate. While a good or a bad start is hardly indicative of how the presidency will turn out, it does set a tone. FDR is considered the standard. He took office amid an economic depression with deflation, about 25 per cent unemployment, banks going bankrupt, families losing their homes. President Roosevelt didn’t instantly transform the economy. But he created a sense of hope. He conversed with his electorate, he educated his voters, and he listened to them. There was a flurry of policy initiatives and while many were later declared unconstitutional, he was a leader.