February 16th, 2009
02:39 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN Radio Political Notebook: The stimulus and Obama

 The president's legacy may be defined by the success of the stimulus bill.
The president's legacy may be defined by the success of the stimulus bill.

A development just a third of the way through President Obama’s First Hundred Days may come to define his presidency.

In today’s CNN Radio Political Notebook, CNN's Bob Costantini talks with Professor Julian Zelizer of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, who lays out the stakes Obama faces following the passage of the stimulus plan.

In his commentary for CNN.com, Professor Zelizer wrote, “The huge size of this legislation raises the stakes beyond what many presidents confronted in their Hundred Days.”

Related: Zelizer: Stakes are huge for Obama

Listen: CNN Radio's Political Notebook


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soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Liz in Ohio

    He hasn't been in office a month yet and his legacy is already on the line. Will everyone just shut up and let him try to clean up this mess!!! Yes, this country is in financial ruin but at least something is being done. Yes, 789 billion is alot of money but so was 770 billion back in October and over half of that is already GONE! If you agree with the stimulus bill or not at least he is addressing the problem. If Bush were still in office he would just comment from the Oval office with no action. He joked that Wall Street got drunk – what did comment do for anyone? If McCain was in office he would just give more tax breaks to corporations who don't need any more breaks and take a vacation in his home state AZ. Not a month yet and we are judging so much its ridiculous!

    February 16, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. New Yorker

    Missed my chance to comment on the other news "worthy?" item. Fact is, our present president will go down in history as the worst because he signed the "porky bill" and betrayed the American people with his agenda.

    February 16, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. fearful for my country

    We have got to be the laughing stock of the world right now. Did you people really vote this idiot into our nation's highest office or am I having a bad bad nightnare?

    February 16, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Griff

    What's a "stimuls" package?

    February 16, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Liz in Ohio

    One more thing! I'm sick and tired of hearing that our grandchildren will be paying for this bill. WHAT ABOUT THE 770 BILLION BILL THAT WAS SIGNED IN OCTOBER? I'm skeptical about this bill too but my grandchildren were paying the deficit off 5-6 years ago and no one said anything then. Shut up and let's just see what happens. What other choice do we have until the next elections.

    February 16, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Denver Mom

    I wonder if people realize how foolish it sounds to say that it is okay for us to spend ourselves into the hugest debt in history because Bush did. Don't we all teach our children NOT to drink simply because others are drinking? Or NOT to smoke simply because others are smoking? So.... because Bush spent more money than he should have, it now is okay and even "admirable" for Obama to spend this kind of money? It wasn't right then and it isn't right now. And this argument being set forth makes absolutely no common sense to the thinking people in this country.

    February 16, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. MSNBC News

    When are we going to take those other four guys faces off of Mt Rushmore and chisel one big sculpture of Obama's face?

    February 16, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Harry

    Hi Mr. President? How is it like to be back in chicago?

    Welcome back to the white house...

    February 16, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. judy moss

    Thank God. It pass. We can get help. You are doing a wonderful Job Mr. President. Enjoy your weekend. You need it. Saw your hoops. You are great. God Bless you. Thanks for your help and all that you are doing for us. Love you and your family.

    February 16, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Tulsa L

    Hey ANONYMOS- the democrats were only in control the last 2 years of the 8 year Bush Administration, Bush and the rest of the Republicans raped this economy long before the Democrats came into control of congress and Bush continued to ravage this country till he left office......if the GOP doesn't support this stimulus bill then they should forefeit their share of the money for their states and give it back to the government and the President can use that money in other ways to stimulate the economy

    February 16, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Gene

    I'm so tired of people making comments about the "do nothing democratically controlled congress"

    The reason it was a do nothing congress is because there were enough republicans in congress to filibuster every bill so that nothing could be done. And now, they're crying because something is actually being done?

    You can't have it both ways. You can't complain that the congress of the past is a do nothing congress.. then complain that now you can't filibuster. It's one or the other... either that or you just won't be happy no matter what's done and you're just a miserable person.

    This post is directed at "Anonymous"

    February 16, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. southerncousin

    Obama-mama@judging by your comment the democrats also hate old people as well as southerners, conservatives and women. A whole party of elitists, filled with hate for the common people. No surprise.

    February 16, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. dr.mimi de la cruz

    NOW LETS SEE. IT TOOK 30 SOME YEARS TO GET TO THIS

    STUPID PLACE & PRESIDENT OBAM HAS BEEN IN OFFICE

    FOR THREE WEEKS. HE SHOULD HAVE FIXED EVERYTHING

    BY NOW, INCLUDING GLOBAL WARMING. I DON'T KNOW WHAT

    HE IS WAITING FORE. THE FACT THAT WE HAD A KNOW NOTHING,

    DO NOTHING EXCEPT FOR EVERYTHING HARMFUL TO THE US &

    THE ENTIRE GLOBE, PRESIDENT FOR 8 YEARS, SHOULDN'T

    MATTER. FOLKS, PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL GO DOWN IN

    HISTORY AS THE MOST BRILLIANT MAN IN WORLD IF HE CAN

    PULL THIS OFF IN 8 YEARS.

    February 16, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. johnrj08

    This has actually been said here by Maurice, presumably a grown-up:

    "Do the math.. The Stimuls Package is almost $800,000,000,000 and there are around 350,000,000 peolple in U.S. That is over $2,000 per man, woman and child. If you want to STIMULATE the Economy give everybody $2,000. Just think how a family of 4, spending $8,000 would jump start the Economy."

    Does Maurice think that those people would be willing pay more taxes so that teachers, firefighters and police wouldn't have to be laid off by states going bankrupt? Does Maurice actually believe that anybody would use any of that money to help repair our infrastructure and schools before we start making Mexico look like a First World country?

    We're in this mess because people like Maurice think they know how to do the "math".

    February 16, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. obama-mama

    @Anonymous – I wish I was getting $$ but I work for mine, no need to wonder. This is my second time in two years that I have been laid off from a job I worked for 20 yrs. I believe our new President really wants the best for this country and if the stimulus doesn't work he for sure will be blamed but I still have faith in him and he can't get it done by himself. We all have to work together. A lot of you folks were not bashing Bush when he was spending us into this hole and making tax cuts that apparently didn't work. Obama is not the Messiah, he is a man that loved his country enough to want to make change. A lot of you were hoping for change the minute he walked through the door but I think that's pretty unrealistic but I have seen change in the way people treat each other even though they are going through hard times.

    February 16, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Vickie Pine

    This is sad. Every President is faced with issues that are huge. Every administration has left problems for the next. Look at deficit spending with Roosevelt. Our nation didn't have debt. Look at Clinton who started our housing problems. Let's talk about the Congress. They are a huge part of this problem. Now we want to give them more power and money to control? Wake up! Quit looking for handouts. Take back our nation and stop letting these greedy politicians lie to the people. They all find loopholes and lobbyiest to fund there interests not our nations. Where's the change Obama has already put half the Clinton administration back in and 5 other of his nominees have had to bail, due to investigations? Wow. When we will we get it. LESS GOVERNMENT. NO PROGRAMS, put it back into the economy and quit printing money people haven't earned.

    February 16, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Jim in Florida

    My goodness, now CNN is already stating that Obama;s Presidency will be defined during his first 100 days....what utter rubbish.

    Why, I imagine that if you poll the 65 "historians" from the preceding story they would rank Obama in the TYop 5 All Time Presidents based on his first month in office.

    That is how absurd the poll is – and that is how absurd CNN's fawning and gushing over Obama is.

    No Bias.....Bull

    February 16, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Marc

    I have one problem that I just can't seem to grasp. When the democrats are saying create or save 4million 2million jobs, what in the world they hope that it does but it either does one or the other so make up your mind on what it is does it create which is highly doubtful or will it save which that is a belief that I think anyone can agree with. You can't just put that much money into something and not save any jobs but in all I would think giving the American people $2500 per person, I can bet my career that this would help better than the useless crap they are spending it own now. We will not see one dime of it and that is sad very sad. Only if you don't make any money and don't have a job is this going to anyway benefit the American people..

    February 16, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. mw

    President Obama is doing just fine because the MAJORITY of Americans are behind him.
    Repugs are calling the kettle black????
    Repugs are jealous?????
    Repugs are used to rubber stamping, not thinking.
    Repugs are so irrelevant.
    Repugs are so rude.
    Repugs are so hateful.
    Repugs are not helping the country.
    Repugs do not know how to be bipartisan-never have been.
    Repugs are repulsive --attitude, tone, arrogance, hatefulness, rudeness, everything ugly.
    If they are so Christian and holy, let me quickly point out I DO NOT SEE THEM BLESSED WITH THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT.
    I see them covered in the blood (not of the Lamb) but of the awfulness of Rush, Coulter, Hannity, Rove, O'Reilly, boner and the bonehead L. Graham.
    GO AWAY. SHUT UP.

    February 16, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. J

    Anyone with a brain knows the world economic situation and ESPECIALLY ours is in the crapper. It took years to get in this shape and it`s going to take years to dig our way out. The Republicans are out of touch with reality other than the fact they realize they are out of control for the first time in 8 years

    February 16, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Larry

    Do you think Obama realizes his daughters children(his grandchildren) are going to be paying for this ?

    The debt load we are taking on will hurt future generations for decades as our currency is diminished against all other currencies of the world, making our country's exports worth far less, while making all imports (including oil and cars) far more expensive for all of us. With Social Security estimated to go negative in 2017, our country is facing bankruptcy.

    February 16, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. Mark from NC

    The scary part is when the stimulus fails what next? This is like the 1930's in that the rest of the world is suffering too and places like Germany started a war to wrest themselves out of an economic mess. FDR saved his name with WWII at the expense of hundreds of thousands of American lives. The world killed 50 million people in the process. What followed was more small wars and increasing socialist world because when you get down to it....we just simply have to many people for everyone to live well. This is why the advice that a FEW economists have put forth about living simply and frugally is going unnoticed. If we don't change our fundamentally consumptive ways then war is going to be the only option. Outside of that is economic collapse. Our government reflects it's people and so far we ain't looking to good...

    February 16, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. Larry

    Do you think Obama realizes his daughters children(his grandchildren) are going to be paying for this ?
    The debt load we are taking on will hurt future generations for decades as our currency is diminished against all other currencies of the world, making our country's exports worth far less, while making all imports (including oil and cars) far more expensive for all of us. With Social Security estimated to go negative in 2017, our country is facing bankruptcy.

    February 16, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. Ray Ray

    Does everyone realize.... Since Obama has taken office, the Stock Market has dropped from 9000 to 7800... and it's still declining.

    So much for being "the one"! This guy is more Hugo Chavez than Jesus Christ.

    I'm jus sayin'.....

    February 16, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. Jackie in Dallas

    I seriously doubt that this type of problem was on President Obama's mind until after the election. The failure of accountability in TARP, the misuse of those funds, and the recalictrance of the GOP are going to be hard to overcome, what ever comes. At least he is smart enough to bring on board some economists, and at least try to get bipartisan support. If only his own party wouldn't torpedo him like Pelosi did!

    On the list of best/worst: at least George W. made one of the two...his Dad didn't! And the sad part is that George W. could have risen to the occasion. He did well in the initial days after 9/11, but let all of that go with the poltitization of the Justice Department, the Patriot Act, then the decision to take our focus off of Afghanistan and invade Iraq, then made it worse by approving torture, denying due process of law to the prisoners at GITMO, and totally letting his buddies in the oil business make OBSCENE profits in the NET BILLIONS PER QUARTER while the rest of us were struggling with $5 a gallon gas.

    February 16, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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