In a solitary moment, President Obama walked across the South Lawn to the Oval Office after returning to the White House on Marine One Friday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(CNN) - It's still too early to judge his administration, President Barack Obama says.
In an interview broadcast on the CBS "Sunday Morning" program, Obama gave himself a grade of "incomplete" on the first 18 months of his presidency.
While citing some accomplishments, Obama said the true measure of success will be when the economy has rebounded fully and people are feeling better about it.
"We still have a long way to go," Obama said.
Asked if he felt his administration wasn't getting the credit it deserved, he laughed and answered, "Yes," then offered an explanation.
"[W]e’re taking the fight to the Taliban right in the heart of the Taliban heartland," Sen. Carl Levin told CNN Sunday. (Photo Credit: CNN)
Washington (CNN) – The Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee emphasized Sunday that Afghans are beginning to take the lead in the fight against Taliban.
“What I see is a mixed picture with some signs of progress,” Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Watch: Levin on Afghanistan
Levin told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that while a “negative picture” of the situation in Afghanistan is the one that predominates, “but there actually is some positive indicators too” including U.S. Special Forces “doing a very good job” at capturing Taliban leaders.
Levin added that the number of American and Afghan casualties has increased because “we’re taking the fight to the Taliban right in the heart of the Taliban heartland.”
In the long troubled Kandahar region of the country, Levin said that the U.S. was “gradually” removing Taliban control “but it is being done as we speak now with the Afghan troops taking the major lead and with more Afghan troops finally than American troops there.
“So this transition to Afghan control of their own destiny is gradually taking place,” he said.
Levin also spotlighted President Obama’s July 2011 target date for beginning to draw down the additional troops that have been sent to Afghanistan.
Washington (CNN) - A prominent Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee is praising President Barack Obama's approach to fighting terrorism in Pakistan.
However, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, is also worried that conservatives and liberals could join forces to undermine Obama's efforts in Afghanistan.
Obama has set July 2011 as the target date to begin to draw down the additional troops he's surged into Afghanistan. But, in an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Graham predicted that conditions may not allow the troops to begin to come home by that date.
"[G]enerally speaking, this time next summer, we're still going to be engaged in one hell of a fight," Graham said. "We're going to need every troop we have today, I think, still in Afghanistan next year."
According to Graham, it will be clear by the end of this year where things stand in Afghanistan.
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
California 11th – Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) is seeking a 3rd term
Primary: June 8, 2010
Location: Central California; San Joaquin Valley/Inland East Bay
Days until Election Day: 93
Washington (CNN) - Republicans hope the third time will be the charm in their efforts to defeat Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney. He has been on the Republican list of targets from the moment he scored an upset victory in 2006 over seven-term Rep. Richard Pombo, one of 22 GOP incumbents to go down in defeat that year. McNerney won with 53 percent of the vote compared to 47 percent for Pombo, a surprisingly comfortable margin considering he had won only 39 percent against Pombo in 2004 and that Pombo had won each of his previous re-election bids with at least 58 percent. In 2008, McNerney improved on his 2006 performance and was re-elected with 55 percent.