February 23rd, 2009
09:48 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama's first month marked by success and setbacks

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/22/obama.so.far/art.obama.news.gi.jpg caption="President Obama, who won the presidency on a bipartisan platform, now faces a very divided Washington."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - During the most contentious stretch of the Democratic presidential primary campaign last winter, then-candidate Hillary Clinton mocked Barack Obama for his pledge to transcend Washington's entrenched partisanship.

"The sky will open. The lights will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect!" Clinton bellowed.

Obama dismissed Clinton's sarcasm as overly cynical and further evidence she was a creature of Washington. But as President Obama prepares to make his first major address to the nation, Clinton's comments are borne out.

For a candidate who won the White House on a mantle of bringing the country's two political parties together, Washington could not be more divided on Obama's initial weeks in the Oval Office and the policies he has put in place.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Shari, NY

    If any governor rejects stimulus funds, how about channeling same to those states which accept (thus increasing their allotment)?

    February 23, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Shari, NY

    If any governor rejects stimulus funds, how about channeling same to those states which accept (thus increasing their allotment)?

    February 23, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. sandy

    Well, well as if this is news worthy. Everybody knew, but Obama that is, that no one can work with the Republicans. It has to be their idea or they will not go along with it. I have always voted for whom I thought would best serve as our President, regardless of the party, but never again will I vote for a Republican for anything! They have shown me stuff during and since this election that I was never aware of before. The Republicans will never be bipartisan. NEVER

    February 23, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Disgusted

    As an Independent, I am repulsed by the GOP's behavior since Obama has taken office. For heaven's sake, think of the people! So many are struggling with unemployment, lack of decent health care, rising utility rates, etc. I have seen comments elsewhere on the CNN blogs where some GOP supporters actually made comments hoping unemployment benefits dry up, and belittling people who aren't working by suggesting they are lazy and to get a job. Good luck with that. Jobs are disappearing faster that they are being created. Why are people so cruel? I hope they never have to experience job loss and the emotional as well as financial turmoil that goes along with it. I guarantee they would view things differently if it happened to them. The stimulus plan was put in place to help all Americans-no one is quite sure as to the extent of its effectiveness, but sitting around and doing absolutely nothing while Americans lives go up in smoke is not going to do anything either. The GOP are behaving like spoiled children. If they did not like the plan, then think of something better. Obviously they haven't, so they sit around and whine hoping it will fail. IF Obama fails, we all fail-let's not forget that, for sooner or later, everthing comes full circle.

    February 23, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. R in Maine

    Bipartisanship was there for the taking, but the Republicans would rather screw the whole country than cooperate with Barak. He will do better to pick off one or three now, and then wipe out the hate-mongering clan at the next election.

    February 23, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Freed_From_W

    Considering he reached out to the GOP morons, who argued about putting things in the bill they all unanimously voted against – I don't see how this is his fault.

    Screw the GOP.

    February 23, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. Dave

    Anyone surprised?

    February 23, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. kinda Late

    Are you actually suggesting that HRC might have been right when she was campaigning against the messiah????
    almost sounds like the blinders are coming off of atleast some of the supporters
    Better late than never, hopefully soon more folks will start seeing what I was preaching .. we have picked a snake oil salesman to be our president and that is NEVER a good thing

    February 23, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. briana the college student

    bipartisanship is a two way street

    February 23, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. Polar Bears Against Palen

    CNN sucks donkey dicks. It's the right-wingers to blame for this nonsense. CNN is full of no-talent hacks.

    February 23, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Dem from AZ

    The man is 30days into his Presidency and poeple are saying the Bipartisanship Obama has been touting has failed. Give me a break. We are still in the wake of a long Primary and General election. Republicans and Conservatives are still fuming. Give it time. Not saying that it will work. We just have to give it more time. Dems are not the only ones to benefit from out new President.

    February 23, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Nathan

    Republicans haven't done a darn thing to try to reach across lines. Obama tried, but failed while actually trying to do what he thought was best for our country.

    February 23, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. JP

    The reason the stimulus bill didn't get bipartisanship support is because so much of it pork barrel business as usual spending. Clearly aspests of the bill are stimulative but the garbage that is not should have been taken out. This bill is grossly irresponsible and will hurt Obama down the road.

    February 23, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. Bob in Pa

    Bi-partisanship was never a part of this mans ajenda. It is clear by the bills being passed that it is to destroy the American middle class and create an American Socialist state.

    February 23, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Common Centz

    Of course there's partisanship in Washington!

    The punk-ass Republicans are on a mission to tear-down any "warm and fuzzy" policies that this President and the Democrats can legislate for the American people.

    I, for one, am not falling for these smear politics that the REPUBS are now displaying.

    Stevie Wonder can see that these guys are volleying for seats in 2012!

    Woe unto these Republican governors who are making the grave mistake of saying that they won't take the stimulus money for their states!

    Once the data comes out that the stimulus bill is working to create jobs (or save jobs for that matter) these guys are going to be doing damage control to save their asses.

    February 23, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. Maria Diez-Peña

    I say:

    Obama wants to put in place...


    Obama has to put in place!

    That is what divide us We The People!

    February 23, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Dana from NY

    Bipartisanship didn't last- but not for a lack of trying!
    You can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink- you can bring a Republican to the table...but can not expect him to negotiate!
    Get over it--8 years of Bush not even attempting BiPartisanship, and now we know why- Republicans are inacapable of it!

    February 23, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Sam Sixpack

    How long do we pretend our new "leaders" are honest? How much money will they steal before we realize we've been duped - again?

    Meet the new boss … same as the old boss.

    February 23, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. Lots of Change

    Anyone who really believed that Obama was different should have realized the truth by now. Bipartisan? He may be, but congress is slavering over it and is shoving everything to the far left.

    February 23, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Michael Ames, Syracuse

    Beyond stating the obvious, what is the point of this piece? It certainly is not for lack of trying on Obama's part that Washington is as divided as it is.

    Ronald Reagan would be embarrassed by these Republicans on Capitol Hill. Even he knew how to compromise. By the way, can somebody address the Grover Norquist distortion of the Reagan years, please? Taxes rose and government grew under "St. Ronald."

    February 23, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Debbie

    Until the Republicans face the fact that the people of our Country expect bipartisanship, the divide will continue. This is out of Obama's hands.

    February 23, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. Together Each Accmplishes More

    No, because the Republicans, who always put the good of the party ahead of the good of the country, will never, ever work in a bipartisan fashion – and are targeting the few moderates left in their party.

    President Obama (get used to it!) tried and will keep trying; The Republicans, who created the mess, have no solutions except tax cuts for the rich, will complain about not being included (which means do it our way – 100% – as if we had won) or when outvoted, will moan about having legislation rammed down their throats – just like the GOP did for the last 8 years.

    You can not please the GOP: easier to carp than to lead:

    February 23, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. sherry

    The division is do to the republican party.
    It does'nt matter what Obama does good or bad.....They will alway's vote against him.
    They want to take back the white house in the next 4 years and they want Obama to fail so they can achieve this.
    They are for their party only and do not care for the people.

    February 23, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. JA/TN

    it would have lasted if the GOP had the true interest of America at hand

    February 23, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. Bernie

    Well, maybe Republicans should quit their whining and get to work! If all these morons are going to do is attack him and complain, I don't think they should help with any decisions. If they continue to drag their feet for the next four years, America is severely screwed. The only Republican that seems to get it is Governor Schwarzenegger.

    He got elected. Deal with it, Republicans, and get something done for the good of the country for once in your miserable, pathetic lives!

    February 23, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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