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. Demfounded

    I'm a life-long liberal and love being a Democrat – I was so excited to have a Dem in the White House. Now my excitement is gone. Barack has been horrible. How can you look at the economoy and say that what we need is for more borrowing of money? Where is the transparency everyone was promised? Why is it so hard to do what you say and say what you mean? I do not blame any of the Congress for scoffing at bi-partisanship – there is none to be had by this president. And how long will the people have to listen about what he inherited? Don't men stand-up and take ownership? Three years, 11 months, and counting until we can get someone in there who knows what they are doing and will do what they say (I hope). Is lying to the American people impeachable? Most Democrats believe bush should be impeached. I am among a growing number of democrats that believe Barack should be impeached . . .

    February 23, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Alan

    This is PARTISANSHIP, not BI-partisanship. The Dems are reaching across the aisle and the Republicans are offering their fist.

    So be it. Move on. They are not necessary. And, when the plan starts to show progress and work, the Republican will continue to dwindle and fade.

    I hate to say it but Reagan was wrong, both Bushes were wrong and Rush is wrong. What president Obama has accomplished in 35 days in office, facing the most challenging conglomeration of messes EVER left by a departing President, is nothing short of a miracle. That he's stumbled here and there only shows he's trying. At least he ADMITS his stumbles and tries to listen and learn from all sides.

    The change is here. One of the changes is obviously the continuing decline of the Republican Party.

    Good riddance.

    February 23, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. kinda late

    HRC doesn't know anything. obama is doing what is humane unlike W the messiah.

    February 23, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Charles Atlanta

    GOP's speakperson is Rush and he wants Obama fail. So basically, GOP does not care about American. Anything that can make Obama look bad, they will do it. You can see very clearly, there is no solution, no plan from GOP. There is no moral ground on GOP anymore.

    February 23, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Obama Victim

    is is 2012 yet???

    February 23, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Todd

    Success?? What, getting 1 thing done during your first month in office is a success?? Well, heck, Bush was an amazing success story then!

    February 23, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. still hoping

    I read these posts and find it comical that people believe if you follow Obama you are bipartisan, and if you don't, it's partisan politics as usual. so if I understand this thinking, either follow blindly or you are wrong.

    Sorry, I forgot that was what our country was built on. I will no longer think for myself and thus become a democrat.

    February 23, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. kinda late

    GOPS said screw bipartisanship we didn't learn anything from the failures of the W the messiah era,

    SO, the the american people are not going to elect you anymore unless the media as usual sides with the GOPS and helps them get elected just like the past 8yrs.

    messiah for the GOP party now is PALIN the DUMB!!!

    February 23, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. AndyL

    Jindal in 2012. Let's hope it's not to late to save us from Obama's socialist agenda.

    February 23, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Once you vote Black

    Most Dems and Indys know BHO is doing his best. that is more then they can say for the GOP.

    February 23, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. cnnnewser

    President Obama has millions of supporters....sadly, they're never featured on CNN or other news broadcasts.
    The republicans are on tv 24/7 spewing their gloom and doom – they're a pathethic bunch.

    February 23, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. meh

    I think he's doing a great job thusfar!
    Republican leaders, if you can call them that, are doing everything they can to block anything progressive that he attempts.
    Ridiculous.
    Then they whine about how it's not "bipartisan". He's TRYING. Bipartisan means both parties compromise, not the Republicans come up w. some baloney that's never worked in the past and then throw a hissy fit when President Obama doesn't think it's a good idea.

    February 23, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. James A.

    We are such an impatient culture. Obama has juggled more things in his first month in office than most other presidents juggled in an entire term. Thus, we have heard a whole term's worth of criticisms in one month. People in this country need to become more patient with themselves, then we can become less annoyed with things that just "are" and be in a better position to offer meaningful constructive criticism on issues near-and-dear to each of us as individuals.

    If you are one of those people that speed between red lights, try a slower, more even pace next time; you will get to your destination the same time I do without getting as frustrated.

    February 23, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Gringo

    If you can take off your blinders and stop cheering blindly for thehome team you'll the republicans objections are what a vast number of people object to concerning the stimulus bill. If you had a democrat run down the GOP objections you would be like "Eureka", instead since the adjetive is "Republican" you dismiss it outright.

    The issue is not Obama nor the GOP, its Democrat leadership in the hands of Pelosi and Reid that is doing the damage. They are acting like children that finally got their way after an 8 year tantrum. They snubbed the GOP and forced this bill on us by their slim majority.

    Tell me what American will benefit from the $20 a check relief that the dem's so graciously awarded us with? It wont do a damn thing for the economy. Neither does shoring up the housing market for borrowers that overextended. Republicans wanted more tax relief that would help all of us right now. Whats the problem in that? $20 a week vs rising gas prices doesnt suddenly make me able to pump vast dollars into the economy.

    Remove Pelosi and Redi and then bi-partisanship can flourish.

    February 23, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Randall from VA

    I wouldn't necessarily use the terms "failures" and "successes". It is just reality interfering with his speeches and words. The reality of corruption, replacing words like "hope" with 800 billion dollars, the inevitable exposure of a local politician who tried to run an entire country as an empty slate.

    February 23, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. greenkathy

    This article is a waste of space.

    February 23, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. YVONNE-KENTUCKY

    NO OBAMA NEVER COULD NOR WILL HE EVER BE ABLE TO WALK ON WATER HOWEVER HE IS TRYING TO CORRECT THE "RAPING" GEORGE W BUSH DID TO THIS COUNTRY FOR EIGHT YEARS. I SEE ALL THIS BLOGGING ABOUT HOW OBAMA IS GOING TO RUIN THIS COUNTRY IN CASE YOU IDIOTS DON'T KNOW YOU CAN NOT RUIN ROTTEN MEAT WHEN IT IS ALREADY ROTTEN GET IT?

    FOR MOST IDIOTS IN THIS COUNTRY THERE WILL BE NOTHING HE CAN DO OR SAY TO PLEASE YOU AND I HOPE HE DOESN'T EVEN TRY JUST FORGET YOU FOLKS AND TRY AND HELP THE REST OF US WHO NEED HELP FROM WHERE EVER IT COMES FROM.

    February 23, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Virginia

    Bush had the knick-name "great decider" but Obama can be called the "great divider"! And the news says today he wants to work on reducing the national deficit as soon as possible. If he wanted to do that, he should NOT have pushed his economic SPENDING bill! Too little, too late!

    February 23, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    CNN..... THIS IS ADDRESSED TO YOUR COMPANY.............

    I UNDERSTAND THAT TIMES ARE TOUGH FOR YOU... YOUR BOTTOM LINE IS AS IMPORTANT AS ANY OTHER NEWS ORGANIZATION SUCH AS F O X. A.B.C. ETC.... BUT......

    WHY DID YOU ACCEPT THAT ANTI AMERICAN ADD FROM

    AMERICAN ISSUES PROJECT WHEN YOU KNOW THE

    PERSON FUNDING IT IS THE SAME PERSON WHO FUNDED

    ALL THE SWIFT BOAT ADDS ?????

    H A R O L D......... SIMMONS IS THE SAME PERSON WHO

    FUNDED ALL THE HATE ADS AGAINST PRESIDENT OBAMA..

    WHY ARE YOU SHOWING THESE ADS ATTACKING OUR

    GOVERNMENT NOW WHEN WHAT WE REALLY NEED ARE

    GOOD POSITIVE ATTITUDES TO HELP US GET

    THROUGH THIS TIME OF UPHEVAL IN OUR GOVERNMENT.

    STOP THIS HATEFULNESS ..... MSNBC COULD GET BY WITHOUT THIS HATE MONEY..... WHY CAN'T CNN ?????

    February 23, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. meh

    reggie> the only way a president would have "experience" as a president is if he/she were in his/her second term. Don't be ridiculous.
    The man is sharp as a tack and it drives you crazy.

    February 23, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Jackie

    Ted, That's not true that the Republicans want the division. The problem is that the Repubs can't accept the Social changes the Dems want to initiate and blame the Dems for all the social problems we have today. No civilitiy, responsiblity, respectability, accountability and social behavior comes from the DEMS side of the aisle. And then not to mention we're in this economic mess due to all the Social programs and entitlements given to those who don't deserve.

    February 23, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Soccer Nana

    The Republican party has CHOSEN to remain divided.

    No one wants to address the issue concerning the 10 billion dollars being sent to Iraq each month, not to fight "another war that should never have happened", but to the citizens of Iraq. Why are those funds being sent to a country the U.S. destroyed? Does it cost that much to rebuild Iraq? Why am I paying for the "redistribution" of wealth in Iraq? When I retire, will my Social Security funds be gone because of the 10 billion dollars going to Iraq each month? Wouldn't those funds bring the U.S. econony back to a stable level?

    There is a lot of work to be done through the White House to get this Country back on track. How quickly certain people forget the past administration that got us into this debuncle and readily lay the entire blame on an administration that is only weeks old.

    This Country will not be restored in one month or two months; it is a process that must take place; the process must be given the chance to actually begin.

    February 23, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. manhandler

    Let's face it. This man is more interested in being worshipped than anything else. He's an arrogant egomainiac that 's gotta always be in in the limelight. The GOP looks like it might be the only thing standing in the way of the economic destruction of this country by Pelosi, Reed and their lackey Obama. Sure the GOP is as resposible for this mess as the Dems and all the other greedy people spread across the country. I notice all the kool aid drinkers in this thread all want to blame the Republicans. The American people are mostly to blame. They're the ones who elected these bribed gasbags. Now the Dems want to steal all our money for generations to bail out greedy unprincipled fools. Ever heard the messiah say anything about banishing all outside money from politics? Only when the American sheep get enough guts to demand an end to the bribery will this crap stop, and the messiah ain't gonna do it. Change we can believe in? What a load of crap.

    February 23, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. susan

    Hey everyone. No need for any discussion. The Democrats and President Obama now "own" the stimulus package . If it fails, don't be gutless wonders and blame anyone else but the ones who passed the bill and "campaigned" for it. Ofcourse, if it is successful, praise "The One" with "judgment." Secondly, all the Americans need to stop the BS about race baiting that has been going on. The fact that the majority of Americans chose an African American President says a lot about how the country has grown. If President Obama does become a disaster(I hope not), then maybe the young generation will realize the value of hard work and experience to hold the highest office in the country. There were other very good candidates. I pray we get back on track a nation.

    February 23, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. meh

    Lauren> So all these people getting laid off, they are just lazy and want hand outs? Please. That mentality needs to change. We're in a bit of a crisis right now, in case you haven't noticed.

    February 23, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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