21
Sep
09

On air: Is President Obama letting his supporters down?

obamaThe majority of Americans wanted him as President, and the majority of the world wanted him to win too. When I was in Washington for the Inauguration, people wore t-shirts reading ‘Our moment is now’. But is the President making the most of that moment? He always emphasised to his supporters that they had a part to play, but while the right in the States makes its opposition very well known, are his advocates backing him as effectively and passionately as they might? Put simply, reverse the question – are Pres Obama’s supporters letting him down?

I heard a fascinating contribution from John Simpson, the BBC’s World Affairs editor, on the Today programme on Saturday. See if you agree with his analysis…

1. Can he take clear cut decisions?
2. Can he success in any of the key policy areas?
3. Is Pres Obama making America feel good about itself?

Gitmo – it’s going to close but there remains an issue with where those held will go. Did he anticipate getting more support on this?

Middle East – George Mitchell made little head way last week, and Israel continues to build settlements. But there are more talks this week. Has he lost authority or should we give him more time on this before drawing conclusions?

Missile defence shield – Pragmatic decision in America’s interests, or a naive use or a strong negotiating position with Russia?

Healthcare – I don’t really need to explain the challenges there. The opposition to his proposals could have been expected, but are his supporters pushing back hard enough? Pres Obama said over the weekend he’d been ‘humbled’ but the experience of getting his message across. Is that just a nice way of saying he hasn’t done it bvery well? Or is the problem that Americans understand and they don’t want it. In which case, was there a misunderstanding when Pres Obama offered change and they asked for it?

Iran – Pres Ahmedinijad’s in a US TV interview last week was not discernably different to when Goerge Bush was in office. Is President Obama’s position stronger for the

Afghanistan – Stillt o get sign off on the extra troops he wants to send. Not to mention, the original problem of defeating the Taliban.

Nuclear – more details emerging today about his commitment to reducing America’s nuclear arsenal. Another example of naive idealism, or this is the sort of visionary leadership the US and the world needs?


118 Responses to “On air: Is President Obama letting his supporters down?”


  1. 1 scmehta
    September 21, 2009 at 13:47

    I think it’s the other way round; the supporters who are impatient are letting him down. This kind of behavior bespeaks poorly of a matured democracy.

  2. 2 Jennifer
    September 21, 2009 at 14:22

    Many of my friends who voted for Obama are not liking the way things are going. A hot mess.

    Re: Iran

    Yes.

    It’ll only change when Ahmedinijad will come to the realization that the Holocaust did indeed happen and stop being a mouthpiece for hate. He seems the same way he was when Bush was pres. because little has truly changed.

    Re: Middle East

    Saying that one is “disappointed” that a community is growing is sad. Closed systems die. Israel should have the support of the U.S. in maintaining an open, flourishing, system.

  3. September 21, 2009 at 14:28

    A clear argument can be made those who supported (or continue to support) Obama had grossly unrealistic expectations about what they expected he would do once he took office. The public had grown largely cynical and disillusioned with the previous administration, and Obama was seen as the one man who could fix everything that had gone wrong under George W. Bush. The health care debate and other issues clearly illustrate the American people remain deeply polarized. And for better or worse, Obama, his administration and the positions it has or has not taken continue to polarize opponents and proponents alike.

  4. 4 patti in cape coral
    September 21, 2009 at 14:33

    I think it is a combination of things. I think John Simpson is correct, when you are so intelligent that you can see every facet of things, maybe it makes it harder to make a decision, not a good thing in a president. Also, I think he has met with so much resistance, especially in the healthcare issue, that the change some people were hoping for has become diluted by too much compromise. In the words of some commentators on NPR “We feel the president is punking out on healthcare.” I think there is so much more division now between left and right, the president isn’t getting enough support, and there is too much gridlock in Washington for problems to actually be solved. He (the president) can have a million brilliant ideas, but there is no way they will come to fruition without support.

  5. 5 Roy, Washington DC
    September 21, 2009 at 14:54

    It’s still much too early in his presidency to say that he is or is not a letdown. He has a lot of work to do, and it isn’t all going to happen overnight. Let him have more time.

  6. 6 Barbara, Boston
    September 21, 2009 at 15:06

    After 8 years of Republicanism, America was ready for a change. A change in party, and a change in the way an American president should look, eg., a non-white, 60ish male. Well, we now have that; however, many people who voted for Obama voted for change, and definitely got that. But, even those who voted for him knew they were voting a president who lacked the very necessary experience in dealing with world issues, and Mr. Obama is quite lacking this area, maybe even moreso than voters expected him to be. He is extremely caught up in reforming the health care system in the US, that he seems to be putting other, just as important issues, on the back burner. I used to believe he was a two-term president; now I am not so sure, as his inexperience is becoming alarmingly apparent.

    • 7 Monica in DC
      September 21, 2009 at 15:56

      Well let’s be honest… just because healthcare reform is what we hear the most about, doesn’t necessarily mean that everything else has been put on the back burner. Its just a nice hot topic for media to gather ratings.

  7. 8 Chintan in Houston
    September 21, 2009 at 15:08

    The fact of any election is a new member gets elected based on two important elements i.e. their agenda for improvement and their predecessors fault in governance. This is what he effectively did, but since now is the one governing; the media and the population is judging him based upon his performance. Any shortcomings are witnessed by supporters and the opposition highlights them all the more and those gain more weight in performance and accountability. The right wing/conservatives are incredibly united against him the same way the left was against Bush, it is no different.
    So it is but natural that the love and adulation is going to wane away some with time. it would be almost imporbable for a predient to have the same approval ratings at their exit compared to when they took office.
    But I am not ready to start writing his eulogy yet.

  8. 9 Lawuobah Gbozee
    September 21, 2009 at 15:16

    I think the white dominated Congress is trying to make Obama a failure to prove that a Black Man is not capable of leading the United States. For me, he is living up to expectations.

  9. 10 Monica in DC
    September 21, 2009 at 15:17

    I agree with Roy, its way too early to know, and people are just way too impatient. I also think that the folks on Cap Hill (Senate/Congress) are not helping, on both sides. I am very concerned about some of the extreme right stuff that is going on… (protests, lies, exaggerations, etc). These people seem to forget that it was their boy George who left the mess not even a year ago yet, granted, a mess which may have started even before that, but he sure didn’t make it any better. The initial bank bail outs were on his watch… I’d like the rights to remember that too.

  10. 11 steve
    September 21, 2009 at 15:24

    When Obama tried to compare mandatory health insurance to mandatory automobile insurance, I lost a bit of respect for him. On a constitutional basis, there’s no way you can be forced to buy health insurance by the federal government. The states could. Hence the states mandate you have auto insurance IF you have a car registered in the state. If you don’t have a car, you don’t need auto insurance. So that was a poor comparison given that people can choose to drive or not, and plus it’s the STATE that requires you buy the insurance, not the federal government. The federal government CANNOT force you to buy auto insurance, so it surely cannot force you to buy health insurance. As someone who went to law school and was even a Lecturer in law school, Obama should know this.

    That he has Jimmy Carter defending him by throwing in the race card, shows that Obama is in some serious trouble and might become another Jimmy Carter if he doesn’t come to the center a bit.

  11. 12 Dan
    September 21, 2009 at 15:27

    All politics is local and based upon ones wallet.
    Obama has been a real disappointment. He has spent $3 TRILLION and unemployment keeps rising. People have lost their retiurements, their life savings, lost their homes, are terminally unemployed and have lost hope.
    Obama gave the recovery money to those that caused the economic meltdown as a reward and they have hoarded it and taken their vacations in luxury resorts as has Obama.
    In short, there aren’t enough of the “Liberal Left iluminati” to elect Obama and he has lost the faith of the average voter who fell for the “Change” nonsense.

    • September 21, 2009 at 15:40

      One can certainly argue Obama inherited the economic calamity that began long before he ever stepped into the White House. With the mid-term elections a little more than a year away, those on both sides of the aisle will almost certainly continue to point out the administration has saved this country from the economic brink, brought this country to a socialist precipice, etc., in order to rally their specific constituency. Perhaps a more productive question to ask is what is the big picture story…

    • 14 Monica in DC
      September 21, 2009 at 15:57

      He didn’t start the financial bailouts… Bush was the one to start giving taxpayer $$ to the banks.

  12. 15 Mike Faulkner
    September 21, 2009 at 15:28

    PS In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I am a Briton who has lived in the USA for 20 years though I have not taken US citizenship and do not, of course, therefore, vote in US elections.

  13. 16 NSC London
    September 21, 2009 at 15:37

    Overall I’ve been somewhat pleased with Obama, but one area where I feel sorely let down is all the bowing and scraping he is doing in the middle east.

    His comment about women’s rights in Egypt being loosely comparable to women’s rights in the US made my blood boil, as did his comments on the burka, as did his call that we acknowledge “Islam’s many contributions” to the civilised world (interestly, he chose not to specify what these actually are).

    I’d like to Obama take a stance of uncompromising expectation that Islam address its own fundamental flaws and instead he went on a tour of the region that seemed aimed at pandering to this ugly political ideology rather than reinforcing America’s role as one of the primary bastions of Western, democratic values.

    • 17 Jon
      September 21, 2009 at 21:28

      NSC London wrote:

      “as did his call that we acknowledge “Islam’s many contributions” to the civilised world (interestly, he chose not to specify what these actually are).”

      Barack Obama said:

      “..it was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

      • 18 NSC London
        September 22, 2009 at 09:21

        Jon, thanks for posting the full quote. Even in light of the full list of contributions I still find this statement absurd. Have any of these contributions occurred in the last 50 years? In the last 500 years?

        Topping it off with that nonsense about “demonstrating through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and equality” is even more laughable. Tell that to the estimated 350 million victims of Islamic tolerance throughout the annals of history. Tell that to the Egyptian Copts, Rifqa Bary, etc.

        I think Obama’s generally a good leader, but this kind of absurd praise for Islam is a real achilles heal.

  14. 19 steve
    September 21, 2009 at 15:38

    More insanity from the former Carter Administration, his security advisor, Brezinski has stated that the US should shoot down any israeli planes that might attack Iranian nuclear program areas.

    http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1115891.html

    • 20 Monica in DC
      September 21, 2009 at 16:05

      That’s a bit of an exaggeration… all he said was they’d be confronted… the choice to continue or turn back was theirs. You make it sound like he said to just arbitrarily shoot them down.

      Plus I don’t think letting Israel go after Iran is such a good idea anyway, so I’m ok with that.

  15. 21 Dave in Florida
    September 21, 2009 at 15:45

    Obama has taken on too much, too soon, and never should have set an end-of-the-year (2009) deadline for his healthcare bill. Congress does what it wants, when it wants, and that includes Obama’s Democratic supporters — some of whom are causing as much trouble as the opposition.
    There are reasons deadlines are seldom set in Washington, and Obama is discovering that the hard way. He is also “giving –in” on too many things, which only causes a “middle of the road” approach that does not make either side happy. Bush never “gave in” and alienated anyone whom did not agree with him, and even referred to them as “background noise.” Obama can not make everyone happy; he needs to stick with his plan and not worry about the “background noise.”

    Obama is making one other terrible mistake and that is that he is being VERY overexposed. He is on TV every day, multiple times, pitching his ideas, and even did a commercial for the new George Lopez Show on TBS. Why is he doing TV commercials? As a supporter who voted for Obama I have to admit – I am becoming tired of seeing his face on every channel each time I turn on the TV.

  16. September 21, 2009 at 15:47

    It’s pretty blindingly obvious what’s happening. The Republicans have decided that they hate Obama so much and that they are so sore that they’re no longer in power that they will simply “No” to absolutely everything he does. This is a Karl Rove strategy, an extension of the hate and fear campaign he led for 8 years for Bush.

    The media makes matters worse but focusing on the lunatic fringe that paints Obama as a Nazi. These wack-a-loons wouldn’t have gotten 10 minutes on the radio much less coverage on CNN 30 years ago. But in the media’s effort to depict “both sides,” they overextend exposure of these people. They’re not the “other side.” They’re the insane dregs and drivel of humanity.

    Personally, I wish they’d stop calling it “partisanship” on the part of the Republicans and just call it what it is: racism.

  17. 23 James Turner
    September 21, 2009 at 15:53

    No! He is working as hard if not harder than he promised he would in his campaign!

  18. 24 Tom K in Mpls
    September 21, 2009 at 16:04

    Obama is very inexperienced. First, he speaks often and strong. And second, he tries to play party extremists against each other. Assuming a middle ground is reached, he will look weak for compromising. I don’t feel he has the skill or strength to do anything. As for international affairs, the breeze will decide his path. In the end, I feel he will be as effective as Bush Jr was on Social Security reform.

  19. 25 Anthony
    September 21, 2009 at 16:12

    He let his supporters down who had unrealistic expectations.

    -anthony, LA, CA

  20. 26 Ros Atkins
    September 21, 2009 at 16:14

    One just in from reg..

    Wow Ros, how quickly we forget? It was only a few short months ago that the world was literally coming to an end? Even if he doesn’t accomplish anything at least he stopped that from happening. The only way he will get anything done is to go the GOP route which is “our way or the highway”. Since he wasn’t brought up like that it’s going to be iffy.
    GB

  21. 27 Ros Atkins
    September 21, 2009 at 16:15

    And one more…

    Dear WHYS

    The President inherited a pretty messy Whitehouse, no doubt about it. But Mr Obama seems to have a remarkable ability to make people angry, and no one happy. Maybe he needs to learn (or re-learn) the lessons that every manager must understand

    a) Priorities. Healthcare, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel and the Palestinians, the Economy were all urgent problems when he took office but a day has only so many hours, and no more. Given that he already had troops in Afghanistan and the Economy was in free-fall, I think he should have left Healthcare and the Israeli question alone. Healthcare because that is a deeply rotten problem that will require his full attention. The Israeli question because that is a war between brothers and until they decide to make peace no outsider can help.

    Success is measured by the number of problems solved completely, not the number of problems started.

    b) Praise in public and reprimand in private. I could list a few things here which I think the President could have done differently, or in a different order, but I am quite certain going after the CIA so publicly is probably the worst thing he could have done.

    Chedondo
    Johannesburg

  22. 28 Ros Atkins
    September 21, 2009 at 16:16

    Here’s Atsu…

    Hi Ros,
    Hi everyone.
    President Obama is not letting any of his true supporters down. If there are people who feel let down, they are not his supporters who support him in truth and in spirit. Those who feel let down by him just because they voted for him are the “mixed multitude” who voted for him just because they were anti-Bush and had their own scores to settle with Bush- they did not vote for an “Obama agenda”, they voted for an “anti-Bush agenda”.

    President Obama is doing his very best to implement his agenda under very difficult and unusual conditions. True and radical change is always accompanied with fierce opposition and difficulty. As for the Republicans and the “anything but Obama crowd”, the least said about them, the better.

    Ats
    Accra, Ghana.

  23. 29 Ros Atkins
    September 21, 2009 at 16:17

    And one more…

    Hi Ros,

    I humbly think that to deliver does not mean to do the mind of everyone, which is basically impossible, but to carry out the decisions for which the people voted you in. Obama i think is on the right track, America is a mixed country, with many intellectual with very wide understanding and personal solutions which may not even solve their own personal family problems.. Obama is not for now letting anyone down, neither is anyone letting him down, it is all politics Ros. For the fact that something is even said and that there are reactions mean that those who did not vote for him are still alive, and want to be recognized. We need not follow in their footsteps, we are still faithful. Challenges are not attacks, but stimulus to be more focused.
    Chris.
    South Sudan

  24. 30 Julie in Indianapolis Indiana
    September 21, 2009 at 16:20

    President Obama is steering the ship, but the ship still needs a crew to sail. We need to remember that, and be patient.  If things are not going as desired, by all means, speak up.  It is our right as Americans.   But do so understanding that change takes time and that one man can not carry the weight of the free world alone, and certainly not without making a few mistakes along the way.  We in the United States thrive upon a culture of immediate gratification and due to this societal misconception of our supposed entitlement, as a people, we have grown impatient.  We think that everything should happen exactly when we want it to happen, exactly how we think it should happen.  Life is not that easy.  Change takes time, mistakes, and hard work.  In our present culture of immediacy, it is too easy to judge another.  After all, we are all human, even the President of the United States, which is why in the end it is not the mistakes we make that define us, but how we take responsibility for those mistakes, correct course, and steer clear in the future.

  25. 31 Ibrahim in UK
    September 21, 2009 at 16:23

    An illegal occupation that flourishes by dispossessing and evicting the indigenous population is not one to celebrate or support. Obama appears to be continuing the long US tradition of pumping billions of US tax money to support Israel (the Middle East’s only nuclear power) and funding Israeli acts of war, while talking about peace.

    His position on nuclear weapons is confusing. Reducing US stockpiles, while trying to block the IAEA from inspecting Israel’s nuclear weapons or even signing up to the NPT, while putting sanctions on Iran for not abandoning nuclear energy research, but supporting Egypt’s aim of nuclear energy research.

    Obama has inherited many policies that his predecessors (even before Bush) implemented and he has not been successful at correcting them yet. There is a danger that the early hope and optimism for change is being frustrated by a stubborn and entrenched past.

  26. 32 Richard in Los Angeles
    September 21, 2009 at 16:32

    Obama can not govern because the United States is not governable.

    Corruption has become institutionalized and thus is accepted as if it were legitimate. The elected representatives are all beholden to the companies who buy them. The courts represent the investing class – and have claimed that corporations have the right to free speech which is to say, the right to spend money influencing the elections. College students are required to buy textbooks that cost over $100 each because the publishers own the government agencies that specify the textbooks. People in California are required to buy gasoline diluted with corn alcohol because the farmers have bought the congress. And so forth.

    • 33 John Henry - Trinidad & Tobago
      September 21, 2009 at 17:20

      When Pres. Barak Obama was on the hustings his charisma, his confidence, his endearing personality, his quick wit and his obvoius intelligence all of which greatly overshadowed his opponents and the then Pre. Geo. Bush, when combined, easily made on believe that change could come with the sweep of a magic wand…a concept which he denied vehemently.

      Change takes time. America voted for him in a manner unlike that of any other elected President. America must now support him and his policies in the same way that they supported hin in the ballot box.

      It would be a sad day if a President whose policies reversed an economic catastrophy in a short time is not allowed to implement other policies that will be of benefit to all Americans. President Obama is open to beneficial ideas for resolving both national and international events.

      Frankly speaking, he shouldn’t have to be re-convincing the electorate on a non-stop basis that he is the right man for the job that he was elected to do.

  27. 34 Nigel
    September 21, 2009 at 16:46

    As a non-American supporter of President Obama, he is not letting me down. I do not see weakness in his international policies. In fact I believe that it is because he has faith in the stength of the US on all fronts that he can take pragmatic decisions that only weaken the the US in the eyes of the residual “war the only solution” neocons and their supporters who will never go away……they are a permanent part of the US political scenario. Is he doing anything to placate them….hell no!

  28. 35 Colin Sundaram
    September 21, 2009 at 16:49

    21. 09. 09

    Dear Ros,

    In fact I have been supporting Hilary Clinton to see a woman President for the U. S. and I had lost some money too on betting for Clinton’s win by thinking that the White Americans will not vote him to power.

    What I hear about Obama’s inability to make concrete decisions on major issues etc by the Political analysts is baloney. After all Obama is in office for a brief period only and the issues under question are not so simple like the so-called analyst-masters making autopsies on. Any fool can don in the clothes of an expert on somebody else’ s decisions. If I had any supernatural power I would have put these pundits on some responsible positions to take some decisions on major issues and put their decisions under the scrutiny of some other so-called egg-heads to ascertain how good are these people in decision making.

    In democracy the leader or decision maker and/or makers are criticized more often than being congratulated whereas in dictatorships all actions, including farting by the man in power, is acclaimed as the wisest decision ever. I live in the M/E and I hear and read such eulogies on the decisions made by the people in power.

    On the other hand questioning every move or action taken by the headman will reduce many costly blunders otherwise would have happened as in dictatorships.

  29. 36 Robz
    September 21, 2009 at 16:52

    The main thing Obama promised to work for is change.While the rest of the world has kept up with a global changing economic system,we in the US have not.We instead let almost all of our manufacturing be sent to China,because it was good business,not becuase it was good for our citizens.
    People are unhappy becuase the economy is down,the fix is going to be long and hard.In the US we need to catch up with the rest of the world.Obama is trying to do that.Our way of handling the running of our country must change.
    People are being scared by right-wing extremists who don’t like the president and are doing all they can to scare the many who are hurting economicly.
    So what is more important,quality of life for all or the pocket books the few.
    We are divided at a time we should unite.
    We are divded by fear.
    What Benladen tried to do and failed;we have done to ourselves.
    Robz in Florida.

  30. September 21, 2009 at 16:54

    Taking a man to task for letting voters down after only eight months is a joke indicative of our “age of instant gratification”. Obama is NOT a one-man-show.
    * His own party can’t compromise.
    *The Congress is more concerned about being re-elected than addressing national needs.
    *Glib smear campaigns of lies and misrepresentation by those who openly pray that he will fail (or be assassinated) twist facts into shifting sands of grit in the machinery of change.
    Real politics is finessing change in increments that then grow roots for long-lasting fixes… NOT quick band-aids for photo ops and sound bites. Those who voted for him must support him VOCALLY to reinforce the mandate they gave him. Obama is doing his part… it’s the rest of us who are failing him.

  31. September 21, 2009 at 16:57

    Obama assumed the presidency in a difficult conjuncture, both at home and abroad. The economic downturn is still having a great effect on the world economy. Probably, the Americans have never felt economically insecure for a long time after a seemingly long a period of economic prosperity.

    Health care reform is the symbol of how far Obama can push his policy and maintain his popularity among those who voted for him in the hope of radical change. But Obama, however, well-intentioned and determined, can’t act alone as he has opponents who try to thwart his policies.

    As far as foreign policy is concerned, the US presumably is now the world policeman. But so far it has failed to regulate international traffic on many levels. The road to peace in areas like the Middle East and Afghanistan are still congested with differences. Whistles, or rather speeches, aren’t enough to make the traffic flow smoothly. The US still has too much on its hand concerning this. Obama, after all, is just a human being. He needs a powerful machinery to move the heavy rocks blurring the view and impeding an movement forward.

  32. 39 Jim Newman
    September 21, 2009 at 17:00

    Hello again
    Once the famous democratic elections are over and the president is firmly esconced in the White House you can forget any election promises because the corporations are firmly in the driving seat.
    Obama’s superior intelligence is not an advantage, because in fact, anything more intelligent than the average red-neck doesn’t stand a chance against the corporate state.
    Jimmy Carter tried to buck the system and failed.
    Clinton seemed to be doing his own thing but was very carefull to do as he was told where it mattered.
    The one before Obama ( I’ve forgotten his name) was a roaring success – the perfect corporation man. He wasn’t so popular with the people but you only need to bother about the people in a democracy.
    Obama is not letting anybody down because it was never in his power to fulfill his election promises.
    Jim

  33. September 21, 2009 at 17:04

    The President is doing it just right. He is letting all the really ignorant have their say. Now before any health care plan is passed he can blow the big government arguements out of the water, by presenting a clear, common sense, flat fee that will give everyone a fair deal, universal health care plan, except corrupt big companies who deny coverage, and cause 12,000 Americans a day to go bankrupt.

    Defense…why anger potential partners and waste money on foolish systems.

    Iran…He really can get them to become our trading partner and a decent member in the community of nations.

    N.Korea…they will gradually be glad to get out of the nuke business

    Afghanistan…right war, who really want a bunch of crazies to rule over a region with barbarack rules and no real hope for a good life for their children???

    troop Oregon Coast

  34. September 21, 2009 at 17:12

    Lobbying is a real problem with the US Congress and something needs to be corrected. Perhaps limiting the term of Senators and Representatives would help solve the kick back and corruption problem. Say, 8 years max?

    Meanwhile, President Obama and the Democratic party need to “jam” through their Health Care plan, one that really takes care of US Citizens. This will anger the “religious right” but so be it.

    Yes, the USA is corrupt and the top has convinced the middle and lower income people that all of this is to their advantage. The top 2% earn more than all the rest put together.

    All I can say, is write a real letter to Obama and staff, plus continue e-mailing to them and your Congress people if you wish change. I do and will continue to do so.

    Oh yes, the switch to missile war ships off the coast of Iran is far better than missile silos near Russia. This is an example of strength that many in the US find it as a weakness. This shows what our President is up against.

  35. 42 Mountain Adam, Portland, Oregon USA
    September 21, 2009 at 17:16

    I supported Obama when he was running against Hilary Clinton for the Demacratic Party nomination. I supported him when he ran for president. I support him now. The people of the U.S. are the problem, not the guy we elected.

  36. 43 John in Salem
    September 21, 2009 at 17:31

    I don’t feel let down at all. Despite having to cope with the economic, military and foreign policy disasters left by Bush, he’s trying to deal with things that our lawmakers have been afraid to tackle for decades AND stand up to the unprecedented personal assaults launched against him by the extreme religious right that is pulling the strings of the Republican opposition and he’s doing it with a grace and style that make me proud to have voted for him.
    I think that most Americans who supported his election and believe in him are reluctant to engage in the same kind of nationalistic chest-thumping public displays of support that characterized the Bush era – if a president is everything people believe him to be he shouldn’t need us to defend him in the streets.

  37. 44 Dan
    September 21, 2009 at 17:33

    @Lawuobah Gbozee
    How sad that immediatly you sank to the lowest common denomiator: Race.

    Rather than focus on, debate and take responsibility for issues it is disgusting that race become the dominant player. It says more about you than it does American politics.

    • 45 nora
      September 21, 2009 at 18:35

      Why is it so upsetting to you that Lawuobah finds race the primary factor? Why do you, Dan, want to shame and chastise simply because race is mentioned?

  38. September 21, 2009 at 17:38

    Many Obama supporters voted for him thinking he would make significant changes in lots of areas. But that’s not really what he promised. He promised incremental changes, and nothing that would change the system itself. Therefore, there are bound to be supporters who feel let down. He’s a Democrat, and just like the Republicans, he’s part of the status quo. Both parties receive millions in campaign donations to keep the status quo from changing too much. That said, he was still the best choice compared to the rest of the field in both parties.

  39. 47 Mawulom
    September 21, 2009 at 17:56

    Of course he is. When you have such a gifted public speaker coming on the heels of a bumbling one, it is easy for a lot of people to get swept up in the euphoria. Most people did not stop to think whether his proposals were realistic or even remotely possible. When I pointed this out to my friends, those who were Caucasian said I just didn’t believe in hope and change. Those who were African-american and African called me a traitor to my race. A lot of people I spoke to about their reasons for voting for him told me ” I just want to be part of history”. I found this incredibly insulting. To me it seemed they wanted a showpiece for their museum of American history so badly, they did not stop to see past what I would call his extremely unrealistic and naive goals. Now we all have to deal with the baggage that comes with being part of history and slowly people are beginning to see that what he promised is something that takes a very long time to achieve.

  40. 48 Tara
    September 21, 2009 at 18:03

    I can’t believe this continues to be an issue. How is not abundantly clear to everyone that President Obama was left with a HUGE mess to clean up and he has been in office for LESS THAN 1 YEAR! The mess that was left to him took YEARS to create. Everything isn’t going to turn honkey-dorey overnight. It’s going to take hard work and time for Obama to fix our Nation.

  41. 49 Anna in Arizona
    September 21, 2009 at 18:05

    I’m still firmly behind Obama. He knows that the only way to create lasting change is to find common ground between Democratic and Republican antagonistic worldviews. If he were to overhaul everything that Bush did, he would be playing into that pointless game, and he would leave the country open to being overhauled all over again when he leaves office. If he can find a common ground, which takes longer, what he creates can be far more sustainable.

  42. 50 Mike in Seattle
    September 21, 2009 at 18:06

    Let’s be perfectly honest here, these first few months have been disappointing. We gave him majorities in both the House and the Senate and what’s new? Sure some good things have come about, such as the changes in the missile shield program and outreach to Cuba.

    Yet if you look again, you see that Guantanamo has been replaced by Bagram and gays and lesbians are treated like second class citizens when a five minute memo would take care of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Not to mention that he kept a true single payer health care system out of reform negotiations, and may ditch any form of the public option as well.

    It’s too soon to rule the whole term a failure, but the disappointments keep mounting again and again. We gave him majorities in both the House and the Senate, and he needs to understand that if he doesn’t use them he will lose them.

  43. 51 Lew in Ohio
    September 21, 2009 at 18:10

    Yes. I voted against more of the same and change from GWB’s ways. But this stuff has gone to far in the other direction. We can cut healthcare costs without overhaul. We can make energy decisions without putting up endless red tape. His ideas are great his execution is poor.

  44. 52 Maccus Germanis
    September 21, 2009 at 18:11

    Do ideologically motivated proponents of a greater centralization of US governance really think that Barak Obama did win anything but a popularity contest? The majority of US citizens are much against centralized social programs, especially to include many of those that were anti-war.

  45. 53 Tom K in Mpls
    September 21, 2009 at 18:11

    Listening on air, Ros’ initial comments and the first caller are all correct. What they all say are not in conflict.

  46. September 21, 2009 at 18:16

    My greatest disappointment with Obama is his continuation of an illegal US war of aggression, prohibited by the UN Charter to which we are required by Article VI of our own Constitution to conform. He has also failed to enforce his demand upon Israel to stop and reverse its illegal settlement policies, and has declined to support prosecution of our previous leaders for war crimes and multiple violations of our constitutional protections.

  47. 55 steve
    September 21, 2009 at 18:16

    If people want Obama to take the far left approach on everything, he will get nothing. Obama is going to have to moderate on health care, which he’s already doing, because despite the large democratic majority in congress, there’s no way he’s going to get what the far left wants, there are plenty of democrats who are opposed to the public option/etc. Like Clinton, if he wants to get things don’t, he’s going to have to go to the center, but Clinton had a Republican Congress for much of his presidency after 1994.

  48. 56 Half-Not
    September 21, 2009 at 18:17

    Mr. Obama apparently doesn’t seem to understand the difference between attempting to use diplomacy and being walked all over. Because the facts are that fundamentalists don’t respond to diplomacy and reason. They will never agree no matter how well argued, because they work from a platform of faith.

    Diplomacy at any rate is superficial at its heart. It is good to set a tone of kindness, but one must still do what is right ethically, regardless of where diplomacy leads. People need a public health-care option, it is the ethical decision. If Mr. Obama does not accomplish this, he will have entirely failed in the one area that he could have accomplished the most.

  49. September 21, 2009 at 18:18

    Ros – I voted for Obama. I am very supportive of what he is trying to do. What one fails to understand is – the issues Obama is trying to solve are not simple issues – there are many shades of grey and the decisions are not that easy to make.

    Over the past 2 or 3 decades, the american citizens have not kept up with the issues that are facing us. We have an highly intellectual President and the kinds of solutions he is proposing requires an audience that has a much higher level of intellect.

    As many have stated, it is just too early to say whether he is successful or not. His campaign generated much needed hope for the United States. Let us rally and support him, instead of constantly saying “oh that won’t work or this won’t work”. Let us stop being ‘fatalistic’ and let us be a little more optimistic.

    -Suresh

  50. September 21, 2009 at 18:18

    Here is a President deeply committed to change in every positive sense of the word. Of course his opponents are determined to scupper his plans and fight him tooth and nail all the way. But this courageous President has a mission, a promise he intends to keep with the American peoples. His aims are noble but those of his opponents are tragically self-seeking. What he has been trying to achieve since assuming the Presidency clearly shows his mettle and vision. The Republicans may scream and shout but President Obama has shown true resilience.

  51. 59 Allison in Portland, OR
    September 21, 2009 at 18:20

    Are we being a bit hasty in assessing Mr. Obama’s adminstration eight months in when it took at least the last eight years of the previous adminstration’s policies to land the U.S. in the position we find ourselves in? I would also point out, that Mr. Obama is president of our entire country. I find it refreshing that Mr. Obama tries to include as many people as possible in his policy decisions. Our prior leader excluded so many and catered to a select few.

  52. September 21, 2009 at 18:20

    The President mainly lacks supporters in one region. I, and the majority of Americans outside the South, are very satisfied with his work. If you exclude the South, the vast majority of us approve of the President’s performance.

    Source: The Monkey Cage

    “Despite all the noise about Obama’s falling approval ratings, outside
    of the South 82% of those in the Northeast have a favorable view of
    Obama (vs. 10% having an unfavorable view). It is only in the South,
    where 67% (!) have an unfavorable view of the president that Obama
    appears to have a serious problem.”

  53. September 21, 2009 at 18:20

    Is President Obama letting his supporters down?
    No,he hasn’t let his supporters down.All he has to be is not PRESIDENT BUSH AND MOST PEOPLE ARE HAPPY.His critics have become organised and vocal,that’s all.
    Former President Carter,who was govenor of Georgia,should know a closet racist,when he sees one(Joe Wilson-R South Carolina)which way did the south vote? Although it doesn’t make the news much anymore,there is still informal segregation re housing,education,shopping&churches.
    BBC worldservice made a few programmes about last year.
    He is a good politician,but something about him does remind me of Jimmy Carter who became a control freak micro manager,unable to delegate,inflexible and plain unlucky at the end of his tenure,tarred with the label of a liberal.

  54. September 21, 2009 at 18:21

    It’s hard to judge if Obama has let his supporters down as now he’s been in office for less than a year. The wrongs accumulated over the Bush year’s in the White House can’t be undone with a magic wand. The first prerequisite for Obama to show that he’s still committed to his election promises is to put he economy on the right track. Whatever policy undertaken without sound economic reforms will remain just a piece of paper to be waved to calm the disenchanted and those believing in a better tomorrow.

  55. 63 steve
    September 21, 2009 at 18:23

    BREAKING NEWS: Politicians never deliver what they promise because they only want to get into power. This applies to all politicians. They are professional liars. If you’re not getting what you expected out of Obama, or any other politician, then you’re acting as if you were born yesterday.

  56. September 21, 2009 at 18:25

    The delays are being misconstrued to be disappointments. He was very honest to America and the whole world that the task that lies ahead is enormous and that we may not get there in a year or even a term. Are we rather used to the hypocrisy that has creeped into our politics for a many years. The reality is that it will take time. People should be patient. The media should stop the exaggerations. Again, it will take time.

  57. 65 steve
    September 21, 2009 at 18:25

    Public option and government healthcare during the WORST economic crisis since the great depression, which will only add further to the deficit and make us further slaves to China? This is a REALLY bad time to be making major changes to the system when the economy is horrible and the national debt is so high.

  58. 66 Adam - NYC
    September 21, 2009 at 18:26

    No one stood up and speak out when our tax money and national surplus were used to stuff special interest groups for the past 8 years. Now that we have a president who not only wants to fight for the people but is also stuck with cleanup job after bush, Americans expect miracles. No one wants to do the right thing and invest in our future, which means fixing what’s broken and pay the bill that last administration left us with.. or maybe wright to your congressman and tell him to stop covering for health insurance companies and do the right thing.
    Most stunning thing about Americans is that they are perfectly happy when they hard earned money go to finance wars in the nations that never did anything to us, but try to invest in to our economy or well being of people and you become a socialist or a nazi. Here is a bottom line… how about get off your lazy butt and help rather than criticize, Obama is only one man and he can facilitate change but you have to be willing to do the work.

    Decision making? It’s easy to make a decision when you have a personal relationship with God, who tells you what to do like bush did – much harder for the rest of us to live with it. One of the best things about Obama is that he is a pragmatist who thinks before acting and we are better for it.

    • 67 maria_in Holland
      September 21, 2009 at 18:53

      BRAVO! could not have said it better….even when voting for him i feared for the backlash and the difficulty he would have in implementing his changes. i hope he can persevere. just like you say; easy to make a decision when you dont care about anyone elses opinion, he obviously takes other peoples ideas into consideration.
      yes fix what’s broken in the US – make it liveable for everyone!

  59. 68 Tom D Ford
    September 21, 2009 at 18:27

    Obama is doing fine.

    He is only starting the ninth month of his office.

    He is only the President and even though he has extraordinary Constitutional Emergency War Powers, he has to deal with the other two branches of Government, the Congress, and the Supreme Court.

    The Republicans, who used to be centrists, have been taken over by the extreme right and they are in full on war mode against him.

    The only leftist in the US is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

  60. 69 Melvin
    September 21, 2009 at 18:32

    Tell me the last time an American President was elected and faced with the enormous problems that greeted Obama. He has not had the luxury to decide what he wanted to attack first. I think he has attacked problems in a rational fashion and I think time will prove that what he is doing was the correct approach.

    Those who worked to get him elected, should not turn their back but need to demonstrate the support they provided during the election; we can’t sit back at this time and expect him to now do everything since he is now in the White House, especially with the fervor the extreme right is attacking him and his policies.

    The pressure must be applied continually because the other side is going to do and is doing everything to discredt his efforts, the progressive effort, the effort that is best for the country.

  61. 70 Tom D Ford
    September 21, 2009 at 18:32

    Obama is working to take the country back to the center and the far right is against that.

    Frankly, I’d like to see Moderate Republicans take back control of their party and marginalize the radical racist right.

    Back to the center!

  62. 71 Noel
    September 21, 2009 at 18:33

    I really don’t know why there are any complaints. The US economy was rubbish pre Obama and he’s improved it with no thanks to the Bush stimulus. The name of the US worldwide, was rubbish pre Obama and now there are a few flowers thrown in. He’s done more in 9 months, where it really counts in a putrid ambience, than any other politician that I’ve seen.

  63. 72 Andrew in Australia
    September 21, 2009 at 18:34

    Perhaps we make too many expectations of the US system of government. For better or worse in different cases despite being the President and the ruling administration it is not so easy to simply say I will do this or that and it will be done. There are so many sources of resistence to administrations that it is amazing anything actually gets done unless it is in self-interest of in the interests of those with the big bucks and big lobbying ability.

  64. 73 Maccus Germanis
    September 21, 2009 at 18:35

    “radical racist right” -and I’m moderated- BBC you make mockery of yourself.

  65. 74 Rod Grover
    September 21, 2009 at 18:39

    I am always amazed by American naivity in understanding the differences between campaign rhetoric and real politik.

  66. 75 steve
    September 21, 2009 at 18:40

    Obama is opposed to Israelis’ building homes in the west bank. If more Jews are born there, they aren’t allowed to build new homes, so will they have 100 people living in each apartment? obama is opposed to NATURAL GROWTH. Can you name any other group on earth that’s not allowed to build homes or let their population expand? Basically what they’re saying is share rooms or go back to Israel, which is ethnic cleansing. Can I ask if this is being done with any other group on earth besides Jews? Are Russians in south ossetia allowed to build homes? If so, why is it okay for them to but not for Jews to?

    • 76 Douglas
      September 21, 2009 at 19:06

      Yes, Steve,

      I can name one other group aside from Jews to whom this is being done: PALESTINIANS, on land that is being actively stolen from them by Jewish citizens in Israel! Or have you not compared the living conditions in Gaza and the West Bank — where Palestinians are “walled up” in squalor and over-crowding by their Jewish guards — with the conditions of most Jewish citizens of Israel? I have several Palestinian friends whose grandparents and parents had their ancestral lands STOLEN by Jewish immigrants from Europe. The only difference now is that Palestinian lands are being slowly stolen by Jewish immigrants from closer in… cheers

    • September 22, 2009 at 09:30

      A very ludicrous argument to say that when the population of a country grows it should be allowed to expand into neighbouring countries. When Mexico’s population grows can that country take a part of the United States and start building there as part of NATURAL GROWTH? It is time Israeli politicians grew up and behaved like civilised and responsible world citizens.

  67. 78 Jason
    September 21, 2009 at 18:40

    I think the decision with missile defense is a move towards peaceful relations with Russia; the alternative is a preparation for war. As well as with a decision to disagree with the actions of Israel. Obama is, for a change, not supporting military action or actions antagonizing the Palestinians.

  68. 79 Barry
    September 21, 2009 at 18:41

    President Obama has always been a centrist candidate masquerading as a progressive liberal. He agrees with Bush and the Republicans on an aggressive foreign policy in the middle east, support of Israel, bailing out the Wall Street banks who made the problem, supporting FISA that gives immunity to telecom companies that illegally spied on citizens with the Bush administration, and voting to keep the Patriot Act, supporting offshore oil driling, and the promotion of a free market health care system instead of single payer system. The great irony is that he doesn’t have to outright lie, he simply rarely spells out his policies to the public and allows the reactionary opposition to put words in his mouth that the left side of American politics would likely agree with. His supporters in turn present him as a progressive liberal and Obama goes along with it, all the while behaving NOTHING like a progressive president and never explicitly claimed to.

    American Democrats are a centrist party, the Republicans are a center right party and this happens because there are only two parties active in American politics that skew the political context creating the appearance of two polar opposite parties when in fact they agree more than they disagree.

  69. 80 Jonathan (dazzling San Francisco)
    September 21, 2009 at 18:42

    Well, I sure feel better about my country under Obama. We are no longer in the business of kidnapping and torturing civilians all over the world; that feels good. Obama has cut off several pointless military programs, committed to terminating at least one of the futile, arbitrary wars he inherited, and mended fences with the rest of the world, needlessly antagonized by his predecessor.

    Domestically, he has taken the high road at every turn. His administation boldly averted a financial collapse. He has bravely stepped out onto the notorious third rail of American politics, health care, where the risks outweigh the rewards. He has said he’d rather have one effective term than two timid terms, and his actions prove it.

    Every time I hear him, I’m reminded of his intelligence and benevolence. If I imagined that he could do whatever he wanted, then I would be disappointed, but I’m an adult, so I am delighted.

    Jonathan
    San Francisco

  70. 81 Jamie in Berlin
    September 21, 2009 at 18:45

    Well, Barack Obama has overseen one of the largest transfers of public money to private corporations and banks in US history; trillions of unaccountable dollars that will take millions of Americans generation upon generation to pay off!

    Furthermore, regarding the missile ‘defence’ shield, Deputy US army chief, Gen. James Cartwright and defense secretary Robert Gates amplified President Barack Obama’s statement on the US missile shield in East Europe in Washington Thursday, Sept. 17, by announcing that a new and better anti-missile missile system would be deployed in Israel and the Caucasus. It just wont be in Czech Republic and Poland.

    Also, Obamas increase in troop numbers in Afghanistan and the increased number of private contractors in Iraq, shows that he is merely continuing Bush’s agenda in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

    cheers

  71. 82 Tom D Ford
    September 21, 2009 at 18:51

    I wonder if the more progressive Democrats over-expected progress from Obama.

    I always saw him as slightly to the right of center and so I voted for Dennis Kucinich as the Progressive candidate.

    I didn’t expect much movement toward progressive ideas like I’d like to see, I just expected him to try and move back towards the center.

    And he’s doing fine at that.

    And I can support that.

  72. September 21, 2009 at 18:52

    I heard the programming this afternoon, and found the collection of panelists to be leaning to the extreme left. Many of their assertions were completely fabricated ie: that the campaign organizing went away after the campaign went away. Have these people ever heard of the astroturf organization run by David Plouffe, one of Obama’s campaign handlers, called Organizing For America? How about ACORN? MoveOn.org? And to assert that the opposition is driven by personal animous towards the President rather than genuine disapproval of his monstrous spending bills is simply ludicrous.

    What we are seeing is disillusionment with a President who has shown the American people why he was rated as the most liberal member of the Senate just two years ago. For the past eight years the left had been slandering the Bush Administration to achieve their end of putting a liberal Democrat in the White House. Now that they have majorities in two out of three branches of government, they are being forced to own their policy decisions. They are sadly mistaken if they think the public is just going to write them a blank check over and over. Opposition to the president’s policies regarding Health Care, Cap-and-Trade, and Unionizing Laws is an example of Democracy in action, and should be praised instead of demonized.

  73. 84 Douglas Hamill, MD
    September 21, 2009 at 18:55

    People tend to forget that few American administrations posted signature accomplishments in their first year or two in office. Ronald Reagan was deeply unpopular during his first two years, mired in a deep recession. George W. Bush was criticized for vacationing during most of his first year in office and his administration did not begin its aggressive (and destructive) foreign and domestic policies until after 9/11/2001. Bill Clinton tried major policy changes but mostly spun his wheels during his first two years, leading to the Republican revolution of 1994.

    It’s far too early to expect President Obama and his administration to have its “sea legs” and post major accomplishments. His dealing with the financial crisis BEFORE he took office was a first in American presidential politics. Let’s see how President Obama looks a couple of years from now.

  74. 85 Tom K in Mpls
    September 21, 2009 at 18:56

    The big problem is we have two extreme groups vying for more power. They do this at the cost of the people. They both get money from special interest groups and we the people get more government and taxes/debt from both. We need a viable third party to speak for the people.

    Everyone globally seems to forget that left and right is only one dimension of the political picture. The other dimension is the degree of government control. It goes from anarchy to dictatorship, or ‘stateist’. Currently both parties add government control, ranging from Homeland Security to the ‘Government Option’.

  75. 86 Tom D Ford
    September 21, 2009 at 18:57

    @ Barry
    September 21, 2009 at 18:41

    “…The great irony is that he doesn’t have to outright lie, he simply rarely spells out his policies to the public and allows the reactionary opposition to put words in his mouth that the left side of American politics would likely agree with. His supporters in turn present him as a progressive liberal and Obama goes along with it, all the while behaving NOTHING like a progressive president and never explicitly claimed to.”

    Good point.

    Obama is no radical at all, he’s a centrist just a little to the right of center, a Moderate.

  76. September 21, 2009 at 18:57

    I admire Obama for taking the serious issues:PEACE in the middle east and Health, so early in his presidency. And so his reseting the relationship with Russia. I hope the majority of the Americans support him, and so the international governments.

  77. 88 Maccus Germanis
    September 21, 2009 at 18:59

    Actually, to give credit where due. My comment did eventually appear….some time after much more inflamatory assertions. Is it lost on a British audiance that opposition to Obama’s plans reference the Tea Act? What is “deep seated” in America is a mistrust of authority and vigorous protection of individual liberty.

  78. 89 Bob
    September 21, 2009 at 18:59

    I think that your question misses the point. Mr. Obama has been in office for just over seven months and you and others expect him to solve all the problems of the world. It is Congress who will have to step up to the plate and make the changes needed by this country and it is the President’s job to lead that Congress to the issues that the American public wants addressed.

    A president of the US is not the savior of the world. Even if Mr. Obama had not inherited two wars, despicable foreign relations with the majority of the world, not just the Islamic nations, and, the most devastating world economic crisis since 1929, he still needs time to lay forth his agenda which is based on the majority of the American public’s mandate.

    Let’s give the man a chance and the time he needs to make the change he and the American voter requested last November. Where is the sense of fairness in allowing a new employee time to form and fit the job he was hired to do?

    • September 21, 2009 at 20:23

      Funny you mention congress has to step up to the plate. Well it was congress and the Democratics who started the financial mess under Clinton. Guess who the biggest contributors to Obama were the guys running Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Countrywide Mortgage. Once again ignore the facts!! Guess who insures Congress’ pension fund oh yeah AIG. What a surprise that they were bailed out!!! Check out jumping Joe Biden’s record and see what he has supported over the years. I will give your man as much slack as Bush was given oh yeah that was none! So quite your whinning and crying although that is all the liberals are good at!

  79. 91 Gloria in Oregon
    September 21, 2009 at 19:00

    We, as a country, want instant results, and any results short of instantaneous we start hollering & stomping around like spoiled children who cannot exercise delayed gratification.

    I think, (Especially in light of the MESS left over for him to walk into!) President Obama is doing a good job. Give him some breathing room, and continued support.

  80. September 21, 2009 at 19:04

    Please remember all you supporters of Obama nearly half the people who voted voted against him. So all you liberals who claim racism and all the other bs should remember that almost half the voters did not vote for him or his change to begin with! So you can call us whatever you want and portray us as losers and what not but we make up half the country and pay our taxes unlike the appointees of Obama. We never backed your choice in the first place and still do not. I get tired of hearing how much the public was behind him and it is not true. So take your change and move to a third world country somewhere. By the way look a a little history and your man Clinton and the policies from his administration lead to the banking crisis! But keep blaming the republicans as why mix facts with your liberal crying!!!

  81. September 21, 2009 at 19:14

    HEY GUYS, DON’T YOU THINK YOU NEED TO GIVE THIS MAN A CHANCE. WHAT DO YOU GUYS WANT HIM TO DO. THE PROBLEMS PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION CAME TO MEET ARE NEVER BROADCASTED. IS AS IF YOU GUYS ARE JUST hoping HE FAILS. WE STILL BELIEVE IN “THE CHANGE” HE IS GOING TO BRING. LEARN TO BE A BIT OPTIMISTIC FOR OTHERS, ITS A GOOD MEDICINE.

  82. 94 john C
    September 21, 2009 at 19:48

    His great failing will be Health Care.
    He plans to fine anyone without health insurance-
    It does not work in Britain or Canada-overstaffed by people in suits,underfunded.
    UK Hospitals are now dirty with lazy workers.’
    Doctors in the US will opt out if it happens-wait until you are not allowed to get the drugs or the operation you need -look at Russia and China thats the system he would like-pure socialism if you ask me but US people cannot think for themselves-they dont know how to-the educational system is all multple choice-even medical schools-if you dont know choose C-and pass.

  83. 95 Liz in San Jose
    September 21, 2009 at 19:59

    Honestly and truly – it seems to me that not just in the US, but around the world people expect ONE man to change everything. In the US alone, there are many issues facing the president, and his to-do list is probably never ending. Outdated infrastructure, education, Israel, Iran, Africa, Afghanistan, Al Quaeda, the Taliban, global financial crisis, US banking/credit/housing; regulation,; and the list goes on. What would YOU do first??

    If anything, he needs to probably review his team and ensure that each of them are doing their job – perhaps if they were, he wouldn’t have to come in and explain everything all the time.

    Add to this, in opposition is a party whose main raison d’etre is to oppose whatever Obama does, vilify him, and mock him. What is the Republicans’ alternative platform? What would they do to address health care? What’s their answer for Israel or education? Do they really care about the well-being of EVERY citizen, or is it every man for himself?

    Maybe if Obama had a magic wand it would be easier??

  84. 96 Macq
    September 21, 2009 at 20:25

    Normally, in Africa, leaders are accused of never leaving up to their election promises, because they’d promise hevean for the elctorate during campaings but once elected they forget all that and start thinking about how to make themselves wealthier. On the contrary, in America I see quite the opposite. Obama went round America during campaigns for the 2008 elections saying he will change the Medical Insurance system to make it affordable/available to the wider public. I think he started on this even beofre he landed the nomination to run for the presidency from his own party. Now that he is president and wants to implement this election pledge, America is acting as if its the first time Obama is talking about his Health Care plan. Cummon Americans, stop this hypocricy and tell the world exactlky what problem you have with your first ever African – American President!!!

    Regards,

    Mack. (Nairobi, Kenya)

  85. 97 leo goki,Nigeria
    September 21, 2009 at 20:52

    President Obama is trying to hear everyones point of view and put everyones desires and wants in all his actions but i belive it’s time to leave this bi-partisan nonsense behind the Republicans are not willing to cooperate with him all they want is to pull him down and see that he fails in office you can’t talk reason with the unreasonable which is what the Republican party now is they are a bunch of rednecked racist humanbeings the president should go ahead and make decisions without them after all what is the advantaage of having a majority in congress? ………GO Obama Africa is proud of you the world is rooting for you never mind those sore losesr Republicans.

  86. 98 David
    September 21, 2009 at 22:14

    Those who think Obama is failing in some quaters are the failure themselves. Obama inherited many nasties from the previuos administration, and Obama is like a doctor who is treating a patient with brocken leg, flu, cancer and migrain at the same time. He is trying to make sure at the end of the day the patient lives.

    For those who think Obama is failing so early in peace, are the failure themselves. They are the people whose brain stopped thinking. Dialogue is a proven medicine for many “illnesses” Patiency is gold.

    There is no president clever and intelligent enough to equate with Obama.

  87. September 21, 2009 at 23:04

    You forgot the most important issue that invalidates any and everything the president usurper, the fraud and foreigner, does:

    Obama/Soetoro/Obama has failed to prove he is a natural born citizen, disrespecting our Constitution, betraying our Republic and showing contempt for We The People.

  88. 100 Nareyore Ngwibutoge
    September 21, 2009 at 23:28

    Obama should be left alone. 8 months is too short a time to critisize a government. Obama has a lot to deal with and must be given the time he needs to do so. I personally think those who voted him into the presidential office are being impatient which is not the right way to assess a government. There is still enough time in 4 years for a lot of things to go right or wrong. Let the man do his work.

  89. September 21, 2009 at 23:30

    Nothing good comes easy just for only six month lets no just start been disappointed we need to have courage so as to give Obama the courage to go ahead with his good work it’s not that all easy we need to know this just for only six month+ he certainly will make it God will give him the courage and strength I know this will happen we humans are always in a haste when we are stressed

    • September 21, 2009 at 23:41

      Nothing good comes easy, just for only six month lets no just start been disappointed .We need to have courage so as to give Obama the courage to go ahead with his good works . It’s not that all easy, we need to know this. Just for only six month+ he certainly will make it . God will give him the courage and strength I know this will happen .We humans are always in a haste when we are stressed up.

  90. 103 Jonnan
    September 21, 2009 at 23:44

    As someone that finally settled on Obama as the best compromise candidate, I knew he was instinctively centrist rather than liberal – it’s obvious from things like his time leading the Harvard Law Review.

    So, knowing that, I was entirely prepared for his compromise view on things like health care, economics, et al. Grover Norquist famously called bipartisanship ‘Date Rape’, and oddly enough I can understand why – conservatism, by definition, means one is invested in the status quo – getting things done is not a strategy, getting nothing done is a strategy.

    If you want to get things done, bipartisanship helps more than it harms because getting something done is always preferable to getting nothing done – as a liberal I don’t have the luxury of being satisfied with the latter, and I can live with Obama’s Centrism up to exactly that point where it’s helping get something done. Indeed, I think the GOP is making a mistake in not giving any compromise. They can’t stop the status quo from changing, but they could slow it down by forcing compromise. Instead they are forcing the President to the left, where we will welcome him with open arms.

    None of which applies to the none-policy arena’s where I *do* feel President Obama has failed to live up to his promises to re-implement the rule of law, get us out of the use of military commissions, investigate the use of torture, and in general start holding people that swore oaths to uphold the Constitution responsible for their utter failure to do so.

    Jonnan

  91. 104 Fonjong Terence Tah
    September 22, 2009 at 00:12

    Before you start criticizing president Obama, get your facts straight and think the matter through. There’s time for everything. God our creator, took sometimes to creat the universe with everything. Give this young president time. He maybe fallen, I feel that some of his supporters are contributing. President Obama needs their continous support. When things are going well, it’s hard to tell who your real friends are, but in hard times you can recognize your enemies. Don’t make fun of someone who has fallen on hard times. The Lord does wonderful things that human beings never notice.Learn to be wise.

  92. 105 Trojan Horace
    September 22, 2009 at 01:39

    As with all politicians you don’t get everything you want – and oddly for Obama although he has a Democrat Senate and Congress, they seem very entrenched by the political concerns of the previous regime. Compounded with anxieties about trying to keep the conservative leaning aspects of the media from having a field day results in a tendency toward weak policy decisions, like maintaining the embargo with Cuba for largely populist reasons when in reality 3 or 4 million consumers helping the US balance of payments would be far better for all concerned as indeed would the re-introduction of habeas corpus over detention and torture camps liike Guantanamo. America still has a very long journey before it will be ready to return to the values of the New Deal or fully escaping the shadow McCartyism cast… but in general the tilt is at least no longer towards the likes of Halliburton dictating foreign policy. He probably does need to choose his battles and go to war with the ones he thinks he has the best shot at winning… the irony of the most powerful man in the world is that he’s still pretty powerless if his values don’t lean to those of neo-conservativism… Democracy looks as if it’s better shape but the Jury is still out for both Foreign and Domestic policy… but 8 years should see a few changes for the better if he can hang onto to his principles in the face of everything that is streamlined to shred them

  93. 106 T
    September 22, 2009 at 04:30

    There are two points here.

    First, Obama is letting his supporters down by being centrist on everything. Despite all the racist abuse he gets, he still sticks to “bi-partisanship.” When he knows that’s a waste of time.

    Second, his progressive supporters need to have a united front. Instead, it’s all about egos and who gets the most on-air time. And it doesn’t look it’ll change soon.

  94. 107 Tan Boon Tee
    September 22, 2009 at 05:09

    It is still too early to pose such question, it is quite meaningless.

    Wait till the emergence of a substantive performance report card first before jumping into any generalisation.

  95. September 22, 2009 at 07:36

    @ Joseph

    100% in agreement!

  96. 109 Elina
    September 22, 2009 at 08:44

    No, I don’t think that Pres. Obama is letting down his supporters, but some people are perhaps let down by their own unrealistic expectations. It’s way too early to say anything definite about his performance as a president. The challenges he faces are huge and the changes can’t be done overnight. I just wish his supporters wouldn’t fail him.

  97. 110 Philip Nijman
    September 22, 2009 at 09:16

    Yes, the US voted for change, but does the US want to change?? I don’t think so, not when the mayority consists of non-voters and anti-Obama-voters. Also, latent racism, Christian radicalism, Red Neck Intolerance etc. is destroying a country. The rest of the world moves on, struggeling as it is, but it is moving and there may come a time when the US can only catch up by flexing its military muscles.
    When the United States were truly United and would not destroy itself by infighting then the population would live up to Obama, now they are letting him down.

  98. 111 archibald
    September 22, 2009 at 09:20

    What a bunch of cry babies! It is so easy to criticize, but, when you look at how disfunctional everything was before he came into office and how much resistance there has been, since he has been elected, is it any wonder that nothing seems to be getting done. I think many people secretly want the black man to fail, so they can say, “I told you so”.
    We gave an idiot 8 years of our countrys life and it has almost cost us everything. The least we can do is continue to support the man who is trying to fix it, for a bit longer. Where was all this dissent when Bush was running amuck all over our civil liberties and alienating the majority of the world from us. Better tape up your glass house windows America, this will take time and it will not be easy. Show a little character.

    • 112 john aboko -cole
      September 22, 2009 at 13:33

      i cannot agree more with this analysis.America did not get into this mess in a few months and cannot possibly get out of it in the few months that Pres. Obama has been in office.Thats how they hounded the Treasury Secretary(Tim Geitner) a sometime ago when they they were tackling the economic crunch headlong with the funds intervention,now that things are beginning to look up I believe they would be choking with shame and have now redirected their animosity towards the healthcare reform.indeed if the US is to lead the world ,we expect Americans of all shades to show some character.Patience has always been a virtue.

  99. 113 Dennis Junior
    September 22, 2009 at 11:03

    No…I don’t think that President Obama has been letting his supporters down…He is only been in office for only a few months…..

    =Dennis Junior=

  100. September 22, 2009 at 12:27

    The great city where he [the emperor] resided was very gay; every day many strangers from all parts of the globe arrived. One day two swindlers came to this city; they made people believe that they were weavers, and declared they could manufacture the finest cloth to be imagined. Their colours and patterns, they said, were not only exceptionally beautiful, but the clothes made of their material possessed the wonderful quality of being invisible to any man who was unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid.
    – The Emperor’s New Suit

    Sounds like Emperor Obama, pimped by ACORN swindlers, oblivious to We The People who question, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” and his “intelligent” followers who carry on as if everything were perfectly normal and the Constitution wasn’t stripped of its proper respect.

  101. 115 Kelly from Chicago
    September 22, 2009 at 14:27

    No. I don’t think anyone can claim to be disappointed this early in his term. I think he is doing some amazing things. He has to go through all the hoops to get one tiny thing done–everyone needs to be patient. Obama doesn’t poop rainbows.

  102. 116 Mike Faulkner
    September 22, 2009 at 14:49

    (Edited submission from 21st Sept 2009.)

    I was astonished to hear this allegation direced at Mr Obama’s administration. Did John Simpson enquire further to ask how representative this British official’s view was of others in Britain? Or of those in Europe more generally? Or elsewhere in the world?

    It seems that, after 8 years of a carefully controlled message being released to the media (you will remember the rarity of media interviews by Mr Bush and his party’s ‘invitation only’ ‘public’ meetings), we are now to be subjected to a torrent of right-wing mis-information, innuendo, half-truths and downright lies with little or no real journalistic balance or analysis.

    The president has already addressed the Bush legacy of incipient world financial collapse and Iraqi adventurism and is approaching climate change, health care, environmental protection, Middle Eastern peace and many other issues with a seriousness, maturity, objectivity and level of engagement that many other world leaders would do well to emulate. At this point in his presidency I feel fortunate that we have such a person at the helm in the USA.

  103. 117 Sofia
    September 22, 2009 at 17:45

    America changed that president, but they did not change their attitude / perspective re governance. given the decrepit state of the economy the young president inherited, no amount of acumen and experience would have made it easy to fix.

    America is getting a dose of harsh economics and an economic backhoe has had to be applied to reconfigure the economy.

    Americans neither have the stomach or the maturity for that type of governance. It frumps the psuedo substance of the American culture. The question Americans should honestly ask is – How dare Obama try to level the playing field, ease of access to health care and parity are not entrenched in the American culture.

  104. 118 Jon
    September 23, 2009 at 13:00

    NSC London, Obama’s decision to engage with the Muslim world, and to do so by respectfully demonstrating an understanding of Islamic history, makes it difficult for extremists to believe and convince potential recruits that America is evil. It also enables him to persuasively deliver the expectations he has of Muslim countries later in the speech.

    By discussing the positive contributions Islam has made throughout history, he sheds light on a period in which Islam was in its golden age, and reminds Muslims of a set of ideals that were widespread in the past, and which they should aspire to in the present and future.

    Therefore rather than being absurd, the speech was a considered, thoughtful, strategic and practical exercise which will likely result in far more positive results than a war of/on terror ever will.

    I recommend you read through the following page for more comprehensive information on the contributions of Islam:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age

    The religious tolerance of Muslims throughout history is well known. If you are interested, look up the Ottoman Empire’s ‘millet system’. You may also be interested in the protection provided by Muslims to many Jews while they were being persecuted during the inquisition:
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Sephardim.html

    Other notable acts of humanity are recorded in the annals of history; one example is the Ottoman ships laden with food sent to Ireland while they were suffering from famine:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland)#Ottoman_aid


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