Obama Bites Off More Than He Can Chew

Solid first year falls short of president's ambitious agenda
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2009 4:25 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama shares a laugh with diners while having lunch at Luis's Taqueria in Woodburn, Ore., Friday, May 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – In his first year in office, President Obama has done a more-than-acceptable job—but his own stated ambitions were so numerous and wide-ranging that by his own definition, his performance has been disappointing. The bar was simply set too high, writes Doyle McManus for the Los Angeles Times, "and the agenda quickly proved longer and more ambitious than either Congress or President Obama's executive branch could handle."

Part of the problem is perception. The stimulus, for instance, was an objective success; "but Obama hasn't convinced most voters that the impact is real." That's a symptom of a larger difficulty, McManus argues, and it may spell trouble for the future: "Obama hasn't succeeded in building a strong constituency for his overall philosophy of government, a shortfall that will limit what he can achieve from here on."

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