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This is going to generate a great deal of buzz, primarily because it is a matter of speculation and opinion. The nature of the question can be debated, and within this, there will be discussion. Some might argue that the question is phrased correctly, in that the President is doing a good job of being President. These individuals might point to the passage of the Health Care bill through both houses of Congress, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, and the redoubled efforts in Afghanistan and the gradual phaseout of military presence in Iraq as examples of good actions as President. At the same time, there will be those who argue quite the opposite. Some will assert that the the President has not done a very good job as President in the handling of the Health Care bill passage, which seemed more akin to back room dealing than transparent discussion. Others will suggest that the current economic crisis is far from over, suggesting that the President has done little in terms of differentiating his administration from prior ones in dealing with the issues at hand.
Among the positive things (my opinion, of course) he's achieved since he came into office:
1) He helped to stabilize the banking system - perhaps they didn't deserve government help, but we do need them to have a real hope of near term economic recovery
2) Reduced the number of troops in Iraq and the number of detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison
3) Saved 30,000 primary and secondary jobs with the GE bailout, money that is being repaid and on time
4) Health care reform - perhaps it is flawed, but the changes it does put in place are quite meaningful, and the first achieved by any President in the last 40 years.
5) Restored our image in the eyes of the world, which makes it much easier to work with other countries on solving the world's issues, and at making favorable trade arrangements, getting others' cooperation on the economy, climate change, Afghanistan, etc.
Just a few ideas in addition to the ones mentioned above.
This assumes, of course, that he is doing a good job. I think that with any president it is very hard to know at this point in his tenure if he is doing well. But if I had to argue that he is doing well, I would say:
- He managed to pass the health care reform bill. He had identified that as the most important thing he wanted to do in the medium term (after the financial crisis died down). And he has done it, so he has at least done what he said he wanted to do.
- The state of the economy has improved. I personally don't believe presidents have that much to do with it, but people generally give them more credit when the economy is doing well.
- He got his first Supreme Court nominee confirmed without any missteps. This is important because he didn't waste his political capital by nominating someone who didn't work out.
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