American Morning

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January 20th, 2010
06:10 AM ET

"Where's the Love?"

By Carol Costello and Bob Ruff

One full year after a President's inauguration is always a good time to take stock and ask, "How's he doing?"

By all accounts, the inauguration of the nation's first African American president was historic. We asked presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who wrote biographies of Jimmy Carter and Franklin Roosevelt, to assess what it was like at the start of the President Obama's term.

"He had a bit of a roll for a few months," says Brinkley, "…(and) had a crucial rubicon to overcome, to cross, and that was high expectations in the spring. He had run on change and "yes we can", and there was a feeling that this progressive movement was going to sweep into Washington, D.C."

As we know all too well, it hasn't worked out exactly that way so far.

The love and joy of the inauguration fell prey to federal bailouts, rising unemployment, and tea parties and rancor over health reform.

Jesse Jackson, founder and President of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition,told us "we thought that we were at a new moment and going to a new place, but the level of resistance has been historical and ugly and very divisive."

A leading voice of dissent, radio host Rush Limbaugh, who told a cheering CPAC gathering in late February : "What is so strange about being honest and saying I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country's so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation? Why would I want that to succeed?"

Drew Westen, Emory University political psychologist and the author of "The Political Brain", was an Obama supporter during the campaign. Now he is critical of much of the President's performance, especially in his dealings with the Republican opposition.

"You don't compromise with the people who completely disagree with everything you believe in," says Westin. "You clearly enunciate a vision and you say this is my vision for America. And not my vision is somewhere between what I believe and somewhere where people on the other side believe."

By leaving much of the health care reform debate up to Congress, Westen and others believe, Republicans found an opening to create fear and confusion among voters.

Can you spell "Tea Parties"?

Like many other first term Presidents, Obama's popularity has mostly gone downhill since his inauguration. Right now it hovers just above or below 50%, depending on the poll.

With unemployment stuck in the 10% range for the nation -at-large, African-Americans –whose jobless rate is even higher - have been steadfast in their support of the president even those we questioned on an unemployment line downtown in Atlanta.

"I feel like he's done a good job," said Derrick Owens. "I feel he's trying to help people who are out of jobs right now."

Joan Thornton said, "January 20 will be one year. And in that time I am of the opinion that he has done an outstanding job."

Rose Matthews told us, "There were many things happening with the economy that were out of President Obama's control."

An unidentified man said we should give the President more time "before we grade him on the job that he's doing. We gave Bush 8 years. And look what he gave us."

In fact every person we interviewed gave the President at least passing marks.

And what about the President himself? How does he think he did? He told People Magazine recently "What I haven't been able to do … is bring the country together in a way that we had done in the inauguration. That's what's been lost this year … that whole sense of changing how Washington works."


Filed under: Politics
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Wilma Cooper

    Right on Mitchell! Through our educational boards and the printing of our educational texts by Mcgraw/Hill we have a generation of diluted minds. WASN'T THIS THE GOAL? To raise up a new generation of progressive thinkers! To wipe out the old to "usher in the new age" to the demise of our freedoms and liberties. Never believe anything except this was and is a calculated, well planned out agenda that is being ushered in by the progressive democrats. Saying that, there are also some Republicans that have fallen in line to the progressive march.

    Furthermore, the reason to have the medicare cuts was esentially to get rid of the "old people" who remember true history and what freedom really means. By allowing rationing to the older people and giving us just a "pill," the progressives could rid themselves of the past and continue their march of "brainwashing!"

    You people that believe that this self-absorbed administration is doing what's best for the country have been drinking the "elixir of the death of freedom!" If this continues WATCH OUT! You may not enjoy the ability to blog on any website

    January 22, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  2. Mitchell

    CNN your pundits seem to be really disappointed that the democrats head long race to make our country bankrupt and socolist might not have the support of rational people. The democrats seem to have the support of and count on "mindless sheep" to support their beyond far left agenda.

    January 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  3. Sue

    I think President Obama is doing a great job. This is the BEST president we have ever had in my 52 years of life and we should be grateful for him!
    The system is what is broken, why can't these politicians grow up and work together to help all of us Americans. Instead they are hell bent on "winning".
    We need more senators and congressman who care about the people.
    I thank God that Obama is our president every day. He has become the "Father" of our country, and what a father he is!

    January 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  4. KERRYANN REID

    Mr Obama will prove all those who throw stones at him wrong .We should hve made these comments; when we had Bush in for 8yrs of misleading. But all u republicans overlooked the fact that he did nothng but put the country in termoil, stop n think do u think its gna take Obama alone to fix this country ? the answer is NO!! Stop being unfair to him lets all fix ourselves n our beliefs b4 we start to judge this man if he was to run another 100yrs n i was to b alive i will always vote him as our President. Mr President Sir u got a well deserved A+ Be bless u n ur family. America n the world luv n support u at least u think b4 u act thank u Mr President again thank u.

    January 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  5. Gary

    Thank goodness that there is now a Republic Party that can absorb all the whackos and leave the Grand Old Party grand once again. Perhaps Sarah and Glen could lead that Republic Party to where it needs to go.
    Obama gets a B from me until he ignores National Security Reports of planes ready to hit America again. Bush sat there and read to children in Florida for 7 minutes AFTER learning that TWO planes had hit America. Read James Bamford's Pretext For War. He could have grounded air traffic and saved that fourth plane from taking off.

    January 20, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  6. JB

    Obama is trying to fix the mess the Republicans made, and that will take twenty years to do.

    January 20, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  7. Bob

    Obama is trying to wreck this country, and is on a tear to put this country so far in the financial whole they'll have to pump sunshine down to us........are we sure he isn't a jihadist or something??? You die hard leftwinger's are either already on an entitlement program, or want to be........this country grants you freedom.....to win or to loose....it's not everybody wins at the same time.....you don't have two winners in the Super bowl......it's about competition....the American way...to suceed or to fail....but ultimately it's up to yoou individually....the politicians you think are helping you, are helping themselves and the people that voted for them, not necessarilly all the people....

    Jesse Jackson doesn't get it either...that's why he never made it politically....why doesn't the media find people other than Jackson & Sharpton to represent the Black American demographic?

    Thank you Massachusetts for steering us back towards reality....now if you could remove our little buddy Barney Frank........

    January 20, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  8. Steve

    Wilma's capitalized "screaming" suggests much about her that her comments reinforce, or ignore. A Republic party president was in office at the time the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and domestic passenger plane were attacked. President Bush and his Republic party's government failed to heed the many alerts and warnings that were provided by intelligence operatives of several different nations. The Republic party and their president chose to remain uninformed and to take no action to prevent the attacks of 9/11.

    No connection or blame for the 9/11 Bush/Republic party failure can be assigned to President Obama or the Democratic Party.

    In response to the attack of 9/11, president Bush and his Republic party government made the choice to attack a country that had no link to the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Republic party justified the attack on Iraq by lying publicly to the American people and the United Nations, that Iraq was in possession of "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and was the home base of Al-Qaeda. Both assertions were Republic party lies designed to capitalize on the fear ot many American people that other, even worse attacks were imminent.

    President Obama did not have anything to do with those lies, and has no responsibility for attacking a nation that never attacked America.

    Under the 8 years of Bush-led Republic party deregulation and pillaging of American jobs and institutions and values, millions of Americans were unemployed when their jobs were sent to China and India. During this same time, America was forced to pawn its assets and future to foreign countries in exchange for money to fight 2 wars started by Republic party leadership. American military technology, manufacturing capacity and expertise, and scientific leadership and research was also pawned to the Chinese.

    President Obama is in no way connected to the historically unprecedented national debt created by the Bush-led Republic party economic "policy" which stripped Americans of their jobs but placed them in debt to support programs which enriched the owners and senior managers of large corporations. The profits made by those corporations have been diverted to "off-shore" banks, thus relieving those companies of their obligations to pay taxes on profits they earned by selling products in America.

    Unemployed Americans cannot afford health insurance, and cannot afford health care. President Obama and most other Americans already know that. He proposed a healthcare plan that would "level the playing field". Insurance companies and hospital systems can see the end of their looting spree in this bill and have spent millions of dollars trying to spread fear and misinformation about President Obama's plan for affordable health care. This plan does not threaten our Constitutional rights. It provides an alternative to the free-wheeling, double-dealing abuses of the large insurance and health care providers in this country. It offers competition and choice in a market that has been an exclusive monopoly for too many years.
    The monopoly is afraid that if people are given a choice, they will select the government plan.

    Now, Wilma and the Hysterics will start to scream about the cost of President Obama's plan. I'll await their comments.

    January 20, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  9. Wilma Cooper

    QUIT BLAMING BUSH! HE IS JUST ONE PERSON, COUNT THE OTHER FIVE HUNDRED PLUS PEOPLE THAT ARE IN POWER, ALL BECAUSE OF OUR VOTES!

    January 20, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  10. Wilma Cooper

    HE WON'T BE! WE TEA PARTY PATRIOTS WILL SEE TO THAT. HE AND AXLEROD HAVE DONE NOTHING BUT DEMEAN AND DISCOUNT OUR MOVEMENT. AXELROD STATED ON A NEWS SHOW THAT WE "WERE NOT TYPICAL OF WHAT AMERICA REALLY WANTS!" WAKE UP! LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY. THERE ARE NO LONGER 2 PARTIES, BUT 3! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

    January 20, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  11. Wilma Cooper

    AMEN FREDDY!

    January 20, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  12. S. Laverne Wallace

    The President is doing a great job. There was an over abundance of challenges to face when he came into office. I think it is important that as a nation we are equally as fair in our judgement of his efforts, as we have been in times past with other Presidents in relation to all that he has to address. Generally, we are impatient people. We must endure this period of complex problems, as this is a work in progress and we are in the process. Change takes time. It is not an overnight phenomenon.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  13. Wilma Cooper

    WHEN DO YOU PEOPLE THINK THAT OBAMA NEEDS TO OWN HIS PRESIDENCY! EVERY PRESIDENT HAS TO DEAL WITH THE POLICIES, FAILURES OR SUCCESSES, OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT. WHAT'S CHANGED? I'VE NEVER HEARD SUCH AN ALINSKY WHINNER IN MY LIFETIME. THIS SPOCK AND BABY BOOMER GENERATION JUST LOVES TRANSFERENCE, ALWAYS TRYING TO DEMONIZE SOMEONE ELSE!
    SPENDING MORE MONEY ON HEALTH CARE (EVERYONE HAS IT HERE IN U.S. IN SOME FORM) IS NOT THE ANSWER. REFORM WHAT IS ALREADY IN PLACE. FIX WHAT'S BROKEN. IF IT AIN'T BROKEN, DON'T FIX IT!

    January 20, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  14. Olivia Gutoff

    Regardless of ones political affiliation/persuasion, I think it is unconscionable for any American to want our President to fail! The magnanimity of the daily decisions he has to make, and the sincerity with which he approaches "our" problems and searches for solutions, should be applauded. We are quick to see someone else's shortcomings and slow to see ours own. We should all be so proud to be Americans and we should be encouraging our President to be successful. His successes are our successes. "Together we stand, divided we fall". Let's not fall any further! "Yes, We Can!" and we should support our President and hope he is an enormous success.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  15. Traci

    Where is the love? I'm not sure who you're asking. In my community, in my workplace, in my church, etc., there is still overwhelming support for President Obama. He has done an OUTSTANDING job considering the mess he was given to fix and the opposition he continues to face from the Republicans determined to sabotage the progress he's made; i.e. Rush Limbaugh. Failure is such a terrible thing to wish for our country...because if our President fails, it means we failed as a people. We have such a rare opportunity to reshape our country; we should not waste it.

    I've not seen as frequent approval surveys for any other President. Does that have something to do with our President's race? Yet another issue we seemingly want to avoid. This country wants to claim its acceptance of all races and that it has moved past its ugly racially biased history but I don't feel that's true in all instances. Yes, we elected an African-American which proves Americans as a whole wanted a change but because President Obama cannot wave a magic wand to make the Republicans change their selfish and greedy ways, make them play nice, or fix health care, the economy, and unemployment immediately, there is a ton of dissent. We put our trust in this man when we elected him; let him do his job (regardless of his race)!

    There were (and still are) many problems that this country faced at the start of the current administration which will take time to correct. The American people need to face that fact and stop whining and complaining. Be patient! Was anybody whining this much while Mr. Bush was driving the country into the ground?

    January 20, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  16. Greg

    BTW.... isn't it funny how there are consecutive up days on the markets prior to the election for Mass. and as soon as a republican gets in instant 100 points down......perhaps we should buy stock in truck manufacturing companies.....

    January 20, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  17. Steve

    President Obama is still being held accountable by the Republic party for the failure of the Republic party and their former president, George W. Bush. The people of Massachusetts have shown that they are naieve and childlike in their expectation that the massive damage inflicted on America by 8 years of Republic party "stewardship" could be undone in one year or less.

    Bush started, both wars, removed oversight committees that could have prevented the financial "meltdown", and took the teeth from the oversight committees he didn't eliminate. The massive debt America is saddled with is a result of the Republic party practice borrowing money from Japan and China to pay for the Bush wars, and shipping middle class American jobs to China where manufacturing is done for little or no money(in the case of political prisoners being forced to work). The Republic party is responsible for stripping America of its jobs during the 8 years of the Bush regime and pocketing astronomical profits at the expense of overall American prosperity and well-being.

    I give President Obama a rating of A+++ for the clarity of his vision, his thinking, and the progress he's already made to strengthen America where the Republic party weakened it during the disastrous 8 years of when a Republic party president led America into debt, misery, and the corporate raping of America.

    Massachusetts, what have you done?

    January 20, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  18. JaLeesa Green

    I GIVE PRESIDENT OBAMA AN A+++++ FOR EFFORT. I NEVER SEEN FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH TRY TO HELP AMERICAN PEOPLE. I WILL SAY THAT HEALTH CARE IS NOT ON THE TOP OF THE LIST, BUT IT DOES NEED TO BE INCLUDED. I BELIEVE THAT A LOT OF THESE RICH PEOPLE DO NOT CARE FOR ANYONE BUT THEMSELVES. THAT IS HOW WE GOT INTO THIS PROBLEM BUSH WANTED, WANTED AND WANTED FOR 8 YEARS AND NOW WE ARE IN DEBT. I WISH THAT PEOPLE WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT EVEN IF OBAMA PUT US IN A ZILLION DOLLAR DEBT HE STILL DID BETTER THAN BUSH. PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS BEEN IN OFFICE FOR 1 YEAR, SO WHAT WHEN BUSH WAS IN OFFICE FOR ONE YEAR I DID NOT SEE HIM ON TV. I DID NOT SEE HIM TRYING TO PASS BILLS. I DO NOT EVEN REMEMBER SEEING HIM. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY PEOPLE WANTING SO MUCH FROM HIM, WHEN BUSH WAS IN OFFICE I NEVER SEEN PEOPLE ON TV SAYING I HOPE YOU FAIL. IT WAS PROBABLY BECAUSE YOU KNEW HE WAS GOING TO FAIL. IF YOU WANT TO DESTROY A HOME IT WOULD TAKE YOU LESS THAN AN HOUR TO DO IT. BUT IF YOU WANT TO BUILD A HOME IT WOULD TAKE YOU MONTHS TO DO THAT. IT TOOK BUSH 8 YEARS TO DESTROY THIS COUNTRY, SO YOU KNOW THAT IT WILL TAKE OBAMA AND THE NEXT PRESIDENT AT LEAST 16 YEARS TO FIX IT. I HAVE BEEN WITHOUT HEALTHCARE FOR MANY YEARS AND I REALLY DO NEED IT. I WAS HOSPITALIZED MY 12TH GRADE YEAR IN HIGH SCHOOL AND I CONTINUE TO GET SICK. BUT I CAN NOT AFFORD TO GO TO THE DOCTOR I HAVE TO GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. SO FOR ALL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT LIKE PAYING MY BILL, THANK YOU.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  19. Brandon Wilson

    President Obama is doing as much as possible to clean-up the "Republican" Mess. Everyone is trying to avoid the fact that this financial crisis was created by Ronald Reagan with his widespread "Deregulation" and reducing the size of government. By allowing these Big Businesses to essentially make their own rules they ran the economy into the ground while paying themselves Billions of dollars in bonuses. I give the President an A+ for all of his efforts and a B for his results. He just has to realize that he cannot be the nice guy he has to get tough on these "Plutocrats" who are standing in the way of real change this country so deaperately needs.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  20. Greg

    As an individual, I am always struggling to understand the ebb and flow within American politics. I am not from the U.S. (Canada) and I find it ludicrous that so many people want instant change, created by one individual. It took 8 years of a Bush presidency (republican) to put the country in the "check" position it is currently in.

    Obama's moves thus far have been strategic, as opposed to strategery......healthcare and universal coverage is a strong option, that allows the nation to to have access to affordable care for all. Unemployment is slowly starting to temper against a global economy...the GDP has shown signs of improvement (green shoots) housing foreclosures are slowly declining, first time buyers are starting to purchase, humanitarian efforts, an understanding of the plight of individuals are lessons in humility that we are for the most part learning.

    Change is difficult, and it appears by way of the Massachusetts fiasco, that those whose fortunes did not change overnight, and to their liking, voted back to the way they are used to, one in which they do not have options to think for themselves......lemmings all. When their healthcare bills are staggering, when they remain uneducated, when they just can't understand why this all could happen to them, we need only to look into the mirror and reflect on Bush and Brown....it seems that history and disaster (Katerina) are synonymous with those names. Brownie...you're doing a good job.......

    Obama is doing a great job, it takes more than a year to polish a turd.....

    January 20, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  21. Dee Lynn

    This is the fault of the democrats not just Obama.
    The government should be pouring money into medical research and the drug companies should be bidding to manufacture medication the PUBLIC owns the rights to.
    The insurance industry needs a major slap down. No pre-conditions, co-pay max-out at 500 per condition.

    Obama is just a poor choice. He was totally unprepared for this office. He makes blunders that are worse than Bush.... Bush might have talked to Tony Blair while cramming food in his face but he never tried to hug Queen Elizabeth! Obama is JUST as embarrassing "on the road" as Bush.
    Obama wins the NOBLE prize... then snubs the events.
    I have noticed he has another thing in common with Mr. Bush, they both look smug, both have a posture of looking down their nose at people. They didn't look like that before they were elected.
    I hope Mr. Obama is not here for a second term.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  22. Pat

    We Americans, bless our hearts, still have our childlike expectations, and we whine, whine, whine when "Daddy" can't fix everything.

    The decision to run for president is made years before election day. I'm not sure that Pres. Obama would have picked this time if he had known how slippery a slope we would be on by November 2008. Although I believe that our health care/insurance system DOES need a complete re-haul, including cost regulation on procedures and drugs, obviously, this was the wrong year to devote to this project.

    My city is hurting, with unemployment still rising, and home values still slipping. I admit that sometimes I feel a bit desperate, wondering how long I can hang onto my home and my place in the middle class. HOWEVER, I do not blame President Obama. Having him in office has a calming effect on me.

    I would vote for him again tomorrow, and I'm a middle aged, middle class, college educated, southern white person.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  23. Freddy P.

    All we heard was "CHANGE- CHANGE-CHANGE!! They keep saying that the recession is over. I've been laid-off twice since he was elected. There's only ONE thing we want to hear-JOBS! We don't want to hear about "GLOBAL WARMING, HEALTH CARE, ETC. ETC. ETC. We want to hear about jobs, especially those of us who are to young to retire, and to old to keep going at todays pace. If he thinks the recession is over, Just come To Dalton, Ga. and explain to us why we can't find a job.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  24. Jodi

    Istill feel the love the president didnt make this mess we are in it was the former president.the man is doing the best he can with what he has got to work with.give him a break people.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  25. Wanda

    I think president O'Bama is doing exceptionally well considering all the opposition he faces with the "old school" politicians who worry about popularity vs the vitality of our nation. Also, todays media leans more toward sensationaliasm vs journalism- that is fodder for those who rely on what they are told vs those who make the effort to clarify and research the "whole story" ...once again ratings outweigh clear unbiased reporting.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  26. KERRYANN REID

    Mr Obama took a country that was rumbled by George W Bush.Let us not forget the people gave Bush 8yrs and he gave us nothing in return. This country is not gonna be fixed in 1yr he is not a miracle worker ,all thats happening is the after shock of a bad presidency of 8yrs. Lets give this man a chance to prove himself people nowadays got to realise that it starts with us not only the President .God will protect him n be his shield in this difficult time of blaming.If we didnt blame Bush for 8 bad yrs how do we get to the point to blame Mr Obama for 1yrs b real people wake up cuz if yall dot see what some of these government bodies r doin yall blind. Wke up! n give Mr Obama time to do his work.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  27. G. Mohr

    D-
    First it's the economy stupid! We do not need extended unemployment benefits we need JOBS.. Develop a real jobs program YESTERDAY.

    Find ways to invigorate American Enterprise, stop insulting it.

    Reform health care to the point of resolving the real issues, medical R/D insurance costs, getting more patients to pay. Make healthcare more efficient, and lessen bureacracy.

    Stop treating Republicans indifferently. Bring them to the forefront..

    Stop lying on transparency be transparent.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  28. eliz wolfgang

    Where is the love?

    First, the reasons why we are losing voters/elections….Democrats have not only fought with the Republicans, but have fought within their own ranks; not for Solidarity but for their own agenda. What is with this “thing” called progressives, moderates, independents and liberal Democrats? Whatever happened to just being a Democrat. You, as “so-called Democrats“, threw that out of the window. To me, if you are NOT just a plain old DEMOCRAT, you are just another Republican. So stop calling yourselves Democrats and stop hiding behind that façade. I think that all of you “so-called Democrats” should be replaced with anybody who will fight for the American People.

    President Obama was elected on CHANGE, but you made it possible for him not to achieve that CHANGE, but he will keep on trying with/without you. This is what makes him a Man of Honor. The American People will see just how much you, as elected officials, were there to assist him with that Change, but you did not stand your ground. (your personal agenda came first). You have no Honor. One of the most honorable men that were elected was Senator Kennedy. He was not a saint but he wanted to do something for the American People without any hidden agenda.

    It is hard to lead a Nation when we have people like Cheney, Limbaugh, Palin, etc. who wants to impede the progress of a Nation by spewing all of their rhetoric to try to undermine anything that is good for the Country? They still think like they are in the 19th/early 20th century. They have not moved on and don’t want you to move on. Americans don’t think for themselves anymore; they know this so they are thinking for you. What a Pity?

    Shame on you America.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  29. Gary

    Given the endless attacks by the Republicans, Obama has worked miracles and made few mistakes. Just give us an up or down vote on healthcare!

    January 20, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  30. Chaiah

    I voted for Obama because he promised transparency in government (in addition to other things). I know that good change is never quick to take hold, so I can be patient about that. However, he is just as quick to hide behind the doors and do his work as all those who have come before him in recent years. More than anything else, I want transparency in government. Obama said that citizens are smart enough to handle it but his actions are not portraying what he said. Bah, voting is a joke, now. I used to believe it mattered, but it doesn't. I am 50 years old and, as of right now, I don't think I will vote again, because it really doesn't matter. Those in power will say ANYTHING to get elected and then do what they want when they get there.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  31. jean

    The President did inherit quite a mess. That being said, he and Congress could have done a much better job explaining what they wanted to accomplish and how. I have got to say, I voted for Obama and am getting very frustrated. What happened to transparency? I think if the Dems would have been more open and honest about health care reform, things would be very different right now. The reports of back room deals and closed door meetings really hurt the Dems! In my opinion, thing should have never gotten this bad. And of course the "blue dogs" didn't help! How was it that Bush was able to push through pretty much whatever he wanted? Because you can say what you want about the GOP, they do tend to stick together,good or bad.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  32. Carol

    I am still fully supportive of Pres. Obama, but am appalled at the actions and attitudes of Congress. Apparently they are more interested in their own self-serving, short-sighted interests than improving the plight of millions of Americans. Do they think the word "reform" means a simple modification? "Reform" means a change from status quo. WE NEED HEALTH CARE REFORM.

    January 20, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  33. Stephanie

    The president is holding up wel; nothing can be perfect in this world. It should be more like what are we all doing individually to bring change to America.

    January 20, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  34. Ralph Patch

    I was looking forward to finally getting affordable health care. Now it looks like I,m out of luck. Thanks Republicans. You have yours, to hell with the rest of us. I'm done with voting for good!

    January 20, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  35. Thel Osborne

    I support the President in his effort to secure Health Care Reform. It would not matter to me whether President Obama was Democrat or Republican, as long as Health Care is the number one issue. It is really not about a party, it is a moral issue. It really sounds hypocratical to me we paid billions a month for a war, and now the spin is Americans are concerned about cost. I give President Obama an A for change, and an A+ for not excepting an option to do nothing. My husband died at 56, he could not get healthcare after he was laid off because he had a pre existing condition. There are a lot of life saving things in the health care bill, why should this bill depend on a seat.

    January 20, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  36. Ray

    Sorry Carol – it's not the sensational extreme behavior you'd like to think it is. It's-the-spending! That's why I and everyone at the Gym this morning voted for Brown last night.
    Bush was not the fiscal conservative he needed to be, and now this is insulting.
    The sooner Washington and the New York media acceps that, the sooner you start to sound rational to the growing number of us in the middle,
    Ray
    Holliston, MA

    January 20, 2010 at 7:35 am |
  37. J Pender

    I am giving Obama a D due to him –
    1. Lying to Americans 8 times saying he would let CSPAN be present during health care discussions.
    2. Lying about having an open door policy when all things are done behind closed doors.
    3. Lying about having transperancy, Obama seems to have the least transperancy of any President I've seen in my 62 years.
    4. His friendliness has gone to far with other countries and is risking our safety.
    5. He has spent way to much money in our worst time, our people and country need to rebuild within first and our troops need our support monitarily.
    6. We Americans want smaller government, not bigger, and we don't need a dictator either.
    7. I feel Obama doesn't like America and he wants to destroy our country and constitution. We have yet to see his real birth certificate, for all we know, he's not even a US Citizen!
    8. Hiring Zars to get around the Senate, no one knows where all our tax dollars are even going.
    9. America will not be able to help other countries once we fall like the city of Troy did from within. Our tarp money should all be put back or burned since it was printed anyway, and the blank credit line check torn up.
    10. Obama, Pelosi and Reid need to open their ears/eyes and realize the majority of Americans are not happy with their decisions, we are TRUE Americans and love our country. This Administration is making all us Americans look like fools and countries are laughing at us. Obama, Pelosi and Reid need to get rid of their egos and arrogant ways. Who are they really working for, Americans or themselves??

    J Pender

    January 20, 2010 at 7:24 am |
  38. Jeanne H Barnett

    It is very disappointing to see such a divisive, negative environment created from an obviously political base. Obama has been upfront about his desire to bring people together and to change the way things are done in Washington . . . amazingly, even these efforts have been loudly criticized. I have heard from many people who are not checking facts out for themselves, but are "buying into" the hateful, negative, self-centered responses to anything this President attempts. It doesn't seem it should be that hard to recognize the motivations for this stance from the politicians looking to get elected or from companies wanting to gain guaranteed income at the expense of the elderly and the poor or from individuals focused only on their own gain and not the good of the whole. Many people are, unfortunately, blind to what it takes to succeed as a country: assessing needs in light of the long-term effects to the broad picture, balancing needs in light of those least likely to be able to meet their own, and viewing individual needs in light of the knowledge that MY needs may not be the most important at this particular time. I pray that God will not allow the natural consequences of such selfishness and hatred to manifest in our country–we have the opportunity to be a nation that can bring the world together in a positive way, decrease the suffering of many, and offer a platform that can result in the most good for the most people if we can get our eyes off our own belly buttons. Working together for the good of the whole is ALWAYS the answer . . . not living by the "divide and conquer" mentality that leads to the good of the few.

    I am apolitical, not a member of any party and pride myself on viewing issues as objectively as humanly possible and I fear for our nation. It is scary to comment because of the venom that generally comes from many these days if you disagree with them–almost impossible to share thoughts without strong, negative, sometimes violent, backlash.

    It is my heart's desire that we will begin a new day today . . . look toward the future with a positive perspective that includes consideration and respect of all in this nation and the world and, maybe, bring back the great old song: I'd like to teach the world to sing in three part harmony . . .

    January 20, 2010 at 7:12 am |
  39. Wilma Cooper

    Wake up! He is wrong. He is worse than Chavez? DID YOU KNOW THAT WHILE ALL OF THIS ELECTION AND HEALTH CARE DEBACLE IS BEING DISCUSSED THAT THE HOUSE PASSED A BILL AND NOW IS HEADED FOR THE SENATE THAT WOULD GIVE THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY POWER OVER ALL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS? CONTROL OF BANKS, WHAT PEOPLE CAN EARN, WIPE OUT STOCK HOLDERS, AND GET RID OF BOARDS AND REPLACE THEM WITH GOVERNMENT BEAUREACY! JUST LOOK AT HAITI WHAT BEAUREACY DID AND IS DOING. PEOPLE CAN'T EVEN HAVE FOOD AND WATER BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO DROPPING SUPPLIES FROM PLANES AT CHECKPOINTS? IT TOOK A WHOLE WEEK FOR THEM TO FIGURE THAT ONE. HE IS DOING NOTHING THAT ENABLES AMERICA TO MOVE FORWARD. HE IS THE KING OF SPIN–ALSO THIS WHOLE ADMINISTRATION IS IN DENIAL. HIS OBJECTIVE IS TO DEMONIZE EVERYTHING THAT WE HOLD DEAR–FREEDOM.

    CNN AND THE OTHER LIBERAL MEDIA DID NOTHING BUT BASH BUSH FOR EIGHT YEARS BECAUSE IT WOULD BE "UNSEEMINGLY" THAT A REPUBLICAN WOULD BECOME ONE OF THE GREATEST PRESIDENTS OF OUR TIME. YOU AND THE OTHER LIBERALS NEVER ONCE SAID ANYTHING ABOUT HURRICANE KATRINA THAT WAS FAVORABLE FOR BUSH. I LIVE IN LOUISIANA AND I KNOW THAT BUSH CAME HERE TWICE TO PERSUADE BLANCO TO BRING IN THE NATIONAL GUARD! SHE WOULD NOT DO IT BECAUSE SHE GOT WORD FROM THE DNC NOT TO! PLAYING POLITICS WITH PEOPLES LIVES. I HOPE THAT TRAGEDY NEVER STRIKES YOU OR ANY ONE THAT YOU HOLD DEAR AND THAT IT WILL BE LEFT UP TO THE GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE YOUR SURVIVAL!

    PEOPLE AREN'T STUPID ON WHAT TOOK PLACE! KEYS WERE LEFT IN SCHOOL BUSES, ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS DRIVE OUT OF THE MESS. WHEN A TEENAGER TAKES IT UPON HIMSELF TO LOAD A BUS AND TAKE PEOPLE TO SAFETY, WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU? THIS WAS "a never let a good crisis go to waste" MOMENT EVEN AT THE COST OF LIVES.

    WHEN WE FORGET THE PARTISIAN DIVISIONS AND WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF THE NATION, THEN OUR COUNTRY WILL START TO HEAL AND BECOME THE NATION IT WAS ONCE–HOME OF THE FREE!

    January 20, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  40. Becky Wingenroth

    I was surfing the television news channels this morning to hear the commentary of yesterday's elections in Massachusetts and stumbled upon Carol Costello's report.

    I had to turn it off. My goodness, even NBC figured it out, but not you. Your piece was so slanted I just shook my head. I am a moderate independent and was so surprised to hear you once again blame the Republicans for everything.

    Perhaps you also need to get the message that was sent to Washington: the American people are tired of the high spending, and the contortions of the current health bill. It does not serve the American public, but does serve political agenda. Our country cannot survive the current status that Washington has placed us under. Washington as a whole, not any one party.

    I felt like your piece was written by the current White House staff as part of their spin. It was much too obvious. You better start opening your eyes and ears and begin to report more accurately.

    January 20, 2010 at 6:44 am |
  41. carla morin

    obama gets an FFFFFF"F"!! Get your nose out of healthcare and focus on putting Americans back to WORK and keeping this country secure from terrorists.

    January 20, 2010 at 6:44 am |
  42. N Wong

    I feel President Obama is doing an excellent job considering he inherited a mess from Mr Bush.
    People just like to blame and complain. Give the man a chance to do his job. He is a heck of a lot better than where we were...... I believe in him.

    January 20, 2010 at 6:42 am |
  43. Angela Martinez

    A man said to the reporter:
    The country gave Bush/Cheney eight years and look
    what they gave us.

    President Obama is doing everything he can.

    Remember the wheels feel off the bus on Bush's watch –
    as a matter of fact – while they weren't watching our business –
    they were watching their own.

    January 20, 2010 at 6:39 am |
  44. Nona

    I see shades of Jimmy Carter here. Nice guy in the White House eho truly wants to do good for the people. Obama has alot on his plate and we are an impatient people. After all, this impatience and greed is what got us into the housing problems to begin with isnt it? We need patience and we need to look deeper at what is being and continues to be a slow but steady progress....let's slow down people and stop the whiney nonsense!

    January 20, 2010 at 6:36 am |