Obama: The First Year
Millions of Americans have the same debate in some form every day: Just past his one-year mark, how is President Obama doing?
“It’s the Carter Administration on steroids,” said Robert Kaufman, professor of public policy at Pepperdine University.
Hold on, said Dr. Stephen Schneck, associate professor at Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies. By one key measure, “he’s the most successful of all modern presidents.”
The starkly contrasting views were brought together by The Catholic University Federalist Society, co-sponsored by the CUA Republican National Lawyer’s Association and the CUA Law School Democrats for a presentation titled “President Obama’s First Year: Road to America’s Revitalization or Ruin?”
The two academics traced the 13-month history of the Obama Administration and arrived at very different conclusions about its success thus far.
For Kaufman (above) the president “is organically distrustful of American power and of our role in the world.” Citing the growing threat of a nuclear Iran and the tepid U.S. response so far, Kaufman accused the chief executive of spending more time apologizing to the world for imagined American misdeeds than in recognizing the perilous danger from a Tehran regime pursuing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to distant targets.
Kaufman went on to attack the administration’s record on health care, judicial appointments, stimulus spending and reliance on the United Nations as the arbiter of international legitimacy.
He predicted that the 2012 Republican presidential nominee will put the same question to voters that Ronald Reagan used so effectively against Jimmy Carter: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Kaufman said the answer from the electorate will be a resounding "no."
Dr. Schneck (above) conceded that Obama’s poll numbers are unusually low at this point into a presidency, but predicted they will rise along with an economic rebound and sit in the mid 60s a year from now.
Schneck said that too many voters have lost sight of the impressive number of legislative victories chalked up by President Obama so far. They include congressional extension of children’s health care provisions, better protections for women in the workplace, closing CIA prisons, cash-for-clunkers and many other achievements. Most significant, said Schneck, “Obama has buried the idea of a new imperial presidency” that was pursued by his predecessor.