THE FIRST 100 DAYS: A Lackluster Start

By S.E. CuppConservative Commentator/Co-Author, "Why You're Wrong About the Right"

The 100-day tribunal is underway, with partisans on both sides of the aisle eager to declare the first third of President Obama's first year a wild success or an utter failure. Of course, it's not quite that simple.

The first problem with this perfunctory political ritual is that 100 days isn't really that much time. And for a president who was the beneficiary of wildly inappropriate and unrealistic expectations, it's even less.

President Obama hasn't really done anythingin his first 100 days in office.

This might sound anathema, considering we've watched the president glad-hand and grin his way around the world and the airwaves, talking about everything from stimulus to torture, presidential puppies to Afghanistan, Hugo Chavez to NCAA brackets, North Korean nuclear weapons to overseas contingency operations. He's sure lookedbusy. But what's he actually done?

Very little. For folks on the right, that's probably a good thing. I know I'm a little relieved, considering the recent rhetoric coming out of the Obama administration, the kind that has Glenn Beck running for his bunker.

And for folks on the left, I imagine they're pleased with the president's international public relations campaign to "restore our standing in the world."

But supporters are also likely a little disappointed that President Obama hasn't delivered on a number of big- and small-ticket items he promised during the campaign. They would have to be -- after promising, among other things, to close Guantanamo Bay, to allow five days of public review on any bill he signed, to prosecute the Bush administration for interrogation policies, to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," to go "line by line" over earmarks, he's reneged on, revised, or neglected some serious promises on major policy change.

Just how little has he done? Well, Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact compiled more than 500 campaign promises candidate Obama made, and has charted his progress on them. According to their estimates, President Obama has offered "no action" on a whopping 410 campaign promises. And in 100 days, he has broken six of them.

Granted, when he made those myriad promises during the campaign, he didn't always specify when, exactly, he'd get them done. He has more than 1280 days to deliver on them, and we can assume that by 2012 he'll have accomplished far more than he has in 100 short days. A glance at what President Obama has -- and hasn't done -- tells a fairly unambiguous story.

Among PolitiFact's promises not-yet-kept:

* Enforce PAYGO, or pay-as-you-go budget rules * Forbid companies in bankruptcy from giving out bonuses

  • Create national health insurance exchange
  • Provide CDC $50 million in new funding
  • Fully fund the VA
  • Fully fund Violence Against Women Act




  • Expose Special Interest Tax Breaks to Public Scrutiny
  • Double funding for afterschool programs
  • Create a prison-to-work incentive program
  • Pass the Fair Pay Act
  • Sign a "universal" health care bill

Promises broken include:

* Tougher rules against revolving door for lobbyists and former officials.

  • Create a $3,000 tax credit for companies that add jobs.

And some promises kept:

* Encouraged a greener economy. * Reversed Bush's limitations on stem cell research. * Grant Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send money to Cuba. * Remove more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires.

  • Create a White House Office on Urban Policy.
  • Fund a major expansion of AmeriCorps.
  • Get his daughters a puppy.