The Silver Lining in Obama's Tough First Year

On the first anniversary of his presidency, sympathetic pundits find hope amid Obama's challenges

This article is from the archive of our partner .

President Obama's one-year anniversary in office couldn't come at a more discouraging time for his administration and his party. As Republicans pick up a senate seat in the bluest of blue states, Obama's signature issue, health care reform, may be doomed. While most interpret the Massachusetts election as an unspinnable referendum on health care and Obama's leadership, a minority have spotted a silver lining for the president and his goals. They've also remained positive about Obama's one-year record and his ability to refocus his agenda:

  • It's Not Obama's Fault, It's Our Fault, writes Todd Purdum at Vanity Fair: "Sure, Obama has made his share of mistakes, rookie and otherwise. But don't count him out--not just yet. For the fault, dear readers, lies not in our stars, nor even in our rock-star president, but in ourselves: in our impatience, our intemperance, our lack of perspective, our susceptibility to the easy untruth and the quick fix. Barack Obama only rarely falls victim to any of these vices, and, with luck, he may yet save us from ourselves."
  • This May Be Obama's Moment, writes Ed Henry at CNN: "In a strange way, Tuesday's election loss could help Obama refocus his agenda at the start of year two... It's a lot better for the White House to take its lumps now and readjust priorities in the weeks ahead to avoid much larger losses in the midterm election."
  • Inherited Major Problems, Accomplished a Good Deal, argues the The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board: "Any assessment of Obama's first year must be weighed in the context of the mess he inherited. A year ago, the economy was stalled in what has become known as the Great Recession; today, there are promising signs of recovery, even as unemployment remains stubbornly and unacceptably high, and economists debate how much, if any, of the uptick can be attributed to Obama's $787 billion stimulus program. Americans now have a timeline for withdrawal of combat forces in Iraq and an expanded military commitment in Afghanistan - as candidate Obama pledged."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.