100 Days Down and 1360 to Go

Published by Tanu Henry on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 8:31 am.


 By Pamela Gentry

Today marks President Barack Obama’s 100th day in office. Tonight, he’ll hold his third presidential news conference and give the American people the 411. The timing of his remarks comes just within days of the largest increase in consumer confidence and as falling home prices appear to have leveled off.


But the defection of Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) confirms two things: Republicans are in big trouble; and, two, this could open the door for more moderate Republicans to follow suit.  All of this is good news for Democrats.


Specter decided to follow the folks that he represented in Pennsylvania; and when he learned that 200,000 Republicans had switched parties, it was a no-brainer. In a poll last week, only 21 percent of folks in the country identified themselves as Republican. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that you can’t win an election with percentages like that.  Arlen remarked in the press conference he held after the announcement:


“Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right…I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”


This can’t be a shocker to the party leadership, whoever that is this week. Leadership is the other big problem with the GOP; who is leading the party? Republican National Chair Michael Steele? Former Congressman Newt Gingrich? Talk show host Rush Limbaugh? Or their elected leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell? That’s one question the Democrats can answer. And President Obama has the advantage of working with his party leadership. Even thought it’s sometimes strained, it’s a working relationship.


While the first 100 days tell us about the early days of an administration, they don’t always predict a legacy of a president. President Obama has laid out some aggressive milestones in his presidency. Since taking office the President has signed over a half dozen bills into law, a dozen or more executive orders, traveled to Canada, Mexico and Europe, and held three nationally televised news conferences.


Tonight, he’ll tell the American people first-hand how he plans to carry them out.

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