Presidency of Barack Obama


Presidency of Barack Obama
44th President of the United
Assumed office
January 20,
Joe Biden
Preceded by George W.
Born Barack Hussein Obama II[1]
August 4, 1961
(1961-08-04) (age 50)
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States[1]
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michelle
(m. 1992)
Children Malia
Sasha (b.2001)
Residence The
White House
Alma mater Occidental College
Harvard Law
Profession Community organizer
States Senator

President of the United
Religion Christian,[2] former member
of United Church of Christ[3][4]
Website Official
White House Website
This article is part of a series

Obama being sworn in as President of the United

Barack Obama was inaugurated on
January 20, 2009. He officially assumed the presidency at 12:00 noon, EST,[13] and completed the oath of
at 12:05 PM, EST. He delivered his inaugural
immediately following his oath. After his speech, he went to the
President’s Room in the House Wing of the Capitol and signed three documents: a
commemorative proclamation, a list of Cabinet appointments, and a list of
sub-Cabinet appointments, before attending a luncheon with congressional and
administration leaders and invited guests.[14] To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the
birth of former President Abraham Lincoln, the same Bible that was used for Lincoln’s
inauguration was used in Obama’s inauguration.[15]

In administering the oath, Chief Justice John G. Roberts misplaced the word
“faithfully” and erroneously replaced the phrase “President of the United
States” with “President to the United States” before restating the phrase
correctly; since Obama initially repeated the incorrect form, some scholars
argued the President should take the oath again.[16] On January 21, Roberts
readministered the oath to Obama in a private ceremony in the White House Map
Room, making him the seventh U.S. president to retake
the oath
; White House Counsel Greg Craig said Obama took
the oath from Roberts a second time out of an “abundance of caution”.[17]

First 100 days


Obama’s 100th day in office was April 29, 2009. In his first post-election
interview with 60
, Obama said that he has been studying Roosevelt’s first 100
,[18] while adding, “The first hundred days is
going to be important, but it’s probably going to be the first thousand days
that makes the difference.”[19]

Obama’s first 100 days were highly anticipated ever since he became the
presumptive nominee.[20] Several news outlets created web pages
dedicated to covering the subject.[21] Commentators weighed in on challenges and
priorities within domestic, foreign, economic, and environmental policy.[22][23][24][25] CNN lists a number of economic issues that “Obama and
his team will have to tackle in their first 100 days”, foremost among which is
passing and implementing a recovery package to deal with the financial
.[24] Clive Stafford Smith, a British human
rights lawyer, expressed hopes that the new president will close Guantanamo Bay detention
in his first 100 days in office.[23] After aides of
the president announced his intention to give a major foreign policy speech in
the capital of an Islamic country,
there were speculations in Jakarta that he might return to his former home
city within the first 100 days.[26]

The New
York Times
devoted a five-part series, which was spread out over two
weeks, to anticipatory analysis of Obama’s first hundred days. Each day, the
analysis of a political expert was followed by freely edited blog postings from
readers. The writers compared Obama’s prospects with the situations of Franklin
D. Roosevelt
(January 16, Jean Edward Smith),[27] John F. Kennedy
(January 19, Richard Reeves),[28] Lyndon B.
(January 23, Robert Dallek),[29] Ronald Reagan (January 27, Lou Cannon),[30] and Richard Nixon.

Legislation and
executive orders

Within minutes of taking the Oath of Office on January 20, Obama’s Chief
of Staff, Rahm
, issued an order suspending last-minute federal regulations pushed
through by outgoing President George W. Bush, planning to review
everything still pending.[31] Due to the economic crisis, the President
enacted a pay freeze for Senior White House Staff making more than $100,000 per
as well as announcing stricter guidelines regarding lobbyists in an effort to
raise the ethical standards of the White House.[33] He asked for a waiver to
his own new rules, however, for the appointments of William
to the position of Deputy Defense Secretary, Jocelyn Frye to the
position of director of policy and projects in the Office of the First Lady, and
Cecilia Muñoz
to the position of director of intergovernmental affairs in the executive office
of the president, leading to some criticism of hypocrisy and violation of his
pledge for governmental openness.[34][35]

In his first week in office, Obama signed an executive order suspending all the
ongoing proceedings of Guantanamo military
and ordering the detention facility to be shut down within the
year.[36][37][38] He also signed Executive
Order 13491 – Ensuring Lawful Interrogations
requiring the Army Field
to be used as a guide for terror interrogations, banning torture and
other coercive techniques, such as waterboarding.[39] Obama also issued an executive order entitled
“Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel”, setting stricter limitations
on incoming executive branch employees and placing tighter restrictions on
lobbying in the White House.[40] Obama signed two Presidential
Memoranda concerning energy independence,
ordering the Department of
to establish higher fuel efficiency standards before 2011
models are released and allowing states to raise their emissions standards above
the national standard.[41] He also ended the Mexico City
, which banned federal grants to international groups that provide abortion services or

In his first week he also established a policy of producing a weekly Saturday
morning video address available on and YouTube,[44][45][46] much like those released
during his transition period.[47][48] The first address had been viewed by
600,000 YouTube viewers by the next afternoon.[49]

The first piece of legislation Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay
Act of 2009
on January 29, which revised the statute of limitations for
filing pay discrimination lawsuits. Lilly Ledbetter joined Obama and his wife,
Michelle, as he signed the bill, fulfilling his campaign pledge to nullify Ledbetter v.
.[50] On February 3, he signed the Children’s
Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act
(CHIP), expanding health care
from 7 million children under the plan to 11 million.[51]

President Obama signs the ARRA into
law on February 17, 2009 in Denver,
Colorado. Vice President Joe Biden stands behind
Obama addresses a joint session of
Congress, with Vice President Joe Biden and House

Problems listening to these files? See media

After much debate, the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act
 (ARRA) was passed by both House and Senate on February 13,
2009. Originally intended to be a bipartisan bill, the passage of the bill was
largely along party lines. No Republicans voted for it in the House, and three
moderate Republicans voted for it in the Senate (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania).[52] The bill
combined tax breaks with spending on infrastructure projects, extension of
welfare benefits, and education.[53] The final cost of the bill was $787 billion,
and almost $1.2 trillion with debt service included.[54] Obama signed the Act into
law on February 17, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.[55]

On March 9, 2009, Obama lifted restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell
,[56] and in doing so, called into question some
of George W.
‘s signing statements. Obama stated that
he too would employ signing statements if he deems upon review that a portion of
a bill is unconstitutional,[57][58] and he has issued several signing

Early in his presidency, Obama signed a law raising the tobacco tax 62 cents
on a pack of cigarettes.[60] The tax is to be “used to finance a
major expansion of health insurance for children”, and “help some [smokers] to
quit and persuade young people not to start”.[60]

Approval ratings and


After his transition period, Obama entered office with an approval rating of
At the end of his first week, 68% of respondents in a Gallup poll approved of how Obama was handling
his job, matching the early approval ratings of Dwight D. Eisenhower and trailing
only John F.
 in post-World
War II

Throughout early February polls showed scattered approval ratings: 62% (CBS
64% (USA Today/Gallup), 66% (Gallup), and 76% in an outlier poll (CNN/Opinion
Research).[64][65] Gallup reported the congressional address
in late February boosted his approval from a term-low of 59% to 67%.[66]

Throughout autumn 2009, Rasmussen estimated Obama’s approval as fluctuating
between 45 and 52% and his disapproval between 48 and 54%;[67] as of November 11, Pew
Research estimated Obama’s approval between 51 and 55% and his disapproval
between 33 and 37% since July.[68]

Handling of the

Rasmussen reported in mid-February 2009
that 55% of voters gave Obama good or excellent marks on his handling of the
economy.[69] In early March, a Wall Street
survey of 49 economists gave Obama an average grade of 59 out of
100, with 42% of the respondents surveyed giving the administration’s economic
policies a grade below 60 percent. In comparison, only 30% of those same
economists considered the response of governments around the world to the global
recession to have been adequate.[70] In April, a Gallup poll showed trust in
Obama’s economic policy with 71% saying they had “a fair amount” or “a great
deal” of confidence in Obama’s handling of the economy, higher than for Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, or leaders
of Congress.[71] Another Gallup poll in June showed 55% of
Americans approved Obama’s overall handling of the economy, but 48% and 51%
disapproved of his handling of the federal budget deficit and controlling
federal spending, respectively.[72] A CBS News poll taken August 27–31 showed
53% of those polled approved of his handling of the economy.[73] A Rasmussen poll taken on
November 12 found 45% of Americans rating Obama’s handling of the economy as
poor and 39% rating him as doing a good or excellent job. They found 72% of
Democrats rated his handling of the economy as good or excellent, while only 10%
of Republicans and 27% of voters not affiliated with either party agreed.[74]


On March 25, 2010, following his signing of landmark health care reform
legislation into law, Obama’s polling was revealed by Bloomberg to be 50%, with higher marks for
relations with other countries (58%) and his running of the war in Afghanistan
(54%). “Obama’s approval rating is roughly equal to what Bill Clinton had at
this point in his presidency, according to data maintained by Gallup (and)
higher than the 45 percent Ronald Reagan recorded in April 1982” and more
favorable than Democrats or Republicans office in 2010. They found Obama’s
approval rating was at 85% among Democrats, compared with 46% among independents
and 11% among Republicans.[75]

Fox News released the
results of two polls on April 8–9, 2010. The first showed a drop in Obama’s
approval rating to 43%, with 48% disapproving. In that poll, Democrats approved
of Obama’s performance 80–12%, while independents disapproved 49–38%.[76] The other
poll, which concentrated on the economy, showed disapproval of Obama’s handling
of the economy by a 53–42% margin, with 62% saying they were dissatisfied with
the handling of the federal deficit.[77] According to a Gallup Poll released April 10, 2010, President
Obama had a 45% approval rating, with 48% disapproving.[78] In a poll from Rasmussen
, released April 10, 2010, 47% approved of the President’s
performance, while 53% disapproved.[79][80]


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Major legislation






Posted January 24, 2012 by demlaura33 in Uncategorized


The Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots Political Action Committee  (PAC) that functions within the Democratic Party. Progressive Democrats combine  some ideals of the Democratic Party with those of the nonpartisan progressive  movement


Opinions of liberals in a 2005 Pew Research Center study.

Modern liberals and progressives constitute roughly half of the Democratic voter base. Liberals thereby form the largest united typological demographic within the Democratic base. According to the 2008 exit poll results, liberals constituted 22% of the electorate, and 89% of American liberals favored the candidate of the Democratic Party. college-educated professionals were mostly Republican until the 1950s; they now compose perhaps the most vital component of the Democratic Party. A large majority of liberals favor universal health care, with many supporting a single-payer. A majority also favor diplomacy over military action, stem cell research, the legalization of same-sex marriage, secular government, stricter gun control, and environmental protection laws as well as the preservation of abortion rights. Immigration and cultural diversity is deemed positive, a system in which immigrants retain their native culture in addition to adopting their new culture. They tend to be divided on free trade agreements and organizations such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Most liberals oppose increased military spending and the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.

This ideological group differs from the traditional organized labor base. According to the Pew Research Center, a plurality of 41% resided in affluent households and 49% were college graduates, the highest figure of any typographical group. It was also the fastest growing typological group between the late 1990s and early 2000s. Liberals include most of academia and large portions of the professional class.

Posted September 12, 2011 by demlaura33 in Uncategorized