BARACK OBAMA'S 100 DAYS....

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There are many treacherous turns, hills and slopes ahead. President Barack Obama has given Americans one thing they lacked before November 4th. There is now a sense of pride and confidence. There is a belief that, once again, anything can be accomplished. The president’s 100 Days have been well spent.

[Black Star News Editorial: 100 And Counting]

The most remarkable achievement of President Barack Hussein Obama's first 100 days is that he has managed to quickly dispel the myth that he was somehow not qualified to be president of the United States because of his blackness; his African ancestry.

Or that he was somehow a closeted Muslim.

He is not; and yet, as Colin Powell famously said in his impassioned endorsement of then candidate Obama, "So what if he was a Muslim?"

So effective has President Obama been in eliminating the "race" and the false "religious" issue, in his daily conduct over the affairs of state, that the calumnies are now only brought up the most fringe elements.

When a reporter brought up the issue of race at the last news conference the president deflected it so quickly that it was forgotten by most people who were watching; yes, there was justifiable race pride in his election, but it lasted for all but a day, he said.

Move on.

The president is one pace ahead of media pundits and not-so-bright reporters who sometimes try to manufacture controversy where none exist.

This president knows the sad racist history of this country; he knows that racism still exists; yet, he also realizes that pointing it out again and again will lead us nowhere and not cure any of the ills. He believes that this only gets us bogged into a paralysis that prevents forward movement; in the end it becomes a crutch.

That’s why he’s been successful in focusing the attention on his performance; and that is how he wants to be judged. On how he meets the great challenges of the day.

At the end of his tenure, the scorecard will match his intelligence and his hard work against these challenges. No one will talk about whether his accomplishments, or failures, were based on his "race."

Which is good, because it means that in the future, more Black people, in whatever profession or career that they pursue, will also be judged primarily on how they conduct themselves; on what vision they present; on what agenda they propose; and, on the level of intellect and leadership that they bring to the table.

And that is how it should be.

Therefore President Obama's Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan policies will be based on: to what extent he balances the need for military confrontation in the immediate term with political and diplomatic measures; to what extent he was able to foresee the consequences of withdrawing or adding more American troops in those regions; and to what extent, he was able to engage or not engage the most radical elements of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

The outcome of President Obama’s decisions on these issues will form the judgment on these three war fronts.

With respect to the economy, many sensible Americans realize that the president inherited a volcanic eruption and that is why surveys show they are willing to give him as long as his entire first term.

The nation continues to lose as many as 600,000-plus jobs per month. Yet, the president’s approval rating remains high at 65%. Even those who voted for John McCain have appreciated his sincerely and hard work.

Calmness in a storm is this man’s greatest gift. President Obama has managed to ease the public panic; and that has translated into relative stability in the markets as well.

It is a quality that he has demonstrated throughout, including the hard fought campaign leading to the White House.

There was a moment of great panic amongst his supporters when his campaign seemed to be losing traction when Senator Hillary Clinton launched the so-called "kitchen sink" strategy.

Many called for then Senator Obama to get "nasty" and "mean" and "dirty."

"But what then," Obama asked, "would be the difference between my campaign and all the other campaigns"?

In the end, his judgment was exonerated; just as his wisdom had been endorsed by American voters after his great Philadelphia Speech, in response to the controversy following the endless loops of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright tapes on Fox News and elsewhere.

Now the president brings this calm, methodical and strategic approach to dealing with the challenges of the recession. He has injected funds into the major banks so that there is no mistake that the government will not permit the financial institutions to collapse; which would set off mass panic with runs on the banks. Now he needs to deliver a firm nudge so the banks can start lending money again.

In Detroit, he knows the jig is up. At the end of the restructuring of the auto industry, whether it occurs within or without bankruptcy, the new American auto producers will be lean and efficient.

This means millions of people will have to be retrained into new activities or absorbed in the new Green Economy; some will play a role in the rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure through the stimulus package.

The president has also now scored a spectacular victory with Senator Arlen Specter switching to the Democratic party. Once Al Franken is confirmed by the end of the summer, President Obama's healthcare overhaul, the carbon-emission cap, and other major initiatives will be filibuster proof.

The Green Economy and Hi-tech Economy –these are the future of this country—will be propelled by the next generation of students who will be beneficiaries of the billions of dollars now being invested into the nation's public education system.

These challenges are tremendous. There are many treacherous turns, hills and slopes ahead.

President Barack Obama has given Americans one thing they lacked before November 4th.

There is now a sense of pride and confidence. There is a belief that, once again, anything can be accomplished.

The president’s 100 Days have been well spent.



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milton@blackstarnews.com

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