And that reproach includes him, too, as he nears the 100-day mark of his presidency. While preaching bipartisanship and civility in his first months, Obama also has shown a willingness to push his priorities through Congress over Republican opposition, as with the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.
The White House also has engaged at times in the divisive politics Obama himself has condemned, for instance mocking commentator Rush Limbaugh as the GOP's titular head.
The president continues to emphasize overcoming poisonous partisanship. At one point, he said, "Whether we're Democrats or Republicans, surely there's got to be some capacity for us to work together, not agree on everything but at least set aside small differences to get things done. People have to break out of some of the ideological rigidity and gridlock that we've been carrying around for too long."
In the meantime, Obama faces a dilemma as he prepares to issue an annual presidential statement Friday on the World War I-era killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.
Referring to the killings as genocide could upend recent pledges of a closer partnership with Turkey, a vital U.S. ally in a critical region. Steering around the word would break his unequivocal campaign pledges to recognize the killings as genocide.
The decision follows an announcement by Turkey and Armenia on Wednesday that they were nearing a historic reconciliation after years of tension. The Obama administration is wary of upsetting that development and closely coordinated a statement Wednesday about the apparent breakthrough with the Turkish government and Swiss mediators.
The dispute involves the killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians. Genocide scholars widely view the event as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, contending the toll has been inflated and that the casualties were victims of civil war and unrest.
Keep track of what Obama has been doing since taking office:
Day 94: Credit Card Execs: Fed Rules Will Protect Consumers (Apr. 23)
- More Americans than not say the country is headed in the right direction, a sign that Barack Obama has used the first 100 days of his presidency to lift the public's mood and inspire hopes for a brighter future.
- Credit card executives meeting with Obama argued that rules proposed by the Federal Reserve are adequate to protect consumers, but Obama believes more should be done, said the White House. "The industry laid out a case that what the Fed is doing is enough," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told a briefing following Obama's meeting with the credit card officials. (Full Story)
- China said Obama should not meet the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, when he visits the U.S. in October. Although a meeting has not been confirmed, every president since George H.W. Bush has met the Dalai Lama, raising the ire of China, which says the Nobel Peace laureate is bent on splitting Tibet from China.
Day 93: Crisis Unprecedented in Modern Times: Geithner (Apr. 22)
- Obama is going on the road to pitch his energy plan—as well as environmentally friendly jobs production—in a hard-hit Iowa town, while administration officials make a similar push back in Washington. (Full Story)
- In the meantime, Geithner said the U.S. bears a substantial share of responsibility for a global economic crisis that could cost the world up to $4 trillion in lost output this year alone. (Full Story)
- The US government is increasingly likely to convert a $13.4 billion loan to GM into common stock, sharply reducing the company's debt burden and giving taxpayers a major stake in the struggling auto maker, sources tell CNBC. (Full Story)
Day 92: Obama Meets Jordan's King Abdullah (Apr. 21)
- Obama meets today with a key Middle East ally. He'll have a one-on-one meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah of Jordan in the Personal Dining Room, followed by an expanded meeting in the Oval Office.
- The AmeriCorps program will triple in size over the next eight years. It's all part of a $5.7 billion national service bill Obama is scheduled to sign to foster and fulfill people's desire to make a difference, such as by mentoring children, cleaning up parks or building and weatherizing homes for the poor.
Day 91: US May Not Need More TARP Funds to Shore Up Banks (Apr. 20)
- Geithner said he would consider the health of the financial system and the flow of credit in deciding whether banks can repay bailout funds from the government.(Full Story)
- Obama’s top economic advisers have determined that they can shore up the nation’s banking system without having to ask Congress for more money any time soon, according to administration officials. (Full Story)
- Obama proposed a $100 billion U.S. loan to the International Monetary Fund to boost the IMF's war chest and urged a bigger stake in the IMF for emerging powers like China and India. (Full Story)
- In the meantime, Obama convenes his first formal cabinet meeting Monday and will ask department and agency chiefs to look for ways over the next 90 days to cut $100 million out of the federal budget, a senior administration official said.