Of course 100 days is just the start, too little time to determine the results (let alone the wisdom) of his decisions. But it's enough time to discern the path Obama has chosen, the overarching philosophy that will shape his administration and history's eventual judgment of it.
In a way, Obama is reversing the famous dictum of President Ronald Reagan, who said government is the problem, not the solution.
Confronting the worst economic crisis in more than a half-century, Obama is dramatically increasing the government's role in overseeing banks, helping homeowners avoid foreclosure and even determining who runs General Motors or merges with Chrysler. Pouring billions of dollars into the efforts, he is stoking a huge federal deficit that could haunt him, and the nation, if it does not recede sharply in the next few years.
In the meantime, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told representatives from 16 major world economies Monday that the United States is moving quickly to address global warming.
At an international forum on energy and climate change organized by President Barack Obama, Clinton said the U.S. no longer doubts the urgency or magnitude of the problem.
"The United States is fully engaged and ready to lead and determined to make up for lost time both at home and abroad," Clinton said at the start of the two-day meeting. "The United States is no longer absent without leave."
Additionally, The outbreak of a flu virus that has led to a U.S. public health emergency highlights the need for a strong government commitment to scientific research, President Barack Obama said Monday. Obama promised a major investment in research and development for scientific innovation, saying the United States has fallen behind others.
"I believe it is not in our character, American character, to follow—but to lead. And it is time for us to lead once again. I am here today to set this goal: we will devote more than 3 percent of our GDP to research and development," Obama said in a speech at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.
Obama said that U.S. cases of swine flu were "not a cause for alarm" but the administration was monitoring them closely.
Keep track of what Obama has been doing since taking office:
Day 97: White House to Detail Government Response to Swine Flu (Apr. 26)
- Obama has received regular briefings from advisers on the swine flu outbreak and the White House readied guidance for Americans. The Obama administration held a briefing to outline the government's response. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the outbreak is serious but the public should know "it's not a time to panic."
Vice President Joe Biden said he worries about his son who is serving in Iraq, but tries to not look at the ongoing war solely as a father. Obama called Biden "very valuable" during a profile that aired on CBS News' "60 Minutes." "You know, Joe's not afraid to tell me what he thinks," Obama said. "And that's exactly what I need, and exactly what I want."
Day 96: Obama Asks for Ideas on Curbing Federal Spending (Apr. 25)
- Obama unveiled new steps to restore U.S. fiscal discipline, including support for legislation that would require Congress to pay for any new programs by raising taxes or cutting other expenditures. Acknowledging that he had spent heavily to confront a historic economic crisis since taking office, Obama said the country was on an unsustainable course and would have to make hard choices to bring the budget under control.
- Obama announced a plan for federal workers to propose ways to improve their agencies' and departments' budgets. The president said employees' ideas would be key as his Cabinet officials cut millions from the federal budget and trim the deficit.
- The President reiterates a theme that has been a hallmark of his career, namely that "old habits and stale thinking" will simply not help us solve the new and immense problems our country faces. (Watch the Video Here)
Day 95: Obama Bipartisanship Push has Mixed Success (Apr. 24)
- Obama swept into office with a lofty promise to bridge the capital's fierce partisan divide. Easier said than done. "Old habits are hard to break," the new president acknowledged in February as reality set in just weeks after he took office.
- Obama faces a dilemma as he prepares to issue an annual presidential statement 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.