Big problems. Big achievements. Big costs.Cartoon Credit: Bosch Fawstin.
Historians say President Obama's legislative record during a crisis-ridden presidency already puts him in a league with such consequential presidents as Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt. But polls show voters aren't totally on board with his achievements, at least not yet, and the White House acknowledges that his victories have carried huge financial and political costs.
"There are always costs in doing big things," Obama told USA TODAY.
Obama's ambitions are on display again this week as he prods the Senate toward passage of the most sweeping financial regulatory change since the aftermath of the Great Depression, a bill that aims to curtail the Wall Street risk-taking that fed the meltdown in 2008. The bill follows a string of laws and regulations that have reshaped the American landscape in fundamental ways: overhauling the health care system, rescuing U.S. automakers, imposing stricter rules on credit card companies, designating more than 2 million acres of public land as protected wilderness, expanding equal-pay protection for women and more.
"Even if he wasn't African-American, he'd have a considerable entry in the history books," says Princeton professor Fred Greenstein, author of The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to Barack Obama.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
At USA Today (via Memeorandum):