Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The First 100 Days – Then and Now

By David B. Woolner

After 100 days in office, the comparisons between President Obama and Franklin D. Roosevelt seem as valid as ever.

Both leaders have had to cope with an unprecedented global financial crisis, a deteriorating economy, high unemployment, and an electorate steeped in fear and apprehension about the future. Both men have also had to contend with a world-wide security crisis; inspired in FDR’s case by the pernicious ideology of fascism, and in President Obama’s by the rise of a deadly form of international terrorism driven by religious extremists. Both men have also had to share the blessing—or burden—of high expectations, not only among the American public, but among people the world over, where their assumption of office has been widely heralded as the beginning of a new day.

But in spite of these and other similarities, there are some striking differences between their first 100 days that may provide the current President and his colleagues in Congress with some food for thought.