Conversely, the administration's support of some of former President George W Bush's policies regarding executive privilege and state secrets has distressed many on the left. While it is still not clear what the Obama administration's final position will be on these issues, Obama has shown that he will occasionally surprise both supporters and detrac- tors, and that his position on any issue cannot be assumed or taken for granted. Despite the wishes of many of his supporters, he appears to be the pragmatic non-ideologue that he presented on the campaign trail.While Obama had little concrete success during his global travels, international leaders expressed enthusiasm for his willingness to listen. His quiet diplomacy was successful in solving disputes between other countries who were part of the G20. At the same time, he traveled to Turkey, a Muslim country, and expressed the willingness of the United States to extend its hand to Muslims and to make sure that they are treated as part of the world community. This highly risky strategy helped to elevate other world leaders' estimation of Obama's sense of leadership and judgment.While this episode could well have embarrassed and hurt Obama early in his administration, it ultimately proved to be a public relations victory. He approved the military's plans to rescue Capt. Richard Phillips, which it did without loss of life or injury to a single American. It is also important to note that, unlike his predecessor, Obama did not take credit for these actions or proclaim that a mission had been accomplished. Such quiet, yet decisive, action has become a trademark of the Obama administration, and has made him a much-admired president in his first 100 days.
Obama's Cool Demeanor Belies Swirl of Activity at Home and Abroad
Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt's first administration in 1933, the American media has been obsessed with measuring a president's impact during his first 1 00 days in office.The 100-day benchmark is actually fairly arbitrary, given unpredictable circumstances and the limited amount of time it gives a new president to truly affect either national policy or global priorities. Nonetheless, it does offer a thumbnail sketch of a president's priorities, actions, missteps, and strategies for overcoming obstacles, as well as the administration's general "modus operandi" for approaching responsibilities.As one of the youngest commanders in chief in history, Obama ...