This New Report: The Obama Presidency

By Kenneth Jost, January 30, 2009

Can Barack Obama deliver the change he promises?

As the 44th president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama confronts a set of challenges more daunting perhaps than any chief executive has faced since the Great Depression and World War II. At home, the nation is in the second year of a recession that Obama warns may get worse before the economy starts to improve. Abroad, he faces the task of withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq, reversing the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan and trying to ease the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Still, Obama begins his four years in office with the biggest winning percentage of any president in 20 years and a strong Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. In addition, as the first African-American president, Obama starts with a reservoir of goodwill from Americans and people and governments around the world. But he began encountering criticism and opposition from Republicans in his first days in office as he filled in the details of his campaign theme: “Change We Can Believe In.”

* Is President Obama on the right track in fixing the U.S. economy?
* Is President Obama on the right track in Iraq and Afghanistan?
* Is President Obama on the right track in winning support for his programs in Congress?

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