MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow made another appearance on CBS’ The Late Show with David Letterman last night. Maddow assesses Obama’s first year, “I think nobody’s noticed that he’s kind of quietly put together the most legislatively accomplished first year of any president in a generation.”
Here is the video:
Letterman asked Maddow for an assessment of Obama’s first year, “Well, it’s, the most interesting thing about Obama’s first year is how crazy the opposition has gone in reaction to him, and that’s been so exciting, the Sarah Palin/Michael Steele/ Tea Party stuff on the right that I think, nobody’s noticed that he’s kind of quietly put together the most legislatively accomplished first year in a generation. He’s done a lot.”
Letterman followed up by asking if Obama has effectively accomplished things.
Maddow answered, “Well, he did, the bailout thing, while being wildly unpopular, does appear to have stopped the financial industry from disappearing. We do still have an economy. It’s not the best one, but we have one, and to have sort of saved us from going into the Great Depression was the thing he didn’t ever plan on having to do, but he actually did it, and had to do a lot of politically unpopular things to do. Also did the giant stimulus, which even conservatives are starting to admit now worked, and if he gets healthcare signed, that’s something that what six, seven presidents have tried to do and nobody’s been able to, so everybody’s slagging him off and saying what a disappointment he’s been while he’s quietly doing everything he wants to do.”
I think Maddow delivered an accurate assessment of Obama’s first year. The expectations for Obama were so unrealistically high that when he didn’t sit behind his desk in the Oval Office, snap his fingers, and make all of our problems go away, people were disappointed. If he gets healthcare, he will have had a first year that is on par with Ronald Reagan’s.
Hopefully, Obama has also learned some lessons about leading Congress and not leaving them to their own devices, and the fact that his opponents must be willing to engage before bi-partisanship is possible. Obama has had his rocky patches, but overall it has been an impressive first year. Once the unemployment rate drops, Obama’s approval rating will return to its previous high levels