He’s had to contend with problems he knew would require his immediate attention as he assumed the presidency: an ailing economy, rising unemployment, a failing financial system, a crippled auto industry and two costly wars. And from day one, he hit the ground running, unveiling a slate of policies and legislation — the centerpiece being the $787 billion economic stimulus package — that rivaled the output of presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Then there were issues he didn’t even fathom, including scuttled cabinet nominations, pirates and the spread of the H1N1 virus — commonly known as ” swine flu” — into a global pandemic. The administration yesterday committed $1.5 billion to tackle the latest health scare as the World Health Organization raised its global alert level to phase 5.
But there was good news as Obama entered what some officials termed a “Hallmark holiday.” Two days ago, Republican Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties and now represents the state of
During the one-hour news conference, attended by BLACK ENTERPRISE and scores of other media outlets, Obama maintained that the administration was “off to a good start but it’s just a start. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved but I’m not content. I’m pleased with our progress but I’m not satisfied.”
At the session, Obama displayed his usual cool, calm, and confident demeanor. He used his answers as educational opportunities on the short-term and long-range policy objectives, his policies’ components and, at times, engaged in humorous exchanges with reporters.
In the coming months, he says the administration will stay focused on his economic program which he framed as a “new foundation for growth,” emphasizing future investments in education and renewable energy.
On the international front, he discussed his concerns about the stability of
He also addressed recent criticism from conservatives like former Vice President Dick Cheney regarding the use of harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding to gain information from terror suspects. Obama views such practices, which were used by the Bush administration, as torture and asserts he would “make sure we’re not taking short cuts that undermine who we are.” [MORE]
In January 2009, he assumed the added role of black enterprise chief White House correspondent, splitting his time between the company’s