Obama’s First Week
Here is what we know after seven days of Change:
(1) The new president is aggressively attacking the economic downturn and, though perhaps too eager to make tax-cut concessions to roll up a bipartisan score, is realizing that nothing will appease Republican know-nothings and, as a result, showing some signs of toughening up in getting a stimulus bill passed without delay.
(2) Though there is much that can be done by executive fiat, it will take longer and be more complicated to make good on campaign promises to close Guantanamo (without freeing Al Qaeda terrorists) and get troops out of Iraq without endangering stability.
(3) His ambition and self-confidence are huge. In making his first phone call to Palestinian President Abbas and giving his first exclusive interview to an Arab TV network, Obama is signaling a change not only in Middle East policy but US attitude toward engaging the rest of the world, insisting that “the Americans are not your enemy.”