The college kids have woken. Daily Cal grades Barack B+ Michelle A- Hillary A.
Josh Green, a columnist at the UC Berkeley student newspaper the Daily Californian "Daily Cal" awarded midterm grades for the Obama administration today:
Obama's first 100 days officially come to an end April 30, but I want to get a jump on all of the other carping analysts and get my grades in now. It's not too early to at least give Obama a heads up on what might appear on his transcript by the time he graduates. He can check it out on eGrades starting on May 1.
Obama's first 73 days:
Barack Obama: B+. It's hard to find fault with a guy as polished, intelligent and well-spoken as our president. But his strengths can also become his weaknesses. He is careful with his words, and his administration's moves thus far have been carefully timed and scripted for maximum press effect. Any political campaign knows you have to keep making announcements each week to stay "above the fold" on the news agenda. But why should his administration be run like a campaign? His moves often appear cautious and measured, with focus on press management rather than bold policy. So he gets a small deduction for being too careful. And if I gave him an A, he might coast the rest of the way until finals. Approval numbers are important, but ultimately a legacy is created by what gets done. It's hard to judge today whether Obama's strategy is prudent patience or excessive caution.
While grade inflation still appears to be in full force, I must say: Bestill my heart Josh Green you do your generation a service and put me to shame for generation-bashing the other day. You see through the press tricks, unlike those impressionable elites identified by a wise pollster recently. Actions speak louder than words to you.
Now, Mr. Green gets a small demerit for a few unwise comments in his next grade, but bear with him, he hits it closer to the mark than most ...
Michelle Obama: A-. As first ladies go, it doesn't get much better than the tall and glamorous Michelle. She's been compared to Jackie-O, and so far she's lived up to the hype. She has a warmth and hipness that escaped Laura Bush, and, no offense to Babs (George H.W.'s lady), but Michelle is just nicer to look at than W.'s mom. She has clearly learned from Hillary's mistakes of the '90s-even if you want to get involved in policy, don't get so involved that the right can prop you up as the Wicked Witch of the Left. But I'd like to see her be known for something more than her wit on The View.
Mr. Green veers into the sexism realm then saves himself with that last sentence. He's pleased with the style. But he wants more substance (Mr. Green can I adopt you?)
But here's the coup de grace (granted, it contains a clinker, but it's a hopeful sign this generation may have a few members with sound judgement):
Hillary Clinton: A. Hillary has handled her situation with poise and aplomb. She gracefully handed the reins off to Barack during the convention when many people thought she might sulk like some of her Barack-hating die-hard followers. As secretary of state, she seems to be genuinely enjoying her job, unlike some people in the Cabinet. She was treated like royalty in Indonesia, and she handled North Korea without flinching. I believe Madame Clinton will age well and be ready in 2016 to give the presidency another go. There's been some debate about whether keeping her Senate seat would have positioned her better for a second presidential run, but I think she made the right choice.
I might just faint now (from relief, as I must admit my expectations of Mr. Green and his age group were extremely low. I stereotyped you Mr. Green, and that was not fair. You have promise. You have work to do to come into your own, but there is some clear potential showing in this column.) Yes, as many of us discovered too late in the primaries - Barack is smashing at first, but Hillary gets better with time. (I believe a former friend drew from MyDD explained it to one of the neanderthals there thusly: Hillary is like a fine wine.)
Other grades awarded to Tim Geithner, Robert Gibbs, Reporters and Congress at Josh Green's promising column over at the Daily Cal.ShareThis