Obama\'s First 2 Weeks
The Hiller Instinct: Obama's First 2 Weeks
"The world has changed and we must change with it."
For two weeks, as he's gone from meeting to meeting, and from microphone to microphone, he's made changes...
"I can say without exception or equivocation that the United States will not torture."
So the prison at Guatanamo Bay in Cuba will close within a year. Evidence Obama is changing the battle lines for the War on Terror: his first TV interview as president was on an Arab network.
"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that Americans are not your enemy."
As the war in Iraq winds down, the economy melts down...And while Obama is trying to change the way Washington does business, so far he hasn't.
"I've done extraordinary outreach, I think, to Republicans."
Maybe so, but only Democrats in the House--no Republicans--supported his bail-out bill. Still, Obama is changing the political status quo. It's no coincidence, for example, that the GOP just made Michael Steele their first African American chairman in history.
And he's also changed the look inside the Oval Office. Working in a shirt now has the presidential seal of approval. Under President Bush, a coat was required.
But Obama is not changing the perception Washington lawmakers believe they're above the law. The president was embarrassed by his treasury secretary's failure to pay more than $30,000 in taxes, and, then, by would-be cabinet secretary Tom Daschle's failure to pay more than $125,000.
Daschle has withdrawn, but--until he did--Obama was with him all the way:
"Tom Daschle--do you still stand behind Tom Daschle?"
Two weeks have been long enough to prove that--by any measure--Barack Obama is presidential. He appears comfortable and confident; he is articulate and clear. And some of that is a change, too.
I'm Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.
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