President Obama’s Kept & Broken Promises: Annual Performance Review
A year has gone by since we hired Barack Obama to be President of the United States and, so, it is time for the American public to review their new-hire and assess whether the promises he made during his interview process, the campaign, have been realized or are on track to be realized after a year on the job.
Every employee should receive and deserves an Annual Performance Review. It helps the employer assess whether their employee is achieving the objectives and standards for which they were hired, in the process, affording the employer the opportunity to praise and reward their employee for a job well-done or to help the employee improve their performance by providing them the guidance and the resources they need to succeed.
A wise employee will take the feedback and, if necessary, improve their performance, that is, if they wish to keep their job.
A presidential campaign very much reminds me of the hiring process at a university or college, whereby you spend a day or two meeting with committees representing many constituencies with whom the position for which you are interviewing will work with, work for, supervise, and serve – from faculty, administrators, staff, students, parents, community members, media, colleagues, and university executives – all with very different expectations and demands of you.
Of course, when a potential candidate is being interviewed by the entire country and its countless constituencies this interview process is magnified in every way. Given that, it should not be surprising if we, the American citizenry, all have very different assessments of the President’s performance. But we owe it to him, and to us, to give him that feedback.
In the process of making your own assessment of the President’s performance, you may find some of the following resources useful, resources which review the list of promises made, kept and broken by President Obama, and which are recent, written in January 2010. (Although I have excluded any resources overtly partisan or biased, please note that some of the resources may lean a little to the right or left, for or against, so assess the credibility of each source independently.)
A few of the facts and highlights I found in the resources listed below, which you might find interesting or useful in making your assessment, include:
- Politifact (Pulitzer Prize-winning website) has identified, and is tracking, through their Obameter, 522 promises which President Obama made. The Obameter evaluates whether these promises have been kept, compromised, broken, stalled, in the works, or have yet to be rated. Definitely worth a look.
- The ABC News/Politics website takes a look at some of the more key promises and whether or not they were kept. The key promises they list that were NOT kept include the promise to close GITMO – still open; the promise to not hire lobbyists – a long list of lobbyists have been hired to various positions in the Administration; the promise to not have individual health insurance mandates – included in both Senate and House healthcare bills; the promise of a public option in healthcare – not found in either bill; the promise to allow lower-cost drug imports – negotiated away; and the promise of an immigration reform bill by the end of 2009 to find a way to allow undocumented immigrants to stay – no action on this front at all.
- Reuters’ Factbox, looking at how Obama has fared vis-à-vis the promises he made, points to a few failed promises, including failure to televise the healthcare negotiations on C-SPAN and failure to repeal the “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell” rule for gays in the military, among others.
- The Washington Times Editorial, Obama’s Record of Broken Promises, points to a number of broken promises: the promise of “a net spending cut”; the promise to not allow any form of tax increase on families making less than $250,000; the promise to ban all earmarks; and the promise to post legislation online for five days before signing it, along with other broken promises.
- The Associated Press in a recent article, Promises, Promises: Many Obama Pledges Unkept, also reviewed a number of promises made and broken by President Obama. AP includes such things as a promise to cut the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term, which seems impossible to achieve now; the pledge to pull all U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months, has already been pushed back; the promise to require legislators to justify in writing their earmarks 72 hours before they are voted on in Congress, has not happened; along with many others.
- The New York Times’ Assessing Obama’s Promises is a list of promises beautifully organized into domestic and foreign categories, accompanied by direct quotes from the Candidate/President Obama, and an accompanying analysis and outlook of how likely it is that each promise will be kept. The domestic categories include: Tax Reform, Home Owner Relief, Job Creation, Health Care, Education, Climate and Energy, Immigration, Nafta, Stem Cell Research, Gay Rights, Guantanamo Bay, and Interrogation Policy. The foreign categories include: Iraq and Afghanistan, Capturing bin Laden, Israel and Palestine, Iran, and Nuclear Proliferation. Definitely worth a read.
- ProPublica, in Tracking Obama’s Promises, has taken an interesting twist on tracking the President’s promises, they have created the “Promises Clock” which has been tracking five promises which are achievable by presidential order, meaning, he does not need Congress to keep the promises, nor can he blame them if he breaks these promises. The five promises, taken from PolitiFact’s Obameter, have the clock running as of the day he took office and have yet to be kept, they include: end the no-bid contracts above $25,000; end the “Stop-Loss” program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments; end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center; and create a public “Contracts and Influence” database.
- Newsweek’s Obama’s Promises looks at 15 of the promises listed in PolitiFact’s Obameter, including PolitiFact’s evaluation as to whether the promise was kept or not. Newsweek’s value-added is in providing quotes and links to sources that provide more in-depth information about each of the promises.
Through all of these resources and your own research, experience, and recollection of our President’s promises and performance, you should be able to make your own assessment as to how well President Obama did in his first year. Remember, the President is your employee, he works for you, and in three years you will need to decide if you are going to renew his contract. You have the obligation, the duty, to stay informed and to communicate your pleasure or displeasure with his job performance, as his employer and as an American citizen.
Martie Hevia (c) 2010 – All Rights Reserved
- PolitiFact – The Obameter: Tracking Obama’s Campaign Promises
- ABC News – President Obama’s Key Promises, One Year Later
- Reuters – Factbox: Promises, Promises – How Obama Has Fared
- Washington Times – Editorial – Obama’s Record of Broken Promises
- Associated Press – Promises, Promises: Many Obama Pledges Unkept
- New York Times – Assessing Obama’s Promises
- ProPublica – Tracking Obama’s Promises
- Newsweek – Obama’s Promises