100 days and still strong

By Alice Lee and Gabriel Schneider
Published: May 2009

Like most presidential campaigns, Barack Obama’s run for the presidency sparked a huge surge of interest in the American people. For the most part, the younger generation of America was excited by the prospect of such a charismatic and optimistic new leader.

The rhetoric of Obama’s presidential campaign catalyzed this excitement with an emphasis on progress and change. His now famous “Yes, we can came to symbolize the dynamic, forward-looking aspect of his vision.

His inspirational speeches and attitude captured the enthusiasm of the American public, especially among American youth. But on a national scale, the sentiment seems to have died down, and the current attitude towards Obama’s presidency is not quite the same as the initial fervor.

While this does not necessarily mean that those who supported Obama in his initial campaign have changed their opinions, the fire, for some, seems to have died down.

Nevertheless, sentiment for Obama remains high among South students, even 100 days after the election.

Senior Emily Kline, who cast her vote for the Democratic candidate in the 2008 election, has maintained her interest in Obama throughout his tenure so far: “I’ve been pro-Obama for over two years¦ now that he’s president, I’ve been equally as interested. Kline remains optimistic that Obama will live up to the energy and enthusiasm that characterized his campaign.

“I don’t know if you can expect someone to fulfill all of their campaign promises in the first 100 days, but I think [Obama] will¦ I trust him, Kline said.

In a CNN survey conducted across the country, nearly six in ten Americans said that they approve of how Obama is handling the economy. Very few people blame the president for the country’s economic struggles and challenges.
Junior Ben Chelmow, who has been following the Obama administration, is generally supportive of the new president. “He needs to be ambitious’€that’s the mindset we need to have, Chelmow said.

Chelmow also expressed his belief that it is necessary for the president to exert “strong effort to solve the problems plaguing our nation.

In terms of Obama’s recent legislation, Chelmow said that he has “been following the Recovery Act, but he “[doesn't] know too much about it. This does not worry him, however; he is reassured that “in hindsight, it will be a lot more clear¦ at the moment, [Obama's] doing his job by inspiring people.

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