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Obama's First-100-Days: Not Too Shabby! Oh, Wait...

Yesterday there was a spate of first-100-days pieces about Obama. Judith Miller-that reporter who is hated by those who say she helped start the war in Iraq, and revered by others for going to prison for refusing to rat out a source-had one, too. In her new column, she's assessing national security during Obama's first 100 days. At first, she seems to think he's doing a great job. Early in the piece she makes a point I agree with, but her language is a little snaky: "Wisely, Obama has usually created a trap door for himself, in case a decision or policy turns out to be unrealistic or unwise," she writes.It is partly true of Obama. He is a cautious leader, especially about critical security decisions. And were it election season, he might even be called a flip-flopper. But it's not, and he isn't. He just isn't a cowboy like some presidents, and his decisions are measured for all their potential ramifications. Think first, shoot later. That kind of thing.Anyway, about three-quarters of the way in, Miller changes her tune. Imagining the sentiments of hostile foreign powers, she calls him an "inspirational, enigmatic, inexperienced leader." Then she fear-mongers about terrorist threats in New York. Then she kind of mocks Obama, saying "There have been worrisome protocol goofs – no Mr. President, you don't appear to bow to a Saudi king." Ending with "Given his huge popularity, Mr. Obama can probably afford one of two such errors. More of them will soon raise questions about his competence." Ehn.There will be other report cards in the coming days. I hope other people have more insightful things to say. For now, there are these, from, and this at Time, and this one, from the Atlantic.What do you think? How is Obama doing?

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