How would you grade President Obama’s first year?

Barack Obama took the oath of office one year ago today. On a scale of A through F, what letter grade would you give President Obama’s first year in the White House?

Comments texted to MPR:

I would give President Obama an A. An A for effort, A for diplomacy, A for doing his homework, and studying issues in depth. Obama has passed the test. -S. Melloy, Minneapolis, MN

I give Obama an F-. Plenty of room for improvement, quit spending so much of our tax dollars. Focus on jobs, and the economy. The liberals are a vanishing breed! Whoo hoo! -Leo, Prior Lake, MN

Overall a B, but why do we expect results in such a short time? And by the way, I’d give Bush a D-. Thanks. -Judy, Litchfield, MN

A for President Obama – he has pursued many of his promised initiatives and moved forward many pieces of legislation. An F for the rest of us – Pres Obama was elected to lead, not do everything by himself! -Chuck Linderkamp, Minneapolis, MN

A-. Given everything President Obama was handed from the last administration — well to move things forward will take time. People need to have more patience. It’s only been a year (says an unemployed MN). President Obama has also put us back in good stead with the rest of the world’s nations. -Jean, St. Paul, MN

A! his humanitarian and diplomatic efforts have restored much of the country’s global respect. -anonymous

The president’s grade: B The grade for congress: D. -anonymous

F. Change promised, not delivered. -anonymous

F. For failing to tell truth regarding transparency, frivolous spending and reckless bank bailout policies. -anonymous

I would give the President an A. He is trying to right our jumbled country. He just needs time. -anonymous

A- for Obama! He has had tough opposition that’s main concern is party politics, the economy which preceded him, people who can’t stand to see a non-white person in power and those who just don’t get that this is about a change for everyone, not just those who have had privilege. -anonymous

  • Tom Koch

    A solid F – we need more individual freedom and liberty, not more!

  • Owen Riess


  • nedzb


    Two wars, a huge financial crisis, 8 years of sordid legacy, and a branch of the government more concerned about their own re-election rather than getting the people’s business done. Who could possibly overcome all that in 365 days. Oh yeah, and the guy had to set up his own administration.

    What did George W do during his first year? Go to his vacation spot more than any other previous president.

  • Shirley C

    I would give him an A. He inherited huge problems from the previous administration. People need to give him more than one year to work through these issues before passing judgement on him.

  • I would give President Obaba and A-.

    The only man to become president at a more difficult time was Lincoln. Obama inherited two wars, one of which (Afghanistan) was almost lost because of the incompetence of the Bush administration, while the other, in Iraq, has been consistently called by the military historian Tom Ricks (hardly a liberal) the greatest blunder in the history of American foreign policy. Obama is slowly extricating us from Iraq and is working with allies to execute successfully the war in Afghanistan. He has turned around the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, and all of the economic trends are going in the right direction. He is developing long-term plans that will lead this country back to economic prominence and, perhaps most important, he has attempted to achieve something that has eluded this country for over a century: health-care reform.

    The only reason for which I give Obama an A- instead of an A is because of his mistake of trying to work with the Republican Party. From the first day of his administration, Republicans in Congress have had one objective: to destroy the Obama administration. The lesson we all should have learned after the Clinton administration is that, if a Democrat is president, the Republican Party will make as its first objective the destruction of that president’s administration.

  • Steven

    Given the solid wall of ideological opposition from the GOP, and the persistent sabotage of his policies by right-wing talking heads, and Americans’ propensity to believe distortions, half-truths and outright lies if those things support what they want to believe, I think President Obama has done remarkably well in his first year. A-minus.

  • Clark

    F- Just like I predicted Obama and the far far left democrats like pelosi, miller, waxman believed they had a mandate to pull the country to a socialist paradise. Obama is a fool for tying his fortune to these out of touch 30 year DC politicians. They do not have a clue.

    I am so pumped about the MA election it reminds of the glee when Reagan won in a landslide over Mondale.

    Obama gets an F- and if this holds, republicans will take over congress in November. Keep pushing democrats, all the unemployed burger flippers on are your side.

  • John O.

    A C-minus.

    With clear majorities in both houses, President Obama and his senior staff have taken their eye off the ball on dealing with the economy. Yeah, managing two wars that he inherited don’t help matters but that is part of the job description. Congress needs a kick in the rear end and he hasn’t done that.

  • Steve Morgan


    President Obama needs to take ownership of the issues facing America. The seeds of our disastrous economic situation where sewn long before Bush took his oath of office. As inglorious as his presidency was, haven’t we heard enough about him? The American public will not treat the Democratic Party well if we continue to hear the administration make excuses about “inherited” problems. We need real, sustainable change that addresses root causes not well-scripted, political theatre designed to make the American public feel good while taking everyone else off the hook. The theatrics are starting to wear very, very thin.


  • Howard Gitelson

    President Obama gets a B. He has had a lot of problems on his plate. The congress, however, especially the Republican minority, gets and F for providing no help or support. The Republicans are more interested in playing politics, like the spin doctors go best, and not actually solving the problems that the country faces.

  • david mataya

    sometimes one of my children is assigned a team project in school. just as often one team member does all the work, and the others stand by. In the President’s case the other team members have actively tried to sabotage the work. How can you fairly grade anyone under the circumstances?

    Building things is hard, tedious work. Destroying things is easy and exciting.

    Don’t grade Obama, expel the other teammates.

  • Ken

    It isn’t so much how I would grade the President in his first year of office, but instead how I would grade the country. Sadly, and it breaks my heart to say this, it appears there remains a large sector of the nation that still isn’t ready for a black president; and they will do almost anything to ensure he fails.

  • Lisa Ragsdale


    First the bad news. I want to give him an A or no grade. But he spent too much time pursuing Health Care when the economy and even the two wars he inherited deserved more attention. A lot more attention. That is the reason for the C.

    The good news. Considering the monumental mess that Bush administration left in Washington and with International affairs, President Obama has performed repairing things as quickly as possible. He has brought our country back into the world community. He has hired or appointed some of the best people available.

    I wish he would drop the entire Health Care issue and work on the things that people are much more worried about. Take care of the economy, the foreclosures, and kicking the Republicans in the head telling them that he wants to see them fail.

  • Dakota Hoska

    I give President Obama an A

    But I give Republicans an F for continuing to promote partisanship and self interest when the citizens of the country want to be united. Their inability to reach across the aisle is unacceptable.

    I give the Democratic Party an F too. They can’t hold it together. They had the majority, but over internal bickering have risked our best chance at health care reform, climate change and a sustainable economic future for this country.

    Obama is the best president we’ve had since Lincoln and I’m sorry his hands are tied by the bipartisan deadlock and internal bickering.

  • Steve the Cynic

    This is interesting. Right-wing pundits give Obama an F for foisting a socialist agenda on America, while honest-to-goodness socialists give him an F for not being different enough from his arch-conservative predecessor. Do you suppose maybe it’s the pundits who need a grade? Or does the problem lie with folks who follow the pundits? Methinks the fault lies not in our politicians, but in ourselves.

  • Christi

    A- He has a huge mess to clean up. We are quick to forget our history, even if it is the last nine years. He is the best president in my lifetime. People want miracles. They should support him. Supporting a Republican because Obama can’t get something done, just means it’s going to be harder to get that thing done. Obama is trying to get give us all healthcare. How can you be against that? That is like being pro-death and disease.

  • Steve

    F- His narcissism is only surpassed by his unprecedented spending. He has failed in his promises of transparency and giving people time to review what is being put before our legislators. He has been involved in incredible “backroom” deals which is totally against his big promises of business as usual.

    People who feel he is doing a great job obviously know little about history or economics and that is a lot of what is wrong today and how we got here.

  • Woody

    B- Managing expectations has been one of the more challenging concerns of this administration. I am uncertain whether this is a commentary about the administration or the American people. (I would say the latter more than the former).

  • Cindy Nelson

    Obama inherited a huge mess. Our whole economy was in change, with so many of our jobs outsourced. Then we had severe mismanagement which caused a serious crash in the market and problems with housing– another crash. There were major problems abroad, both with allies and with two wars. All this was years in the making.

    He has dealt with all this well, and with energy, though he has not solved the problems. He has done this in the face of noncooperation, although I think he’s done what he could to encourage cooperation.

    I’d give him an A

  • Ann Ayrault

    I give Obama an A minus. He has an enormous mess to deal with. He sees the world, not as it should be, but as it is. He works hard for change that is realistic.

    I give the Republicans an F. They, with the tea partiers & right wingers, have waged a campaign of fear and misinformation to block positive change.

  • Mary Alice Harvey

    I would give him an A. He has tried to maintain a long-term view of both domestic and international issues, a difficult thing to do when there are so short term emergencies! I especially appreciate good appointees in second tier positions in the administrative branch and orders to enforce laws that have not been enforced for 8 previous years in the fields of civil rights, consumer protection, worker safety, etc.

  • Keith G


    I’m willing to cut Obama some slack. It has only been a year! He’s trying to turn a battleship around.

    The war thing – I was in favor of pulling the plug on Iraq and shifting attention to Afganistan and Pakistan. As long as he sticks to the timeline and we pull out of there in a year’s time, I can back that policy. But what really gets me is the financial bailout. I have no problem with the stimulus package. The economy was in the toilet and drastic measures were required. But the people Obama has chosen to surround himself with at Treasury will change absolutely nothing. Anyone who has done any reading knows that Goldman Sachs is the devil incarnate in the financial world, and yet they are still able to call the shots via the ties they have to everyone in charge. They will continue to enrich themselves and bonus themselves with the current set of clowns in Treasury.

    FInally, the Republicans in this country should be ashamed of themselves. Obama could come out in favor of puppies and the Republicans would find some sort of fault with it.

    To be fair, I also think Pelosi and Reid need to go. They are ineffective as leaders and extremely partisan. They are doing Obama no favors acting in their current roles.

  • John O

    F-. Obama will define the fortunes of the Democratic party for the next 7 years. MA is just the beginning for the defeat and retreat agenda of the current administration. I am ordering my pom poms early for the next election. Palin for Prez. rah rah…

  • Cynthia M

    A – Our country was left in shambles after Bush, the mainstream media is just a marketing business, the average American thinks miracles can happen overnight, for all our boasting about being a free market and innovative society, we are stuck in quicksand in moving forward with new social and economic ideas and our level of civility is at an all time low. President Obama is doing fine, it is the rest of the country that gets an F.

  • Chris

    I give Obama a B plus. He is dealing with a lot and he is very ambitious. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a good congress (F Grade). I do think he bit off more than he can chew but he has 3 more years to get everything done. Remember how bad things were?? I do!

  • jfh

    His grade: a C- or D+.

    I badly wanted him to have a successful year. But, he accumululated the mini-three strikes that spoke to his ability to campaign and not lead.

    1. The back-room deal with pharma;

    2. His unwillingness to provide effective leadership to his agenda; and

    3. His political equivocation (for FOUR months-plus) on setting his Afghan policy.

    This guy is an empty suit, and the public knows it.

  • Brooks Myhran

    F At every opportunity he’s made exactly the wrong decision, and usually with arrogance and self-aggrandizement, and then a deceit-filled sales pitch to the U.S. pubic. Open and transparent? Bipartisan? The worst president in my lifetime on these issues. He unilaterally nationalized GM and Chrysler. He’s constantly apologized for America’s greatness while taking his victory lap abroad. He bows to kings and shakes hands with despots while leaving the seekers of democracy in Iran to fend for themselves, without so much as a forceful speech on their behalf. He let D.C.’s voucher program die while touting his Race to the Top plan. He nominated a simply terrible candidate for the Supreme Court. He let his true colors show when he said the cops in Cambridge acted “stupidly” before having the first clue about what happened. A teaching moment? Yes indeed, it taught us just what a fraud this man is. And so on.

    VA, NJ, MA. Even with the mainstream media supporting his every move – including NPR/MPR – Obama’s actions have been so egregious that Americans in places like Massachusetts (Massachusetts!) have come to realize what a horrible mistake we made as a nation. How the most-liberal member of the Senate could pass himself off as post-partisan and post-racial will forever bewilder me.

    He’s even worse than Jimmy Carter. And that’s saying something.

  • Mike R.

    So far into his term, I am disappointed in Obama, even with all the mess he has been left after 8 years of the worst government admisistration in modern history. I was hoping for less politics as usual and more large scale reform in Washington itself. Even if he couldn’t implement all his campaign promises, he would get an A, but he hasn’t fulfilled any yet, or not bent on his stance, compromising on these issues. He gets a C+ so far.

    His speech on health care was very effective. So why hasn’t he done this more often? He has more power and influence than he is effectively utilizing.

    Instead of compromising when meeting political opposition on issues that got him elected, he ought to stick to his plan. I would like to see less power in the hands of the rich, corporate or not.

    You have to look at how Congress is doing as well, because the president will be judged on their action.

    The Democrats party itself needs to defend its stance on issues more, and reply strongly to Republican opposition.

    The Republicans deserve to lose even more of their share of Congress for doing nothing but roadblock any possible reforms, think about only the economic side of any issue, find some point in any issue to complain about with no actual solutions of their own, and try to brainwash with ideologies that have no realistic implementation.

  • EAS

    I give Obama a B. That’s above average, but it means there is still a long way to go on so many things: healthcare, Afghanistan and Iraq, education, and beyond.

    However, I give the majority of American citizens a D-, for complete lack of respect for our elected officials. One can criticize and still respect, but we seem to be unable to do this. The lack of respect is coupled with an attitude that Obama should have fixed everything immediately with a magic wand, or that Obama is wrecking our country no matter what he says or does.

    I also have not forgotten where we were. Nor have I forgotten where we need to be.

  • Bill

    President Obama gets a C- grade.

    The general public gets a D- grade.

    When President Obama came into office unemployment was already at 7.7%, the TARP Funding Legislation had already been approved under the Bush Administration, and the country’s debt was skyrocketing to post World War II level.

    The general public doesn’t seem to understand this and they are manipulated by bloviators on the 24/7 news cycle that tell them to expect either magic or catastrophy overnight, nothing in between either success or failure.

    Give me a break, turn off Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olberman and read something, anything based on actual fact.


  • jcarys

    I think he deserves a B. There has been some progress made, but too many Americans simply expected him to come into office and start waving a magic wand. The limited amount that citizens understand about our government and economy leads to outsize expectations.

    He has moved in the right direction militarily and in foreign policy. The US is no longer a pariah state around the world. His biggest failing has been in not controlling the message – letting others lead the debate, while his administration follows. Although the measures that were taken to improve the economy are obviously working, it will take quite a bit longer to be reflected in new employment and voter’s outlook.

  • Matt

    (A-) The grade needs to be primarily on how Mr. Obama has approached the nearly incomprehensible set of problems he inherited, not so much the results. To be fair, anyone judging this administration needs to compare the state of the nation from Jan-2001 to Jan-2002, and how the Bush Administration approached the situation(s) they inherited, and what was experienced during that year and reactions to those events. Further, judging any administration solely on the results of actions taken during their first year to prevent or correct problems, is simply unfair. For example, the financial meltdown in late 2008 had little to do with what the Bush Administration did (or didn’t) do in 2007-08. I also feel it is significant that it has been no small challenge for him to simply get the people he wants in place to do the work he is trying to get done started. And, the amazingly united Republican approach to disagree with the President, whether for good reason or not, has made me seriously wonder who in their right mind would want to be associated with that sort of unsubstantiated lack of cooperation? And finally, our existing health care system is the lynchpin to our economic stability, Mr. Obama is correct to focus on this issue.

  • Jeff Sommers

    A+ – Sure he might have taken on too much but since when do we berate someone for working too hard? There was a lot to take on after the multifaceted failures of the Bush/Cheney administration. President Obama could not pick and choose which issues to tackle–he had no choice but to address all of them. Someone who knowingly steps into a mess like this with his level of fortitude and resolve is nothing short of a hero. The condition the Republicans left this country in set up the prospect for political suicide for anyone, especially when conservatives want to see him fail–at the cost of the nation.

  • Joanne

    B – he was handed the worst economy and two wars. I think we all expected too much from him from the onset. Expecting all of these things to be solved in one year is preposterous. However, the Dems have to get their house in order. But Obama’s grade, on the work he’s done himself, is B. He’s done the best he could.

  • Leticia (Let-T-C-a)

    I would Give the president a B+. He did get some done his first year. I think he Made a good effort with what he could do and getting the ball rolling with the house and senate

  • Maria

    grade = B. As he said, he can’t do this alone. Also, considering how much that needs to be done, he is doing a good job at balancing, along with working with two parties who just won’t “work” together – just because – he has done quite a bit. As for keeping promises, must we go back in history and doublecheck all that has been promised and been done. These past eight years has moved us further back in internal and external infrastructure. So I think he deserves a B in his FIRST year.

  • Scott

    Obama – A

    Republican congressmen – F for not one having the courage to do anything other than follow the party line. to make things better for Americans.

  • Lydia Howell


    I had NO expectations that President Obama could “solve everything ina a year”–he INHERITED A HUGE MESS. But, I am giving hima D for CONTINUING MOST OF THE BUSH-CHENY POLICIES; NO accountability for Bush officials. NO accountability for Wall Street banksters.

    I voted FOR Obama, in large measure, due to his experince as a CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROF: yet, he is CONTINUING THE SHREDDING OF THE CONSTITUTION in Guantanamo, in spying on Americnas, in torture policy. He’s also EXPANDED AFGHNAISTAN WAR.

    And he’s DONE MROE FOR WEALTHY ELITES WHO ALMOST DESTROYED THE EOCNOMY than he’s done for working (or OUT of work) AMerican people.

    So far, Obama is a huge disapointment–NOT any real change at all, but, only MORE of the same! Might as well have McCain in office.

  • James

    D- ,,, It would be an “F” however, he has been filling the seat. Right now we need honest, bold leadership. Obama is neither of those.


  • Sue Engel


    He has had much to do — and has handled it above average. Patience is what our country needs. The decline took more than a year to develop and from the begining of his term, he said it would not happen overnight – it would take time. Things are improving slowly and I am positive improvement will pick up speed in coming months. However it takes working together in Congress for good of the country. It is hard to believe that not one republican cannot see the need for Health Care reform — and that both parties will not negotiate for a plan that will benefit our country in the long run and not worry only about the next election. It does not help when politicians use scare tackets to work their agenda. I am hopeful somewhere along the way – politicians can think about the country’s future and not their own personal future.

  • Dave

    C+. He made good appointments, but his response, or lack thereof, to the generals’ request for additional support in Afpak was awful. He has approximately zero respect in the armed forces now, and his speech on Afghanistan that he finally gave at West Point was the worst of all worlds. “We’ll go because it is important, but after 18 months it is not important.”

  • Cindy

    I give Obama an A in Effort, an A in Vision, a B+ for Leadership, a B in Bully Pulpit, and a B in Legislative Outcomes. I give the Congress C- in Collaboration. I give the Republican Party an F in Working for the Common Good. So far I give the Democratic Leadership a B+ in Supporting the President’s Agenda. I’m afraid I’ll have to start marking the House downward for Political Expediancy, but I hope they turn in extra credit work in Fortitude so that I don’t have to. MN Senators get A+ so far.

  • Steven

    Really, how can we presume to hold any president accountable for outcomes when a lone senator can stop a political appointment from being confirmed and a mere 41% of one house of Congress can block any legislation?

  • Jim Carlson

    I would give him a C-.

    I didn’t vote for him but I still want him to have some success. I am an American first after all. But I have a few issues with his ‘change you can believe in’ nonsense. Obama is turning out to be just an old fashioned liberal that is just more articulate than average. First, he has focussed on the wrong priorities. He should be focussed on making the Govt more efficient (not bigger) and on financial reform — better regulation that prevents the next blow up without strangling banking. Second, his HC reform is a joke — more candy before the veggies (like Bush’s drugs for the foggies plan — no cost control- just give out the candy). Reform should focus first on cost control and once we see some progress there, then talk about expanded access. Perhaps even set up national insurance exchanges — but NO subsidies until we see overall costs starting to stabilize. But he doesn’t want to upset docs, specialists or hospitals — so no questions about how or how much they are compensated — worse, he promises them a whole new group of customers and asks nothing in terms of lower prices in return. No questions about why medical school costs 100,000+. No questions about why the US is almost by itself providing all of the R&D and profits for pharma and no answers to the multiple hands each health care dollar goes thru between my paycheck the Doctor. Geeze — Come ON! Instead, he keep his liberal constituents happy (unions, medical providers) by focussing on access and then goes after the ‘rich’ to pay for it. Sorry, but that isn’t reform, it’s just old fashioned liberal redistribution. So much for a new kind of politician.

  • NPT

    No better than a D, and probably an F. The main reason I am upset with Obama is that, over and over again, he says one thing but does another. At every turn in the road he hasn’t missed an opportunity to embellish and cheat his way to point out good results when all nearly all of the results have been bad. His arrogance was on display again when Gibbs said that the reason the health care bill has struggled is that the American people don’t truly understand it. Really? And this from an administration that works with Pelosi to craft a bill behind closed doors and bring it to the floor for a vote with less than 24 hours to review it? Is this the “change” that Obama was talking about? The voters are starting to see that the “change” rhetoric doesn’t match up with the actions. He gives a great speech and is a generally amiable fellow, but when the rubber hits the road he says one thing and does another, and that is finally being recognized.

  • Tom

    This is an inane question more appropriate to the “info-tainment” media than to MPR. I come to MPR to get away from this kind of silliness!

  • Sarah

    B+ I wish the President would give more speeches to the nation to explain to the public what he is doing – not everyone is as well-informed as MPR listeners! However, if people understand what he is doing and thinking, they won’t be so quick to give up. I believe Obama is doing his best with a bickering Congress and impossible Republicans. He is a smart man and positive change will come, but with 600+ cooks in our Washington DC kitchen, it is never quick.

  • Jon

    I would grade President Obama with a D for his accomplishments in his first year. As a president he is MIA. Talk is easy, governing is hard. He needs to LISTEN to the people and get off his progressive train to disaster. WE THE PEOPLE…….. WE are America, not the president. Both political parties should take a lesson from the independents in this country – WE have the power – WE will use our power – Massachusetts is just the tip of the iceberg.

    It’s time for President Obama to stop passing the buck and take responsibility for what fails as well as for what succeeds. Actions speak much louder than words!

  • Timothy Forde

    F- I voted for Obama on the promise that he would scale down and pull our troops from the middle east. Instead he is ramping up operations there. He has just proven again that politicians in general don’t have to practice what they preach. Not to mention the HUGE amount of government counterfieting. Where does he think money comes from? I’ve been to Hawaii and don’t remember seeing any money trees there. It’s disgusting!

  • JennyB

    Where should I begin??? My heart goes out to our ambious, uber intelligent president. But, alas, he is a human being. Our country is a mess so how dare we cast stones at our president? Congress has not cooperated, the general public blews hot and cold and generally appears not to know what they want. I, for one, am glad to have someone who wants the job he has; who takes pride in doing it; and who has enhanced our international standing.

    I give him a B as I have great expectations for him.

  • Jessica Sundheim

    While Bush focused his economic stimulus, TARP, at the banks (forcing them to take money) which has continued the redistribution of wealth as usual and bonuses, Obama’s stimulus – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – focused on funding education, creating jobs by investing in infrastructure, and helping those who are out of work or in forclosure. One year ago I was a cashier, living at the poverty line. My husband (with a college degree and teaching license) works for Schwan’s 12-15 hours per day at his job, we live in a 2 bedroom home and drive a mini-van someone from our church gave us. We take care of our four daughters as best we can.

    One year ago I was disgusted with banks. Disgusted with the evidence that money doesn’t trickle down while those of us at the bottom could use more than a trickle – we need a flood. Where were the jobs? Where were the better wages? Where was the investment in our country that the big money Bush people always say is the result of tax cuts? One year ago, we were bracing for a Great Depression as the result of unregulated Wall St greed. We did not have much hope.

    Today, I drove over the new bridge that was built this summer to the local community college for my morning writing class. When I came home for lunch to my newly weatherized, warm, energy efficient home (which means we no longer need heating assistance), I checked the mail. Inside was a letter from M State stating that I’d made the President’s List for my 4.0 grade point average for the Fall 2009 semester. There are hardworking people in this country who don’t want to rip it off, but plan to live a life serving community. I believe that investing in those people will secure our future – that is who Obama invested in in his stimulus package. I believe we will see more evidence of this as this year proceeds.

    This last year a lot of money went to banks, but our President expanded the opportunity for people stuck in dead end minimum wage jobs to go to school. He dedicated money to help people stay in their jobs and in their homes and we no longer worry about a Great Depression! Look at the areas where he doesn’t get to dictate from his post – healthcare bill, legislation to regulate banks, etc. Those are the areas that get an F, but Obama gets a B+ from me.

    The first bill he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I learned in my Sociology class that if women were paid equally, taking into account all outstanding variables (experience, education, etc), they would be paid $4,000 more per year and we could cut the rate of poverty in half. – Karen Seccombe. Priorities people! Look at the difference in priorities – as for me and my four daughters, we are grateful!

  • Jessica Sundheim

    I hope the MPR’s next question is what grade people would give themselves in their response to the great recession and the service they have given to their country over the last year. For the people by the people.

  • Tim

    I would give him an A. He has brought the issue’s to the public and kept them there. If Obama wasn’t in office, there would be absolutely no talk about health care reform, banking/wall street reform and regulation etc… The words pre-existing condition would most likely be used in an entirely different context. Talk about bonuses, wage disparities and employee rights would not be spoken in the Whitehouse. Yes, I give him an A.

  • Mr. Obama is a charming man, however, he uses that charm occasionally to get out of homework at the end of the day. If Mr. Obama spent less time talking in class and more time focusing on the day’s assignment, he’d do much better. Strong C+ and with a little bit of effort, he could easily get a solid B.

  • Beth Watson

    I would grade him a B+ because at least he is staying focused on issues he talked about during the campaign. That has rarely happened in our history. As for the congress/senate no matter their political party deserves a F for failing the American people with their petty fighting while we sit here and wait for them to act like responsible adults we elected and to help us move forward with health care, economy and the environment.

  • I would say that his grade right now is an “I.” For “Incomplete.” Considering the mess that Pres. Obama inherited, he’s accomplished far more in 12 months than a lesser person could in an entire four-year term.

  • Karl

    B. Best President since FDR, but working within a fundamentally flawed system that he has yet to take on in a major way.

  • Kevin Shannon

    B-. He has had extremely difficult tasks to face, more than any other President recently (more than facing 9/11 – the country was united after that which made moving forward rather smooth – and Obama wouldn’t just tell us all to go shopping!!). In that environment, he has gotten important things done. But he has also waffled into the centrist middle where nothing ever comes out differently. Bipartisanship is dead – the country is in a war for it’s soul. The right knows this and approaches it thusly. The Democrats still think it’s time to be “nice.” Won’t work anymore, sad to say. BTW I would give the Congressional Democrats, who were handed SUCH an opportunity, a D+. And that’s from one of their supporters….

  • annonymous

    Reminds me of the OJ trial. Despite the overwhelming evidence people will side for their party no matter what.

  • Mary Singh

    I would give President Obama an A+. We have not had a President who has addressed so many difficult issues. My grade for most Senators and Congressmen would be F. They have been a bunch of wimps…who have looked at their election to the positions as a job with no responsibilty to achieve anything. From 2000-2008 we saw such greed, deficits growing and complete bankruptcy of values. Those same men/women now are screaming all the time about burgeoning debt when they were responsible of getting us into this situation. Such a bunch of liars….we should have a way of sacking all members who were part of the elected majority during the years 2000-2008.

  • Ms. Xai Lor

    It was tremendous that President Obama won the Presidency given the hard-line opposition from Republican rivals and including those within the Democratic Party but his genuine promise to deliver a stronger America won a majority of the people and one year later, he is still working toward that promise despite having inherited the war in Iraq , the war in Afghanistan, and an economic crisis due to reckless prime mortgage loans (everyone is to blame: the homeowners, lenders, banks, ratings, and investors.) From the day of his inauguration, he never said it was going to be easy or quick. He had hinted that it was going to take months, even years for the economy to back on its feet again.

    Not too many people may have liked the idea of TARP but it was necessary. If the Federal Reserve did not rescue the ailing banks, it would had taken all of us down with it. And the last thing Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke wanted was a repeat of the Great Depression and that was exactly where the economy was going last year so instead of cutting the money supply, it expanded as far as it possibly could. Thus, President Obama on his part, passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to stimulate the economy by investing in education, infrastructure, and healthcare among other things.

    It should also be noted that President Obama teamed up with General Stanley McChrystal to put together a military plan for the war in Afghanistan (even though McChrystal was questioned last summer for not following the chain-of-command by voicing his concern publicly).

    Some people may not like the President’s health care bill but overall, there is still a lot to like. One characteristic I’ve always enjoyed in a President is his honesty. President Obama have apologized where he have fell short unlike the Administration before him. And so to date, I would have to give the President an A for his outstanding leadership and integrity to work across the table to get America rolling again.

  • I am not satisfied with President Obama’s first year, but I temper that with the idea that one year is not long enough to get everything done that a president would probably like to accomplish.

    I hope that whatever health care reform comes out of this is smart and, more importantly, sustainable without burdening the middle class with more tax liability.

    I do not think that the president has done enough to either disengage from the Middle East conflicts or to go all out and accomplish the goals there. It’s got to be one or the other — win or go home (whatever ‘win’ there means). I know the soldiers work their butts off there, but after so many years there, it is time to either eliminate the radicalized threats from the inside or get out and contain them from the outside. Maybe neither of those is possible.

    I am disappointed that Mr. Obama has not closed down the ‘faith-based initiatives’ yet. Such blatant entanglement between church and state is unacceptable, and yet he is carrying on without any obvious deviation from his predecessor (though now I guess they’re called ‘faith-based and neighborhood initiatives’, or something of the sort).

    I am displeased with the lack of openness in government, in opposition to what the president promised during his campaign. There are still too many secrets, too much rushing, too many hidden aspects to the federal government. I hope that Jim Webb of VA and others can convince the rest of the Democrats that the loss in Massachusetts means it’s time to slow down and open up the process.

    I am happy with a few things, as well, like the way the economy is beginning to recover and Mr Obama’s clear and continuing message to the world that we are not a bunch of self-centered jerks over here and that we’re not a Christianist Nation, but of course it’s easier to be critical than praising when there’s so much to be critical about.

    Patrick Oden

    The Common Lawyer

  • Anonymous

    A-. He was handed so much that I can’t believe that people can think he could solve it all – single handed(?) – in one year. He is so much better than what we had and they screwed things up so bad….He is by far one of the best Presidents we have had in a very long time…give him time.

  • Marsha Kitchel

    President Obama’s first year has been a concentrated effort to deal with where our country had been lead by our previous president (deeply into a ditch).

    I give him a B+ for results, an A+ for effort. He has been tireless, committed, and fair. He held his hand out across the aisle and got bit by Republicans who huddled together to find a way, any way, to “bring him down.” (They became known as mean-spirited for a reason.) What a disgrace. I pray for our president and I pray for this country.

    Regarding our wars, President Obama is doing what he said he would do: focus on Afghanistan, the true war, and begin to pull out of Iraq, the war we were deceived into, but one which has killed thousands of our sons and daughters. Now I have finally have faith in our president again!

  • Terry


    Too many wars to gain ground in. Too much negativity by the opposition to turn the ship around after 8 long years of going in the wrong direction. More time is needed. It is a big ship.

  • alex


    He gets the policy stuff as right as can be hoped for, given the opposition, but he does spend too much time talking about wonkish policy stuff that doesn’t mean very much to most people. He needs to learn from G. W. Bush, and keep the rhetoric and debate about principles and leave statements and comments about the wonkish stuff to the White House staff.

  • Curt

    I’d have to give him an A for his first year in office. On the other hand, I’d give the Republican opposition an F for their partisanship in trying to cause the administration to fail with no thought to the consequences to the American public.

    The economy failed under the previous administration, and we entered into two wars under that same leadership. To expect a turnaround in the economy and a withdrawal of our forces in the Mideast in just a year would be difficult even with an opposition party that would support changes. The current situation in Washington, with stalemates on the economy and health care, can be laid directly at the feet of the Republican party.

  • Lilly


    “I wont have to worry about putting gas in my car, I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage.. You know, If I help him, he’s gonna help me.”

    All I got was unemployed:-(

  • Laura

    F- I would give him a F. He has forgotten his promises of transparency, working with the other party, removing pork from bills and has bribed Congressmen with our tax money to vote for legislation. He has not shown the health care insurance debate on c-span which he promised. He forgot his words that “we are not red states, or blue states, but the United States. There was much promise to change, and we were hopeful, but he hasn’t delivered. He is turning America into a socialist state.

  • RobR

    “F”. Said no more business as usual. Ha. Special interests getting the deals (unions exempt from “Cadillac” tax and trump secured lenders for GM/Chrysler ownership), absolutely zero transparency (everything is behind closed doors). How about a news conference? No leadership. Doesn’t prosecute terrorists the way they should be. 2 terrorist attacks on US soil (maybe I’m missing another?). Raising taxes for middle class Americans. Making banks cover Freddie/Fannie/GM. A disaster. He will f-up healthcare as well.

  • Steve Bingner

    Obama did exceptionally well. He got elected. He has been transparent. He has tried to do the correct things. The powers he is facing are large and strong and will stop at nothing to stop him. I believe that we all have to think ahead to the midterm elections. Vote Absentee if you work, and most people work on election day.(2011) The voices of the people must be heard. The truth must be told. The fog created by untrue statements makes it difficult for the people to know what to do. Listen to Obama. He tells the truth.

  • Steven


  • Poppy

    An A for effort and a C+ for results.

  • David Kitchel

    A We brought this man into office because he had — and still has — the common man at heart. Demonstratedly brilliant — look at his personal record if you doubt it — he has assembled a team with the dream of reversing the eight previous years of a disastrously incompetent and disingenuous administration. For a year he has worked 18- and 20-hour days to turn a huge ship previously controlled by inept and greedy fools who ran it aground before Obama reached the wheel house. Despite all the lies and the back-biting, he’s still in there trying to do more for the common man than any of his recent predecessors. But the ship he’s controlling is huge, responds slowly and needs repair. We’re all taking a beating in this recession Obama inherited, but we need to stand by him because (1) his job is galactically difficult and (b) we common folks have no one else as gifted and articulate in our camp.

    Dave Kitchel, Apple Valley, MN

  • Mark Anderson

    A. He is leading as promised. American has hope in a leader that looks to solve problems rather than stay entranched is safe ideologies that promise more of the same.

    The Republicans should be ashamed for fighting health care reform and financial reform, their bad for the country and Minnesota. Support our Senators and Representatives in supporting President Obama. A setback by Republicans, blocking healthy reform, their only contribution the know, shouldn’t ever be a reason for the rest of us from doing what is right.

    Mark St Paul

  • anon

    A+. As already discussed by others who gave a HIGH grade. The low voter opinions are the ones the Democrats and Obama will need to look at in forming responses. Hope Obama can see through the anger, disappointment, expectations not met and address these successfully.

  • Bob Whittaker

    Our illegal President Obama gets a big “F” from me for his first year in office.

    His political appointees are a disaster and his efforts to steal our state and individual rights through his National Health Plan shows me that he is only interested in controlling not helping us citizens.

    He is a naive puppet who dances to the pulled strings of his party leadership as they all know he is not a qualified President as required by our Constitution.

    His appointees and congressional leaders make outrageous stupid comments and decisions and he hasn’t got the guts to hold them accountable for he knows that anyone of them can blow the whistle on his illegal rise to the office of President.

  • Steven

    As long as a substantial number of people are willing to believe preposterous conspiracy theories like the one posted this morning, the truth will continue to be irrelevant in American politics, and discussions such as this will serve no practical purpose.

  • David Joesting


    This administration has shamelessly spent us into oblivion and most of the stimulus money has gone either to pay back political debt or to buy off the people he needs for his agenda

    He refuses to discuss tort reform – which is essential for any meaningful health reform and to reduce the cost of medical care – which tells you that he is more concerned about money from plaintiff’s attorneys than real health care reform.

    He conducts business behind closed doors – no transparency

    He refuses to listen to Republican ideas – but he promised a post partisan presidency.

    He promises health care reform – but the new taxes start immediately and health care changes start in 4 years – after the next presidential election – which tells you what he really wants.

    Corrumption, lies, failure to pay attention to the increasing levels of voter fraud etc, etc,

    No, I am not a republican – just a very frightened citizen

    Etc, etc

  • Rebecca Koeppen

    In a nation that is mostly still in denial about the fact that life as we knew it is never coming back, Obama did as well as could be expected by any president.

  • Given the desolation President Obama inherited it would be ridiculous to think his administration could undo 8yrs. of chaos in so short a period of time. Overall I believe a grade B is appropriate. B being (Benefit of the doubt).

    I would like to see a renewed push for passage of the (EFCA) Employee Free Choice Act. The two biggest weapons being used against career seekers and employees are these;

    (1) Ignorance of Basic Employee Rights

    (2) “AT WILL” employment doctrine

    Legislation requiring employers to train workers Basic Employee Rights would be an effective counter to all types of employment violations. Also, I believe passing the EFCA would provide a decent and long overdue burial of “AT WILL” employment.

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  • Keith Rodgers

    F: a Big FAT (F). I don’t in any form support Torture, Not of peoples from 2 Fabricated wars from Lies. Nor the Torture of a US Citizen i.e. Bradley Manning who exposed Torture and War Crimes.

    Obama gets an F for hiding the Abu Grab Photos.

    Obama gets an F for hiding the Stryker Brigades “Kill Team” Photos.

    Obama gets a F for the Torture of an American (Sempre Fi ) for his exposure of War Crimes.

    Also, In Court cases, The use of Torture will throw out a case. So it is with Blessing I give to Manning that his Defense will use this to gain his release.

    The Fact is, People would rather believe a LIE and believe their Son/Daughter died for our Freedom then to realize they died for a LIE. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 nor did Afghanistan. Obama gets a F for his Failure to Investigate 9/11.

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