As the chatter in the room began to settle, all eyes focused on the beautiful birthday
William Henry Harrison
cake that came out of the kitchen. One hundred years is a long time for anything to be around, but this lady sat there with every bit of confidence in knowing…she made it. Voices sprang up from all corners of the small dining room, as “Happy Birthday” in various harmonies were sang to the small but yet powerful figure sitting at the head of the table. With anticipation, all the guests wondered the same thing, “Could she do it? Could she blow out the candles?” We all know that people drive from miles around to give presents, convey their well wishes, but the high point of the evening is to see all the candles blown out. The small frame stood grasping the table. As everyone watched, a beautiful lace fringed fan came into site, and a rapid motion began. A perfume scented breeze filled the room, and simultaneously blew out the light of every candle. With a big, beautiful grin she said in a sly but commanding voice, ” With all the love in this room, I’ll conserve the little bit of air I got left in these lungs, and let the air on the outside do all the work”. The room bursts in to laughter and grins all because she did it! She blew out 100 candles, and she did it her way. This confirmed to everyone that she was very much still in control, and that control was not to be underestimated by anybody!
I don’t believe one could compare the wisdom of one hundred years to a mere one hundred days, but some could argue that Barack Obama has seen and experienced more in his one hundred days in office, than most will ever experience in a lifetime.
It seems like a year ago, crowds stood in the cold inside and outside different gates, malls, and subway tunnel; just to experience the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. The American people knew that there were many problems that needed to be solved, but for those precious moments, those problems halted their voices long enough to hear that sacred oath be taken at the Capitol. Those precious moments, would be the last moments Barack Obama would be void of responsibility for the most powerful country on the planet. Within a moment, meetings were scheduled, and this man went right to work…and he continues to work on his own terms! With strict direction to “Cut what doesn’t work”, his cabinet members left that meeting knowing that President Obama has a mission, and he intends on seeing this mission through to the end.
On April 8th, President Obama established a White House Office of Healthcare Reform that provides leadership to the executive branch in establishing policies, priorities, and objectives for the Federal Government’s comprehensive effort to improve access to health care, the quality of such care, and the sustainability of the health care system. Although overshadowed by the budget, Obama’s attention to the need of upgrade within our healthcare system is imperative. Healthcare in the United States ranks last in the quality of health care among developed countries, with 16% of the population (in 2006) without health insurance. The argument among pundits, with heavy influence from the economy, is whether a public healthcare system would add to our national debt now, and take away from America’s financial independence in the future, or be a step towards sound investment in America’s future that protects employers and current/future employees. Nonetheless, within his first 100 days, Obama has begun to address this issue.
On February 6th, President Obama created the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. As read in the document, this Advisory Board is to:
(a) solicit information and ideas from across the country and from all sectors of our economy about the functioning of the economy, the condition of the financial and banking system, and the prosperity of the American people and of American industry that can serve to inform the decisionmaking of the President, and, with respect to matters deemed appropriate by the President, provide information and recommendations to any other agency with responsibilities related to the economy or financial markets or to the National Economic Council;
(b) report directly to the President on the design, implementation, and evaluation of policies to promote the growth of the American economy, establish a stable and sound financial and banking system, create jobs, and improve the long-term prosperity of the American people; and
(c) provide analysis and information with respect to the operation, regulation, and healthy functioning of the economy and of the financial and banking system. As deemed appropriate by the President, this analysis and information shall be provided to the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, to any other agency with responsibilities related to the economy or financial markets, or to the National Economic Council.
This action shows that President Obama is not following the lead of his predecessors by waiting for the financial system to fix its self, or by creating programs that might hinder the sustainability of a future government. President Obama has had 100 days of a fun fact finding mission, showing that even after the recession ends, the pain is likely to persist and the economy could continue to struggle as it strives to find a firm footing. Fingers have been pointed on both sides of the isle, with the American public convinced that not only did someone fall asleep at the wheel, but there was no one in the car to nudge and wake the driver. At this time not many are optimistic about seeing a quick turnaround in conditions. As late as this week, stress tests were given to United States banks, and with the results being released in May, most sectors central to economic growth is still found languishing.
What I have mentioned so far is only TWO Presidential Actions, leaving out countless other bills signed into law that positively affect and protect; Equal Pay in the Workplace for women as well as the health and well being of children.
The mustard of a President isn’t tested within his/her first 100 days in office, but its true test lies in posterity. The glimpse we have seen within these few months will not accurately or adequately discern the lasting imprint his actions, while in office, will have upon the framework and fabric of this nation.
When asked the secret to a long happy life, Ida simply looked around the room and stated, “The secret I have learned was never up to me, but was put inside of me, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Perhaps in regards to the office of president and what we the people can hope the office holder would like to attain while serving, might just be summed up by a man who only spent 45 days there.
He simply stated, “Sir, I wish to understand the true principles of the Government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more.”
- William Henry Harrison 9th President of the United States of America