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Obama's first year in office

With Nobel in hand, Obama needs to walk the talk

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It is tradition for pundits to produce a report card on a new president's first 100 days.

Only a few weeks into his presidency, President Obama attended one of those Washington dinners where the president is expected to make amusing, ideally self-deprecatory, remarks.

He is very good at this, and brought the house down when he said he would spend his second 100 days setting up a foundation to celebrate the achievements of his first 100 days.

Well, not withstanding the controversial Nobel Prize award, perhaps the president should wait for his second year in office to start tallying up the achievements of his first year.

He promised change if he were to become president, but few could have imagined the breathless pace he would set, starting with his first-day promise to close the Guantánamo Bay prison by year's end.

Unfortunately the president has discovered that bringing change to the ship of state is as cumbersome and slow as turning a giant ocean liner or oil tanker around.

Thus, although he seems to be everywhere, popping up daily on television – on five different networks in separate interviews in one day recently – his elegant phraseology and soaring words of hope leave behind a formidable list of problems to be solved.

At home, the economy is showing signs of upturn, but the jobless rate still teeters around 10 percent when the White House predicted it would flatten out at 7 percent. The housing market is awaiting a jump-start.

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