Because you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, we
now have one year of the Obama presidency by which to judge the
accuracy of our impressions of the man and his promises. The media are
doing all sorts of analyses, how the ‘hope and change’ slogan has
turned out with regard to the economy, domestic and foreign policy,
health care reform and the political climate in general.

USAToday did this assessment based on Obama’s inauguration address, which is an objective reference point.

“One year ago, Barack Obama came into office with soaring approval
ratings as the nation struggled with two difficult wars and a deepening
recession. Americans, it seemed, put great stock in their new leader.

“That was then.

“One year later, the president’s approval ratings have plummeted to
50%, down from 64% shortly after he took office, according to the
latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

“Obama also has had trouble fulfilling some top campaign promises,
such as closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The public is
split over a key goal: passing health care legislation. Efforts at the
bipartisanship he promised have withered.”

Actually, they’ve been all but non-existent.

In Obama’s inauguration speech, he said:

Those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to
account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits and do our business in the
light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between
a people and their government
.”

USAToday said:

“As a candidate, Obama pledged to have the most open and accessible
administration in history…Press secretary Robert Gibbs, however, has
been asked in recent weeks why Obama won’t fulfill a campaign promise
to allow health care talks to be aired by C-SPAN. He hasn’t responded.”

The lack of bi-partisanshhip and lack of transparency are both troubling.

So is his broken promise – to the Pope in July at the Vatican, and
the American people in September before a joint session of Congress –
to try to reduce the number of abortions, and to keep federal funding
of abortion out of his health care reform.

In fact, the National Journal did a “Promise Audit” on the progress of his campaign promises. Part of that tracked his abortion record.

The writer says: “President Obama’s reputation as an advocate for
abortion rights will likely rest on health care reform,” and notes that
his presidency “has not been without victories for abortion-rights
advocates.”

“It notes how Obama overturned the Mexico City Policy just days
after taking over the White House to force taxpayers to fund groups
that perform and promote abortions overseas.

“In addition, Obama proposed to reduce funding for abstinence-only
sex education programs and his budget called for overturning the ban on
abortion funding with government money in the District of Columbia.”

When he took the oath of office, it was with the Bible that belonged
to President Abraham Lincoln, who Obama highly admires. If only he
understood his mandate to protect liberty and justice for all…nearly as
well.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....