Barack Obama celebrates the hundredth day of his Presidency today. Liberals say he’s doing a bang up-job. Conservatives contend it’s been 100 days of absolute horror.
The sharp difference in opinion illustrates one of Obama’s most defining characteristics thus far: partisanship. Obama’s approval rating (63%) are two points under the 100-day average for the past ten presidents. Yet 87% of Democrats approve of him while only 37% Republicans do.
“Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades,” reported the Pew Research Center, noting that growing partisanship has been a trend in American politics over the past few decades.
But Obama is ahead of his predecessors. Former President George W. Bush, for example, was nearly ten percentage points less polarizing than Obama at this point in his Presidency.
That didn’t stop Democrats and liberal media from pouring on the praise, with David Broder calling Obama’s first 100 days “a bravura opening.”
“If Obama's history-making campaign offered hope, the nation's first black president has delivered audacity; his vision of an activist government has been so vast, Washington now guarantees not only savings accounts but brakes on a Buick,” wrote Faye Fiore and Mark Z. Barabak in the Los Angeles Times.
Compare that with the sentiments of Rep. Mike Pence, chair of the Republican Study Committee:
“The reality is that we have seen some of the most partisan, one-sided, lopsided legislation in my short tenure in the Congress of the United States,” said Pence. “In many ways it is altogether fitting that this President would mark his first 100 days by signing the most fiscally irresponsible budget in American history into law.”