One Hundred Day Mark for Obama brings mixed reviews

Views of the first 100 days of the Barack Obama administration depend largely on which side of the political fence the viewer sits.

U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo, said he has seen a renewal in optimism “for the first time in a couple of years, that we can pull ourselves out of our economic downturn. After the despair many constituents expressed to me during the last campaign, I am encouraged by the president’s bold action and share their hope for the future.”

State Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, meanwhile, said the partisan theme of the president has been taken upon a state level.

“‘We won. It’s our time to lead.’ They use same rhetoric here. It definitely trickles down into the leadership’s mindset in the Legislature,” Penry said. “There’s no sign that they’ve learned from Republican mistakes” when the GOP had the majority.

One definite change of the Obama administration was the departure of Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar to take over as secretary of the Interior Department.

Sen. Michael Bennet, who was appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter to complete Salazar’s term, said the president and Congress took “decisive action to help get our economy moving again, provide better access to health care for our children, and make the workplace fairer for women.”

The big difference she sees, said state Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, was “that we’re moving down the road of governmentizing private entities. I didn’t say socialism. It’s too overused. But when we started taking over corporations, I didn’t hear an exit strategy.”

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., called the first 100 days “only a snapshot in time,” but cited changes in international relations.

“We’ve also seen change in military efforts where the focus is now on extending diplomatic efforts and building alliances overseas,” Udall said “As a member of both military committees in the House and Senate, I’ve pushed to shift our military focus to Afghanistan, while putting the responsibility for Iraq’s future back in the hands of the Iraqi people.”

The next 100 days will be “just as critical” as the first, Salazar said.

“I know a good part of the country voted for change,” state Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, said. “Now we are looking for results” in terms of stabilizing banks and turning around increases in the unemployment rate. “We’ll have to see what goes on in the next 100 days.”


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