One Year Later: President Obama Since Inauguration

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WASHINGTON -- Wednesday marked the one year anniversary of President Obama's inauguration.

On January 20, 2009, he promised hope and change for America and that brought on a very busy year.

First up-- the economy. Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill into law in February.

"After all the debate, this legislation can be summed up in one word: jobs," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

But, can it?

The unemployment rate in Jan. 2009 was 7.7 percent. Now, it's 10 percent. There were also bank bailouts, auto bailouts, a plan to help troubled homeowners, new rules for credit cards and the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

Next up-- health care. Legislation passed the House and the Senate, but still has a ways to go.

The president faces strong Republican opposition on reform, the way he wants it.

"There has been no attempt, not one attempt by the administration or the Democrats in Congress to actually sit down and work with us," Rep. John Boehner claimed.

On the warfront, President Obama promised to draw down troops in Iraq and he has, by about 40,000. He's more than doubled the troops in Afghanistan as part of a new strategy.

"These additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces," he said.

On the homefront, it was a worrisome first year. The president comforted soldiers in Texas after 13 people were gunned down at Fort Hood and accepted responsibility for security failures that almost led to disaster on Christmas Day.

"Ultimately the buck stops with me," he said.

The order to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay within a year won't happen just yet. There was also the controversial decision to bring alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to trial in New York City.

"This is one of the worst decisions a president has ever made," Rep. Peter King of New York charged.

Obama made history again with another decision-- nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the past year, Obama visited 29 states, 21 foreign countries --the most ever by a president in his first year, held 12 formal news conferences, picked up a Nobel Peace Prize, got a swine flu shot and a puppy, held a "beer summit," hosted his first state dinner-- which included a couple of uninvited guests and famously swatted a fly during an interview.

Politically, some say he's seen better days. Obama also campaigned for three Democrats who lost races and one who won.

"The country's in a sour mood and part of the promise of Barack Obama was supposed to be 'I can be inspirational, I can uplift the country, I can send us to a better day with the promise of change,'" Mark Helperin of Time magazine said. "I think his problem is the solutions are what ails him right now politically."

The White House's response-- one year isn't enough.

"Change is never easy, change takes time, that change has to go through Congress," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

It looks like the Commander in Chief has his work cut out for him for 2010.

*Originally published Janurary 21, 2010.

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