The NY Times today has an op-ed piece comparing the first year of the presidencies that preceded O. I thought that this quote about Bush II's first year might be appropriate back several administrations:
As with many presidents, the rhetoric of campaigning collided with the hard reality of governing.
For this administration:
1) Universal health insurance/care sounds like a good idea; but Congress gets it all involved with a lot of sell-out compromises to special interests.
2) Sounds easy to say that Gitmo should be closed down; but even this administration doesn't know where to put those detainees when it becomes obvious that there is good reason to believe they are too dangerous to just let them go.
3) Protecting the earth from climate changes (real or imagined) sounds noble; but could wreak havoc on already-fragile economic situations here and abroad.
4) Inviting enemies to reconciliation sounds really good, but what is "Plan B" when the response is more recalcitrance?
It becomes obvious that, at some point, campaign rhetoric must be replaced with pragmatism. The second year will, perhaps, give a better indication of whether this administration is capable of doing that. In many ways, that seems to be what voters expected in choosing O ... that he would approach problems with a pragmatic perspective, rather than a partisan one.