- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 29, 2009

President Obama presented his own report card marking his first 100 days as president to a town hall meeting in Missouri Wednesday, saying he had used his early days to “clear away the wreckage” and lay the groundwork for future reforms.

Warning as he often has of tough days ahead, Mr. Obama evoked themes from his presidential campaign and inaugural speech and said the American people can come together to “reclaim” their future.

“I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made, but I’m not satisfied,” Mr. Obama said. “I am confident with the future but I’m not content with the present.”

He said U.S. workers are still facing high unemployment and health care remains too costly.

TWT RELATED STORY: President’s agenda as agent of change

Click here to download a PDF of Wednesday’s special section “Obama: The First 100 Days.”

He applauded the early results of his $787 billion economic stimulus plan, which included a tax cut for most families, and touted his administration’s plan helping people refinance mortgages to save money.

“We can see the light on the horizon but we’ve got a long journey ahead. … A lot of tough choices and hard decisions and hard work are ahead of us,” he said.

Mr. Obama, hosting the gathering at a high school in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold, Mo., mocked the media cycle and reminded voters he is not a creation of Washington.

He said “it’s not like anybody should be surprised” with his actions since his Jan. 20 inauguration.

“There’s no mystery to what we’ve done,” he said. “The policies we’ve proposed were plans we talked about for two years in places like this all across the country with ordinary Americans. The changes we’ve made are the changes we’ve promised. … We are doing what we said we’d do.”

Mr. Obama also took questions during the town hall before he faces the Washington press corps Wednesday night for his third official White House news conference.

While standing in the one competitive battleground state that went narrowly for his Republican rival in November, Mr. Obama said he likes getting out of Washington to hear from everyday people.

“You’re who I’m working for every day in the White House,” he said. “I don’t want to let you down.”

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