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Passing Judgment

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There is also this flash of Klein candor: "The idea that a president can be assessed in a mere 100 days is a journalistic conceit."

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Lotta conceited people out there, apparently.

At Politico, Jim VandeHei and John Harris cast a jaundiced eye on the pool, then dive right in:

"The '100 days' concept has had mythical status since the days of the New Deal, when Franklin D. Roosevelt made history with a blizzard of bold federal actions. And reporters have been addicted to stories around this milestone in every administration since.

"White House senior adviser David Axelrod calls the 100th day a 'Hallmark holiday,' an essentially artificial event with no genuine significance. But he and his colleagues also know the reality: The early-verdict stories are going to be written, creating both a challenge and opportunity for the new president.

"So senior White House aides are playing the game with relish, doling out made-to-order anecdotes and what-it-means analytical insights to help reporters write their 100 days pieces. You can already see the results in a spate of stories that -- thanks to competitive pressures -- editors are deciding to publish before the actual 100th day.

"Full disclosure: POLITICO plunged in with our furrowed brow appraisal of Obama's first 100 days, which will be published on Friday in a special glossy 100 Days magazine."

End of commercial message.

Howard Fineman writes on MSNBC about "The Mr. Cool Presidency":

"Of all the folks I've covered, he is the most comfortable in his own skin and with his on-stage role as a leader. This was true at the beginning of his campaign, and remains a reality through the first months of his presidency . . .

"Obama seems to live -- to have been born to live -- calmly and confidently on a global stage with the hottest lights and biggest audience."

Meanwhile, a USA Today poll finds that "56% say he has done an 'excellent' or 'good' job as president vs. 20% who rate him as 'poor' or 'terrible.' An additional 23% say he has done 'just OK.' "


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