WASHINGTON, April 29 (UPI) -- A visit to Missouri and a prime time news conference were two ways President Barack Obama planned to mark his first 100 days in office.
Obama's approval ratings remain high in his young presidency, several recent polls indicate.
Among the 19 executive orders and 12 laws that bear his signature, Obama expanded a popular federally funded, state-run children's insurance program and enacted pay equity changes, CNN reported Wednesday. Not to mention the signature legislation so far -- the $787 billion economic stimulus package.
"The American people are taking a measure of the president," a White House aide told CNN, "and they are saying 'We are happy with the decision we made'" in November.
"The president has accomplished a lot," but he also laid the foundation for the next 100 days."
Obama's next hundred days include some major road bumps -- fashioning the 2010 budget, healthcare reform and an energy plan designed to help wean the United States from foreign oil.
On the foreign front, the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan remain wild cards and his diplomatic overtures to Cuba and Iran could succeed significantly or fail miserably. The housing, stock and financial markets are shaky, and the U.S. auto industry is preparing itself for a major overhaul, with the possibility of at least one of the Big Three automakers filing for bankruptcy.
Obama got a lift Tuesday when Sen. Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican and one of only three Republicans in Congress to vote for the stimulus bill, announced his switch to the Democratic Party, moving Senate Democrats to within one vote of a filibuster-proof majority of 60.