Leonard Jacobs of the CFR on Fox’s “Obama Change Index,” Week Ending Sept. 30


FoxNews LogoI’m continuing to participate in a weekly written analysis of President Obama’s performance called the Obama Change Index.

Typically, I weigh in on four areas of discussion: Law and Justice, Dealing with Congress, Social Issues and Foreign/Military Affairs. A Democrat, a Republican and an Independent participate, grading the President numerically.

Story continues below.

These numbers are averaged – thus, the “index.”

It’s not scientific, but it is pretty interesting.

For the period ended September 30, you can click on the link above to see what I wrote. Or you can just read the text below:

The new guidelines for creating state secrets is the appropriate antidote to the extralegal abuses of the Bush years. But has Attorney General Eric Holder gone too far, as the GOP claims, in the other direction? It’s a weak argument. Raising the standards by which state secrets are determined is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Bravo.

Dear Senator Snowe,

Thanks for not much. If you, through your vote in Congress, derail meaningful healthcare reform, history will remember you most unkindly. True, my own party has issues of its own keeping everyone in line. But you’re reveling in power accrued to you via the media, not through demonstrable philosophy. Meantime, the American people continue to suffer. You think there isn’t a fight coming your way from me-that I haven’t the stomach to strike back. You just keep thinking that.


With the arrest of Najibullah Zazi, now is the time to re-examine what priority de-nuclearizing the world should occupy on the President’s political agenda. Obama’s work at the U.N. last week was an excellent first step-and the Administration’s corner-pocket shot at Iran, which revealed a secret enrichment facility, should give him the added drive to keep the conversation going. We cannot allow the planet to be annhilated by nukes.

All presidents agonize before sending our military into action. Barack Obama is in receipt of General McCrystal’s Afghanistan report, and indeed he’s agonizing over whether ramp up our engagement there. For the GOP, which categorically defined the term “dereliction of duty” by sitting on its hands for years while President Bush fought the wrong war, the President isn’t moving quickly enough. It isn’t for the GOP’s sudden thirst for battlefield blood that the President should heed McCrystal’s recommendations-it’s for the nation’s safety and for the pursuit of Al Qaeda bequeathed to him. Still, he’s right to deliberate at his own pace, and right to agonize. Shame on the GOP for expecting anything otherwise.