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04.28.09

Don't Let Me Down, Obama!

After endorsing the president in October, I think so far he’s living up to expectations.

It’s funny: When you endorse (to use a too-fancy term in my case) a presidential candidate, as I did Barack Obama in this space last October, he sort of becomes your responsibility. Back to that in a moment.

Meanwhile, I am delighted, overall, with our president’s first 100 days. I think he has struck a fine tone overseas (trans: the U.S. is less detested than it has been in recent years). He has exhibited the “first-class temperament” that persuaded me he was the man for the job. He is, as I called him last October, “one cool cat.” (The only time he seems to have gotten “furious” was yesterday, over that idiotic Air Force One photo-op-from-hell over Manhattan.)

On the minus side, I think his waffling over prosecuting Bush Justice Department officials for approving the enhanced interrogation methods (trans: “torture”) is detrimental and even dangerous. I thought Mr. Obama was initially on the right track with his “let’s move forward” approach (I applaud him, for among other things, retreating on renegotiating NAFTA) and hope that Attorney General Eric Holder, who did exactly the right thing in castigating the Ted Stevens prosecutors, will decide in the end against proceeding against the Bush-era officials.

Mr. Obama’s spending worries me greatly. If every president who comes into office doubles the national debt, then we are finished. We are burying future generations (trans: our children) under crushing debt.

As to the “your responsibility” bit, above: Whenever I run into a Republican these days, they grab me by the lapels and say, only partially teasingly, “So, are you happy about your guy?”

“Well,” I say, “this spending does worry me, but—”

At this they snort and say, “You’re going to rue the day.”

So when our economy collapses after the deficit is doubled, it will be—my bad!

Otherwise, I am with you, Mr. President. Keep up the good work.

Christopher Buckley’s books include Supreme Courtship, The White House Mess, Thank You for Smoking, Little Green Men, and Florence of Arabia. He was chief speechwriter for Vice President George H.W. Bush, and is editor-at-large of ForbesLife magazine. His new book is Losing Mum and Pup, a memoir.

Xtra Insight: Read other takes on the first 100 days from The Daily Beast's all-star team of analysts.