November 21st, 2008
04:00 PM ET

Expectations too high for Obama?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/21/art.obama.signs.gi.jpg caption="Are expectations too high for Obama?"]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are high hopes for big change when Barack Obama becomes President of the United States in about two months. The expectations for this man are approaching euphoria and that could be setting the stage for a big disappointment. We've got big problems in this country and no one is going to wave a magic wand and fix them in a matter of weeks or months. It's likely going to take several years.

Some of the president-elect's advisers want to make sure Americans realize this and they're speaking out. One of Obama's top economic advisers Robert Reich, who was Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, says Obama isn't going to solve the country's economic problems in his first 100 days in office. He told Chicago's CBS2: "This might be a long haul...2009 is going to be a very hard year."

Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod is also cautioning the overly-optimistic. He says: "We are inheriting an array of problems unlike any [a] president has faced, maybe since Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. It's not going to be easy, not going to be quick."

In other words, great hopes and expectations are going to have to be accompanied by patience.

Here’s my question to you: Are expectations too high for Barack Obama’s presidency?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lynn from Boise, Idaho writes:
I don't think our expectations are too high. We all know how smart he is and that he is in for some great challenges. Those of us who supported him understand he can't save the world single-handedly overnight. Although, I do expect complaining from the other side that he isn't living up to what he has promised if there isn't an immediate turn-around.

Aaron from Champaign, Illinois writes:
Perhaps, but at least he is aware of it. In every speech Mr. Obama has given since he first earned the Democratic nomination for the presidency, he has openly stated that there will be difficulty ahead, that setbacks will occur, and that solutions will not always be crystal clear.

Brian from Fort Mill, South Carolina writes:
That's a really tough question. On the one hand, we're expecting him to save us from the economic abyss, as if he could part the Red Sea. On the other hand, he beat both Hillary and Bill, and then went on to get them to support him in the general election, which resulted in a landslide win. If he performs one more miracle, then he will be eligible for sainthood.

Jason from Florida writes:
Maybe they're a bit high, but if we set the bar low, we're sure to reach it. Let's aim high, work hard, and not judge the results too quickly.

Dave from Granville, Ohio writes:
How could they be? In his own words, he came from Krypton to be "The One" and save planet Earth from all its perils.

Peter writes:
No, we know how much Bush messed things up. We will be realistic. We will be patient. We will work with him. We are not asking what he can do for us. We are asking him what we can do for this country.

Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Annie Florida

    No because he has shown he is compiling a well oiled team, he is using his intelligence, power, charisma and patience to go forward as best as he can. Certainly a refreshing change !!!!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  2. carson

    Yes jack, we expect the next four years will not be no longer the same as the last 8 disaster years. that's what we all call hope, change..

    November 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  3. Lois, Ont., Canada

    Absolutely!!! Everyone has him on a 'pedestol' He could 'topple' in the next four years. I sure hope not!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:15 pm |
  4. Nicholas from Brockport

    When I heard a friend of mine try to blame the sudden sink in the stock market (from 8500 to 7500) on Obama, I knew it was because of ridiculously high expectations. He has been busy picking staff members at a record pace and still even the media wants to know yet another (the Treasury). Neither Obama nor his staff can do anything for weeks, so let Bush's term expire before we pass any kind of rational judgement on Obama.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  5. Daniel Ambrose

    I think not. President-elect Obama knows the challenges he faces and the responsibilities comes with obligation to the American people. Although I must admit, he has his plate full and I am sure he is spending this time to prioritize pressing issues.

    Atlanta, GA

    November 21, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  6. Rose in Az

    No, the voters put him in office because of the promises he made, he needs to keep them. How many times has he said he wants to change the way Washington works and yet he has done nothing but bring in Washington insiders, where is the change????
    That will be the question over the next few years.
    He is the one that set his standards, now he has to live with them.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  7. karen in mn.

    That's a tough question. I do have alot of faith in Pres-elect Obama and feel more confident with him as President than any other candidate. However between the mess of the last 8 years and the "scorched earth policy" we are witnessing with Bush and his executive orders and the current administrations continued mishandling of our economic problems, things are going to get worse until Jan.20. I hope Americans have a good memory and don't forget who got us into this mess, and lots of patience and fortitude because it's going to take alot of pain and sacrifice on everyone's part until we start turning our country around.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  8. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    Perhaps the expectations might be too high, but I guarantee you that Obama will certainly be better than what we have now.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  9. Don (Ottawa)

    Expections appear to higher for this president than in previous elections. However, the number and type of crises that he will have to confront are more serious than what could be considered normal. Americans want to be assured that he can get us out of this mess as we will only have one kick at the can.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  10. Joe


    November 21, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  11. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    I don't know if they are too high or not. If he shows that he is trying to make things better and turn our country around and only succeds in parts of his plans then I will consider him a success. People have to realize how close to disaster we are, any improvement will help. As to his high aspirations for our nation, that takes me back to the early and middle parts of the 20th century when people thought bigger than now and were not afraid to risk failure if the rewards were great enough. It is better to reach for the stars and fail than to stay stuck in the mud and not move for fear of failure.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  12. Al, Iowa City, IA

    My expectations were lowered dramatically right from the start with Obama's selection of Emanuel as his chief of staff. How can we expect real change in Middle-east policy with an Isareli citizen controlling access to our president? Our war with the Islamic world will not end until the US forces Israel out of Palestine.

    Iowa City

    November 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  13. Chad N., Fresno California

    No, expectations are not too high for President Elect Obama. Remember, he set those expectations himself based upon how he campaigned and what he said and promised during that campaign. I only have one expectation of Obama, to follow through and do those things he said he would do in order to get elected. If thats too high of expectations, to hold a person accountable for the promises they have made, then there is no expectation at all that would be worth holding. Its only one after all.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  14. Frank from Peterborough

    I don't think the expectations are too high for Obama provided they are tempered with the realization it's all going to take a lengthy period of time.

    Remember it took the Bush gang 8 years to get to this point so it should only be reasonable to assume it will take almost as long to reverse these trends.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  15. Tony in Michigan

    Probably, but we expect too little from our politicians in general. As long as Obama gives us his best effort in an honest way everything will be OK.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  16. Larry in Florida

    More then likely, yes. I don't think it will be from lack of effort but it is such a mess. Where does he start? So much to get done and so little money. First and formost he needs to get the right people to help him find the cure for our ailing economy. I think he's doing that. Patience has to be a furtue when it comes time for him to get to work. All won't be well over night.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  17. Myra Becnel

    Yes! We gave Bush eight years to destroy this country so why would anyone believe that Obama can repair it in a year or perhaps, even four years. I do believe he can get us on the right track but we certainly have to give him the time and support to do so. When we see progress over the next four years we had better make sure we secure the following four!

    Kaneohe Hawaii

    November 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  18. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Viktor Frankl the noted 20th century psychologist describing expectation while in a Nazi concentration camp summed it up best when he stated:

    "What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us."

    Fate can only be pursued in our own hands, not in the hands of a single man or woman.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  19. Ray Kinserlow

    Probably. Obama with the highest approval ratings since Reagan is viewed as a savior that will fix everything wrong with this country. Folks, he is only a human being and not a magician.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    November 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  20. Annie, Atlanta

    Considering that what Bush & Co. broke may not be easy to fix, probably. But I'll still give him an A+ for having the nerve to try.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  21. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    Yes in some areas, no in others. His intention to close Guantanamo, put the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq on a timetable, appoint Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State will certainly restore our respected leadership role on the global stage. The economy is a trickier issue. Here he will have to restore confidence and get consumers spending and banks lending again. This will be a harder sell. A key ingredient will be his use of the "bully pulpit". If he can't accomplish that I doubt anyone else could have.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  22. Anthony Smith

    After Bush, all we need is someone who can breathe and finished high school.

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    November 21, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  23. Suzanne Jupiter, FL

    Americans are so desperate for "real" leadership in this country, any thing that Obama does will be perceived by most of us as surpassing expectations. Thank God our long national nightmare is coming to an end!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  24. Jenny Rome Ga

    Probably. Atleast he is going totry and get a good start on solving the problems. HE is doing the right thing focusing on the economy because until that is fixedm there is little else that can be done.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  25. Shirley -AK OHIO

    I do not think so. I do not think that the American people are expecting Obama to fix everything because we know that is impossible, we were just hungry for change and Obama has a lot of good ideas that just make sense. If we can see a little change, I think we will be okay with that and we'll give him another four more years to give us a little more change.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  26. Colleen, Charlotte, NC

    We can only go up from here.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  27. Jim, from Las Vegas

    It's not that expectations for Obama are too high, but rather that there are too many from diverse, and contradictory, groups. Obama had something-for-everyone in his campaign. Now we get to see what his true agenda is.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  28. John in Rohnert Park

    Well expectations and hopes are indeed high. However, I think most people realize the problems are enormous and it's going to take a long time to get out of most of them so we need to afford him a much longer period before we start commenting on his abilities. I'd rather he take his time and get things "RIGHT" rather than rush to do things "RIGHT AWAY". Unlike the current bozo who rushed us into the wrong war.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  29. Tony from Torrington

    You must be kidding. The only reason expectations are high is because Obama SET THEM HIGH. So did the press. Obama is the answer to all the world’s problems. It didn’t take long for the excuses to start. What’s next? Health care for everyone will be too expensive….sorry. The economy is in trouble so I will have to raise taxes on EVERYONE….sorry. I spoke to the Generals, and we have to stay in Iraq…..sorry. Let’s see how many excuses he makes before he is sworn in, and after he is sworn in.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  30. Lisa in Ga

    Jack, people are critizing Obama for bringing in people that have already been in Washington, from what I see he is picking the best and the brightest... people are so used to the incompetency from the past until they cannot see beyond that. The people Obama is picking have a brain unlike the last administration.. give the new administration a chance before bashing them for the failures that continue to happen under the Bush Administration!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  31. John

    Jack: Yes a million times yes. The Obama Administration will probably spend the first 2 years cleaning up the disasterous economy Bush has left behind. This will probably only allow him to focus on health coverage for the 47 million people not covered. The Iraq War will come to an end due to the cost, and more focus on Afghanistan.
    The second four years can focus on education, solvency for social security, green energy jobs, reform for medicare, and several other concerns mentioned in the campaign.


    November 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  32. Vinnie Vino


    Not at all, he won the Presidency on a message of hope and change that you can believe in. This is the reason for the country's high expectations of Preident-Elect Barack Obama. It's time for him to deliver on his campaign promises.

    C.I., New York

    November 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  33. cy gardner

    Expectations are high because the problems are so serious. We finally were forced to wake up and see what the Republicans and Bush did to our country, our economy, our standing in the world. Now we're scared and we want someone to make it go away. This is not expectation, this is desperation. cy gardner arlington va

    November 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  34. Steve Peach - Indiana

    They are high Jack, but if he accomplishes half of what is expected of him he'll be twice the President George Bush was!!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  35. Nuria

    His expectations are so high because of the last miserable 8 years. I think I heard him say in one speech something to the effect "We can't possibly mess it up more than the last 8 years"

    Yeah, he can, but I doubt it.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  36. Joe in DE

    My expectations are not too high. He seems to be moving away from some of the stronger points that he pushed in campaign.

    He need a fast start or he isn't going anywhere. To do this, the more controversial issues must be defered – they will tie Congress in Knots.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  37. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    I don't think they are too high - but I do think people who expect him to turn everything around in a month, or even 6 months, are unrealistic. The wheels of government turn slowly, regardless of who is at the helm. Nobody [nobody in human skin, anyway] can undo the damages of the last 8 years quickly. I just hope people give him time and don't attack after the first 90 days when everything hasn't magically turned around.

    I also think people expect Obama and the government to do it by themselves - when we must ALL participate at whatever level is available to us. Make changes in our own lives and attitudes, and those changes will affect your family, friends and community first. Then as more people change larger groups and areas will be changed exponentially. Yeah, I know - that sounds a bit Eugene wacko woo-woo - but I happen to believe it works.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  38. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    People just need to remember the condition of America right now. Obama is taking over at a time when nothing seems to be working. It would not be fair to expect him to fix everything really quick. Having said that a lot of promises were made and a lot of us trust in him and put all our eggs in his basket, so yes we want some good results. No miracles just his very best.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  39. Audrey Fryer

    They may be too high, however, I think he's the man for that challenge.


    November 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  40. David, Tampa, Fl

    Jack. Like an old Frank Sinatra song I have "HIgh Hopes". I also have no expectations; I have a wait and see attitude. I'm willing to give the new kids on the block all the rope they need to do something good with or to hang themselves by.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  41. Cori from Colorado

    High expectations? Probably. However, I think we're going to see some positive changes no matter what happens in the next 4 years. Obama's just the person the world has been waiting for.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  42. DAVID, Deltona, FL

    Expectations are just right, I agree with most on here he has to live up to them. I just don't understand why some people are blaming Obama for hiring Washington Insiders that worked during the Clinton admin, a time when the economy was rolling, what a terrible idea. I am sure Obam will hire Republicans for his cabinet maybe that will get some respect from the critics.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  43. Karl from SF, CA

    In some cases, I guess. I think many expect a magic wand on January 20th to clean up government. Much of what needs to be changed is the results of the greed, corruption and incompetence of the Bush years and can be undone with executive orders, but the other part is the system itself that has to change.

    The flap over his choices of Clinton and other experienced folks is ridiculous. He has to have people that know the old system and it’s loopholes that those that don’t want to change will use to fight the changes. We’ve had eight years of people running departments they had no clue about and it shows.

    President Obama will make the changes he promises but it will take time.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  44. NANCY M.- Colorado

    Let's just let this remarkable president elect do his job. He sure doesn't need all this "expectation" nonsense. Let him make his appointments and get on with the business of this country. Why make it so difficult? Please!!!!!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  45. Jenna Wade

    Are expectations too high for Barack Obama’s presidency?

    No. I have faith that he can do it.

    However I think that we need to adjust our expectations with regards to time. It took GW Bush 8 years to get us into this mess, Obama can't get us out of it in the first 100 days.

    Obama needs time and we need to be patient.

    Roseville CA

    November 21, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  46. Karen - Nashville

    No. Remember, a lot of Republicans in particular think he will be a total flop, so maybe the "average" expectation isn't in the stratosphere. I think he'll be a great president, but we will need to be patient.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  47. Matt in ABQ

    No, but people will need to realize that nobody, Obama included, can fix everything overnight, much less in just 1 term.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  48. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I hope Americans don't expect the impossible. It took eight years
    to get us into this mess and improvement will not happen overnight.
    So much depends on all politicians working together. If they do
    not than we are sunk. The postering, fingerpointing and ego
    trips have to stop and the survival of our country put first.
    Bipartisanship has to be a thing of the past.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  49. Ken in Seattle

    Maybe, but our high expectations are well placed.The Bush Administration is leaving this country with horrendous problems. We are all, Democrats and Republicans alike, hoping and praying that Obama will find a way to effectively deal with these problems. Because Obama is smart and forward thinking and is confident enough to listen to very smart people there is the belief and expectation that he can lead us out of all the messes Bush is leaving behind. High expectations give us hope. But Obama has been very straightforward about how difficult the road is going to be.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  50. Honest John in Vermont

    Obama has inherited a complete mess which worsens day by day. Expectations are too high to undo the years of the Bush incompetence. Although just a change of attitude and direction will be a breath of fresh air. It will take years to untangle this mess America is now in.

    Tradition aside, Obama should be at the helm now–this is no time for America to have a lame duck as president.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  51. Happy in Arizona

    No they are not. I'd like to see a change in this interim whereby both the current President and president-elect begin working together in the White House. This waiting around for the current admin to destroy this country even further is ridiculous. The sooner Bush/Chaney get out the better.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  52. Curt W

    If expectations are too high, he has noone to blame but himself. All of the money that flowed into his campaign, people expect a return on their investment. All of the inspiring rhetoric, people expect the truth in the campaign promises. And he made a lot of promises. People have hope, but confidence is another story. Since his election the stock market continues to decline at 900 points a week. Maybe the expectations are negative and correct.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  53. Billy G in Las Vegas

    I'm very excited about Barack Obama becoming our President two months from now BUT I just don't see how he can overcome three decades of Republican "Trickle Down" and "Regulations? WE Don't Need No STINKING Regulations". they have put us in a real deep hole and it's going to take a long time to fill it in esp when he is going to have every right wing radio yacker back biting and questoning every decision.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  54. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    If you shoot for the sky, you should at least make it to the treetops. Right now the tree tops would be great.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  55. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    High as they may be, it's nice for a change to be looking up to a presidency than looking down on the one we currently have.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  56. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    Expectations must be high because our problems are so great.

    Historic evaluations of presidential merit are like scores for bull riders. To get a high scores, the rider must ride a tough bull. Lincoln would not have been considered as great a president if the challenges facing him, and the nation, were not so profound.

    Obama will be riding the toughest bull in the last 80 years.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  57. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    No expectations can never be too high as that is what America needs. Hope and a vision are what is required to turn things around because without these you simply end up with the status quo.

    Time is the element of concern. Hopefully people give Obama's administration some slack by realizing as long as things start going in the right direction give it time to fully develop.

    The other thing necessary is to ignore the right wing wackos and their talk shows that spew lies and hate as their stock and trade.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  58. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack I will be quite honest with you, at this point if President Obama can keep us from going into a depression I would be happy. I am just glad we will have an intelligent person in the White House with intelligent people around him. Not like the current president who puts me a mind of a blind man walking around in a minefield.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  59. Michael watching from Canada


    If expectations are based solely on Barack's capability and leadership to do the job he has promised to do, the answer is absolutely YES. But, since today's society wants everything NOW, expectations will never be met. Barack was very astute to tell America that he may not get everything done during his first term, but "we will get there" if everyone is patient and cooperates.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  60. Engels (Philadelphia)

    We can't expect no one to clear this mess any time soon. My expectations, and I believe is the same for many Americans, is that Obama will not sink us deeper into the hole, but it will take some time for anyone who is in charge to take us out of this mess.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  61. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    That's a really tough question.

    On the one hand, we're expecting him to save us from the economic abyss, as if he could part the Red Sea.

    On the other hand, he beat both Hillary and Bill, and then went on to get them to support him in the General Election, which resulted in a landslide win.

    If he performs one more miracle, then he will be eligible for sainthood – and I don't think he has to die first!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  62. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    If he picks the best team to work with him and can get the House and Senate to also work with him on the issues at hand, I think he will do all that he promised. It may take a while, but the American people voted for him and trust he will do his very best to get things done.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  63. Aaron G

    Simply put, yes. Barack has a massive Honey-Do list, but ultimately he will surely be able to tackle at least one of his major initiatives; and one alone would be much more than any other president has done since Reagan.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  64. elyce

    The expectations were set by Obama. He was elected on his promises, why should we expect less,

    November 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  65. Mickie

    If they would give Obama half the chances they gave Bush/Cheney, I think he will surpass expectations. The problem is, they are already criticizing him for his selection of seasoned politicians, yet they would have criticized him more as inexperienced if he selected appointments of people who had no background. They criticize him for not speaking out on the economy, jobs, etc., etc. and he doesn't even have the power yet to overrule Bush/Cheney. Many people have already decided he will fail before he even gets sworn in. It's a shame they weren't more critical of Bush/Cheney 4 to 8 years ago. At least Pres. Elect Obama isn't an arrogant bully.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  66. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Obama cannot fulfill expectations unless he turns water into wine and feed a stadium full of people with a few loaves of bread. Although, after the last 8 years if Obama does anything it will seem as though he feed everyone and washed it down with wine.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  67. eddie in NC

    Yes and that's our human side, we have been hurting for a long time and people just want the bleeding to stop. We have to undrestand that we have been on this path for a long time and it's going to take time to fix it, the differense is puting plans in motion know that will cause changes in the future.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  68. karen-phoenix

    After January 20th he will hit the floor running! He has two years to get everything done and this country back on track!!! He will do it!!! Look at what he did with his entire life and he had sooo many strikes against him!!!! God Bless YOU Barack Obama and Joe Biden!!! Yes YOU Can!!!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  69. Bruce in OR

    I just hope and pray that Barack and his administration can get their heads around the problems that face us. I don't worry in the slightest that they want to do what's right for us, which alone is a breath of fresh air.

    I'm also glad to see him choosing to work with some appointees that have some hashmarks on their sleeves.....

    November 21, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  70. William Newbill

    Expectations are too high, because the wreckage of eight years of George Bush and Republican economics has resulted the worst global financial crisis since the great depression. Just to prevent a complete american meltdown, we'll run deficits in the 1 trillion dollar range the next two years.

    Obama will probably succeed in getting us out of Iraq, restoring the Constitution and the rule of law in America, health care reform, and more. But Americans will never again enjoy the standard of living they had before George W. Bush.

    William Dallas, TX

    November 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  71. me46

    Thanks to the Bush legacy, Obama will be expected to build a castle out of a pile of twigs while wading through a snake pit. Only a miracle will bring success.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  72. Richard McKinney, Texas

    I don't expect anything from Obama. Not with a congress full of morons running this country. The only thing that has changed is the leader of the pack. The other mongrel dogs are still pulling the sled. If that never changes neither does hope or expectation. Once a fool always a fool. Our government is saturated with fools and growing by the second.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  73. Charlie in New Mexico

    For those who expect a quick reversal, YES. Their expectations are too high. The issues have been decades in the making, and can not be remedied in weeks or months.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  74. odessa

    I want himt lead and succeed this country because we need to undo the damage that bush gave us..i want him to do well regardless of the right wing crew says or other political repugdants..barack will succeed for his presidency because he wants americans to feel secure about their jobs,healthcare, etc and their future..i have been watching his campaign for two years and he keeps saying "that this election isn't about him, it is about you." we need to have faith in him as well patience because change is coming on jan.20 and we all can say "good bye bush and go back home where you belong!"

    November 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  75. Jeff--Cape Coral, FL.

    Of course they're too high, and Obama brought it upon himself! If you make a broad spectrum of big promises, don't be surprised if people actually expect you to achieve some of them.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  76. Jackie in Dallas

    Yes and no, Jack.

    Yes, because some expect him to resolve major issues before he even takes office! We need to give him the opportunity to get his staff together, his Cabinet selected, the new Congress seated, and his Inauguration completed, then wait 60 days before we start criticizing and second-guessing him. Give him the opportunity to work with his team to prioritize how issues are to be considered, and where the main push should be - which most would say is the economy. But that has many sharp, pointy issues under the single umbrella! It is going to take multiple hands and multiple plans to deal with that octopus!

    No, because he has already done many things he promised: he's trying to be inclusive, is selecting top quality people who won't just be "yes" people, has inspired a renewed respect for the U.S. in the international scene, and is trying to remain cordial with even those who were calling him names and despise him. If only some of both his supporters and his opponents' supporters would do the same!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  77. Caroline, Hamer SC

    Yes,Yes and YES!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  78. Troy

    Oxford, MS

    While I didn't and don't support Obama I have to say yes to this question.
    He's expected to end 2 wars, deal with Iran, Bin Laden, and all other potentially dangerous nations and terrorist groups without getting us into another war. He supposed to get us all health care, fix the economy, restore our good image in the world, clean up all of Bush's messes, and somehow drastically improve the lives of all black people. There is no way that he can accomplish all of these things in 4 years and whichever one he doesn't do is the one that the republicans will talk about all during the next election.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  79. Larry in Texas

    No, it's not too high, Jack....

    He's surrounding his self with so many people that are supposedly
    going to take care of a lot of those programs & such.

    I've always heard this all my life : "A successful Business Person always surrounds theirselves with people that is smarter than they are"

    If you don't, then your Business is in trouble, Jack.
    Believe me, I know....( Been there, Done that)

    Larry Coury
    Houston Texas

    November 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  80. Robert W. Brooks


    The number of significant problems facing President – Elect Obama are the reason expectations are so high. The financial crisis, two wars, the federal deficit, the trade deficit, unemployment, recession and total lack of leadership demand the highest of expectations.

    Forest, VA

    November 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  81. Kel in Auburn, AL

    No. The expectations are right where they should be. The bush administration has done so much damage that simply not screwing up would be an improvement. Seriously.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  82. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    They're not too high, as this administration is capable of great things. The mistake is that the Bush administration has not been held accountable for its policy of destroying everything good in the world.

    Obama will live up to realistically high standards. Bush has no standards.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  83. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Obama is just a flesh and blood human being,he is not God.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  84. Joanne Buck

    I don't expect anything from Obama except high taxes and high spending until it falls in.
    Obama has no CEO experience, no executive experience, never been in the military, was in the Senate acitvely for 143 days, voted present 130 times in Illinois, has sponsored one legiitimate bill – heck I could of ran and said "everyone gets a tax cut and others (45% who don't pay taxes) will get a check and WON". However, I would not lie like a trooper. Chicago Machine always fabricates and the American people will find that out soon.
    Joanne B

    November 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  85. Irv Lilley

    Jack, Probably. But people have to realize he is only human . Give the man a chance. Noway can he be worst than our current president.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  86. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    No President, ever, has faced what he faces!! If he can truly put an end to patrisanship instead of results, then he can accomplish a lot!
    But there are a lot of grumpy old men in Congress. Especially on the Republican side. I'm hoping that our overpaid representatives in Washington will finally work together for the good of the country, because that's about all I have left right now is hope!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  87. Caroline, Hamer SC

    Give up their CEO’s pay sale their private jet’s, and make it on their own like the rest of us have to do. Make do with what you have not what you want. The fat cats have got all the money out why shouldn’t they bail them self’s out. I’m sure they have plenty money put away for a rainy day, unlike the rest of us.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  88. Richard Sternagel

    Expectations are being hyped by the news media! No One expects Obama to walk on water. But at least Americans can dream and hope again! That's a great thing itself! After 8 years of the most incompetent Administration in American history.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  89. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    With everything that is being dumped on him, yes. Expectations are enormous. He hasn't even been in office yet and they are already blaming him for the crap our cowboy president with the cowboy republicans have got us in. Anything that doesn't work, such as, republicans blocking any attempt to really correct and try to do something constructive, they will blame on Obama and the democrats as big failures. It has already started with the warning sent to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) that they will block anything they deem not in "thier" interests. I thought they were elected to represent "our" interests? He has one heavy load and I don't envy him at all.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  90. Marie Ontario

    The higher the hope and the greater the expectations the better the chances are for recovery. Obama is already surrounding himself with the best and the brightest so his administration will succeed and it's just a matter of when not if they will.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  91. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, I am afraid expectations are a bit too high because they have been beaten down so low by George W. Bush and his merry men.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  92. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, for some yes, but for Obama no. Obama will be the closest President to JFK that I've seen in my lifetime. He's an exceptionally brilliant indivdual with a calm demeanor. Obama's vision for America will lead us into the 21st century. We, as Americans, should support the new President-elect totally. Our children and grandchildren will one day thank us for supporting him.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  93. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    No, he can do it all, if he can successfully eliminate the corrupt small minded dinosaur's that currently are in control and are directly responsible for this nightmare. And this can start if anyone will publicize my idea for the auto industry in your first post. Getting heard is very difficult, and next to impossible Jack. Come on, be revolutionary. It is beyond ugly out here.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  94. louis in sc

    no , as long as he stay stay true to himself no matter what. he will continue to understand the links to the real fix. cant you see how he handles himself

    November 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  95. Gladys

    To whom much is given, much is expected.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  96. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    Expectations are always high with a new incoming president. After these last 8 years more so. He just has to remember that while wading through the swamp of alligators, his main objective was to drain the swamp.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  97. Sandra -- Oklahoma

    No, Jack, I don't believe our expectations are too high. But, I do believe we have to have patience. We didn't get in this mess overnight and we won't get out in a flash. Even God needed time to create the world. Obama is human and Bush and his buddies are going to make it as difficult as possible for him to clean up their mess. There should be a law passed preventing outgoing Presidents from making any big decisions after the election. They don't make them before hoping their party will win and they only make them after to mess things up.......But, they mess things up for the whole country, not just the new President.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  98. Sandi, Chicago

    No, the expectations are not too high, but, the Republican right-wingers that conveniently forget that it took Bush and his rich cronies 8 years to get us in this mess – will want Obama to get us out of this mess within the first 100 days! Obama can get America back on the right track, but we must be patient... something most Americans don't have.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  99. lynnej

    Media wise yes, people wise no. Some of us out here are realists. We are smart enough to know that it will take a miracle, time and common sense for the messes that Bush/Cheney made to be rectified, not to mention the ones that they just blatantly ignored like the cost of health care and the housing mess. Put it this way, President-Elect Obama is a drastic improvement over what we've been accustomed to.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  100. Hank, Indy

    Well, I didn't expect anything from Bush. I didn't get anything from Bush

    November 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  101. Charles Wegar

    Let them sell the jets, all added together make up the amount the are acking for, also let there be a new Executive Management team set inplace to implement the billouts

    November 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  102. carol in Oregon

    Yes, in the mess we are in there is no way he can act on all those promises. And if he has a big blowout celebration costing millions of dollars "Shame on Him and the Democrat Party". When economist are telling us not to spend money on the holidays using our savings and/or charge cards. I believe it is Obamas who should show us the way. He will/can be forgiven if things don't happen as quickly as hoped.
    OR send your money to Obama's Bash and feed your kids turnip souffle for Christmas.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  103. Donna Wisconsin

    As long as we the people who elected him remember that he did not say fixing these problems would be easy or fast. It took Bush 7 years to do this damage, so give Obama some time. He is the first President since FDR who is facing so many problems in his first term. Thank you Mr. Bush for ruining our great country. Of course we weren't too smart eirther–we RE-elected him.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  104. don in naples, florida

    the expectations have to be high on obama. they were so low for bush during the last 8 years.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  105. Chryssa

    Absolutely not. The administration of rock-bottom standards is on its way out, and the American people are ready to work with Obama to see the change we all cried for.

    Boise, ID

    November 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  106. Tina (Ft Worth)

    The other party wants him to fail so they can sweep in and be the saviors once more. He has a full plate of Bush failures he has to fix and I am confident he can achieve most of them.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  107. independent4ever los angeles, ca

    Yes, they are very high. I truly hope that people will realize that the prior administration has spent 8 years destroying this economy. It will not turn around overnight, even with a new administration.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  108. ANGIE IN PA

    I think alot may think when he gets in the White House Everything will be Great,But the fact is it took along time for the country to get in this mess it may not turn around in Obamas first term

    November 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  109. Lee from La Verne

    Amen to Nancy M from Co! Sanity and reason; thank you, Nancy.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  110. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Obama ran his candidacy on change and not on stupidity. I am confident that Obama will make changes but I am not stupid enough to expect instant results.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  111. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    When he began running, I believe he would have been able to accomplish much of his plan to reverse the Bush disaster. Now in just the last 2 years, this administration’s past sins and ineptitude has devolved into such a mess that Obama (or anyone, for that matter) will be lucky if he can just keep the fire under control.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  112. forbes Phoenix, AZ

    Yes Jack,
    I believe expectations are too high. I know he and his staff will do a better job than the current leadership. But he has been handed a country that is in its worst shape in history. This cannot be fixed overnight, possibly not in his first term. People need to be patient and trust that he will do his best.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  113. Allene --Leawood, Kansas

    Maybe. On the one hand, I'm heartened by the election of Obama and think that surely people realize our problems cannot be solved overnight. On the other hand, I'm discouraged that 34% still support the Republican Party and, I surmise, from the emails that are forwarded to me from my Republican relatives, are hoping that Obama will fail. However, sixty Democrats in the Senate are still a possibility and that would be a major breakthrough for the Obama administration–Indeed, for the whole country.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  114. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    For more than two years Obama has told us and re-told us that he is the best thing for America. OK. You won. Now prove it.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  115. Nicole A from Florida

    Jack ,I believe expectations should be high. Unlike the last eight years where people did not expect anything . Everyone needs to be realistic and take responsibility. This Country has been a free for all for eight years. We have allow people to lie to us, now we can't just dump all of the mess on OBama. We have to change. Lets start by admitting Washington is a reflection of us.....Aloof , uninvolved and selfish.... Sounds familiar.? Lets get behind President elect Obama and rally the base of America for America...he can not do this alone. Nor can we just sit back and enjoy the ride. Millions of us helped to get Obama elected. We defied the centuries of bounderies all working together. We have to reinvent the country and Yes WE CAN...
    By the way , Bush is still President and I don't know why the media and America is not holding him more responsible. He has ignored this country from Day 1.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  116. vern-t anaheim,ca

    yes they are ,it took bush 8 years to get us into the mess we're in and it will take obama some time to get us out but i think he will do it in less than 8 years.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  117. Kathy/GA

    Expectation too high? After the last eight years, the bar is set very low. All Barack need to do is show up, go to the right office and drink a cup of coffee without spilling it.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  118. John Wong

    The top executives should take an 80% cut in salary and other fringe benefits and the rest of the workers should take a 30% cut in salary and benefit across the board.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  119. John Wong

    No. But we need to give him time. The whole change may take two terms.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  120. Jay in Texas

    Mine sure aren't ! I voted for Nader/Gonzalez.
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  121. Tom, Bradenton

    Absolutely he is just replacing the Bush I appointees with Bill Clintons appointees. I can see a lot of change first we went back into the 1980's and now we are going forward into the 1990's. As for Obama himself he can not fix what has been neglected for the last 30 years.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  122. ingrid, new york

    expectations are high and therefore folks are going to have to be patient. he is already being criticized for bringing in a group of people who know how to work in washington and who are former clintonites but let us not forget jimmy carter- he brought in a whole bunch of new people, non-washington people and we all know what happened to jimmy. i hope we do not fall into magical thinking and think just because we elected him and we are feeling optimistic, that magically everything is going to be great on January 20th.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  123. Geri Britt

    Most assuredly.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    November 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  124. John in Arizona

    Actually, all the American public is asking for is change – an improvement from eight years of Bush. That's not exactly setting the bar too high.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  125. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    Yes, I think expectation for Obama are too high.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  126. Marjorie Lominy

    Yes Jack, so are the problems he will face.
    But I have confidence that this time we got it right. We elected the one we need at this time.. He will get us out that Bush mess....

    November 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  127. Roy - Chicago IL

    Just because the last President has almost RUINED everything by himself does not mean that a President alone can save everything. Expectations should be spread out across the entire incoming Congress that we will see arrive in January.
    My expectation is that they will drop the partisan antics and work together, and share the credit for, an economic bailout and a reworking of our image around the world which culminates in the end of the longest and most expensive war this country has ever fought.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  128. Chris, Centennial, Colorado

    The country is hungry for "high expectations." We have lived wthout them for too long. So, let's keep the expectations high and give the new administration reasonable time to show some success.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  129. Walter, Ontario

    No expectations aren't to high for Obama. He has the best economic advisors in the country. He says he's working closely with Paulson. All he has to do is implement his policies through Paulson. The way the economy is spiralling into the abyss he can't afford to wait till Jan.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  130. Jay in Atlanta

    Probably. But let's face it. We've been in the desert, leadership-wise, for a long time. A starving man will see a simple sandwich as a banquet. The country is bloody starving.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  131. garrick

    hi jack
    no hes smart and has surounded himself with the best in the world,this isnt Bush we didnt expect much from him and thats what we got,so now we haxe someone to look out for our best interest.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  132. Sid...Texas

    No, The expectations are not to high, but the expected results may be asking to much to soon. Give Pesident-elect Obama some time. He is already being rushed and blamed for failure to act, and he is not even president yet. Patience folks. Regardless of what he can or not accomplish, it will be far better than the past eight years.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  133. J. Scott in Alabama

    I, like many have high hopes for the next several years. That hope is tempered with the knowledge that this world is more dangerous than at any time before. The specter of terrorism and those nations which sponsor terrorism acquiring the knowledge to build a nuclear device and use it is indeed frightening. Moreover, I see water becoming as scarce as gasoline is now and the prospect of many environmental disasters. It's going to take every intelligent politician on this earth working together as well as the best minds to solve these problems. We must solve these problems in order to survive as a race of people.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  134. C from Georgia

    It depends on what your expectations are. Are we going to be able to hold up our heads and know that the rest of the world doesn't look at us as torturers? Yes. Can we start thinking of ourselves as on the road to recovery from an 8 year nightmare? Oh yes. Will we be able to see some hope for the future? YES WE CAN.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  135. Sarah

    Although expectations are high the majority of people are realistic about the timescales involved in fixing the problems. The most important 'expectations' are 1) how we expect him to approach the problems we face and 2) keeping the public informed of where we are and what he is doing to take us to where we need to be. The weekly online address will be vital in this role and I think it will be watched by millions every week.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  136. Joe St Louis, MO

    Expectations are high due to the low our current President has us in. So just getting a few things done and not lower the status of the United States on the global stage will be fine by me.


    St Louis,MO

    November 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  137. Robert Prescott

    I don't know if expectations are too high for Barack Obama, but what I do know is that our expectations for incoming Presidents has been way too low for too many years. We have been willing to accept mediocrity which begat us George W. Bush for eight long years. (Am I being too kind?) I'm not concerned that President-Elect will be unable to succeed on all that we expect of him. But I do expect him to at least keep trying to make things work for the good of the nation whether it be in domestic or international affairs. And above all else, he must communicate honestly with us, his fellow Americans. We'll be able to handle disappointments much easier with that refreshing trait alone.


    North Port, Florida

    November 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  138. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    No, they're not too high. We should expect — and quite frankly demand — a lot more from our leaders than they have delivered in the past. And besides, high expectations and hope is about all we have left.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  139. perry jones

    he set them high and now he is expected to do the job

    perry jones council bluffs iowa

    November 21, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  140. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    This country was so starved for good leadership that we have naturally become exuberant with the success of this election. We are expecting a lot, because we need alot, and we should also remember that he will need our help as much as we need him. If we, as a nation, just sit back and expect Obama to work miracles all on his own, and we do the usual whinning, criticising and cheap shots, then we can only blame ourselves if he fails.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  141. Anne from Vero Beach, FL

    After the last 8 years all I expect is to have intelligent leadership and a president I can respect and who gives me no reason to cringe when he opens his mouth to speak. I don't think I'll be disappointed.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  142. Surafel Sacramento, CA

    I know things don't change over night – but i have a hope that things will be better by the beginning or mid of summer. The expectation is too high when it come to the economy – and I have no doubt that it work under Obama leadership.

    Yes we did –
    Yes we can –
    Yes we will –

    November 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  143. Emma


    November 21, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  144. Jeff from Minnesota

    Probably in some areas and not in others. In the end, he'll be like all other Presidents before him. He'll have some winners and he'll have some losers. As long as the losers do not out weight the winners, he'll be alright.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  145. Anna Jesse

    You're kidding, right? This man is smart. He is going to hit the ground running, with team members who don't need on-the-job training. After what we have been through for the last eight years, anything that steers this country, and its economy, into a U-turn will be an improvement. For sure, the Congress has been Democratic for less than two years, but they were completely impotent in the face of a Senate loaded with enough Republicans to stop most efforts and a self-impressed President with veto power and executive order privileges. I can't wait for January 20.

    Nanticoke, PA

    November 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  146. Dan in Goodyear, Arizona

    For me I dont have high expectations in Obama because I think that in 4 years he will accomplish as much as he did in the Senate. He made way too many promises we know that he will not be able to fullfill.As a Republican I am excited for what our party has. Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney are great choices for President. Also Obama supporters will be dissapointed with him and shocked.

    Goodyear, Arizona

    November 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  147. pat Green

    Not at all. People who voted for him know the task will be difficult. We aren't expecting miracles, only his best.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  148. Alabama Angel

    Overall, I expect Obama to accomplish more than people think he can. However, it's not going to happen in the first 100 days or the first 1,000 days. I expect him to do some things out of the gate - such as reducing taxes and a stimulus package to get us moving again economically. I think most Americans know that this catastrophe required 8 years of destructive Bushenomics and it will take 8 years of constructive Obamanomics to repair the damage.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  149. Nancy, Tennessee

    President Barack Obama and his team are going to have to hit the ground running. They better enjoy the party on Inaugural Day because that may be the last fun for them for the next four years. Expectations are high for his Presidency because he gave everyone the audacity to hope for better times. He dreamed of being President and we dream of living in a prosperous nation with jobs, healthcare, a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. Oh yes, we want the garage, too.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  150. Kevin, Punxsutawney

    NAH, he can handle it. Look at all the competent people he's selecting or vetting to help him. That's one heckuva team.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  151. Terry from North Carolina

    After the last eight years anything he does will be a plus. I dont expect he will accomplish all he has promised, I am sure at times he will get stuck in the Washington " quick sand " however he will do a better job than President Bush has done.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  152. Hubert Bertrand

    We should try to help him. Instead a lot of people will lay back and say (GIVE ME) AND not try to help him. I hope I can help him. Our country need to get back on our feet. It's time to join hands and help.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  153. Sidney

    No, I don't think that we expect to much from president elect Obama. Great things are expected from great men and I don't think that he will disappoint us. Detroit

    November 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  154. arlene rannfeldt

    I think if people give him the time he needs and not expect everything in his 1st 100 days i think he might be alright. i hope he turns out to be an excellent president.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  155. FreeNLovIt

    The best i can do is pray that everything comes together the way his campaign came together to win over Hillary.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  156. drew

    no one set higher expectations for President Obama than Candidate Obama. If this guy disappoints us as President, it's only because he promised us serious, legitimate change. Time will tell if he can deliver what he pledged.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  157. Geoffrey in Lowell, MA

    May God have mercy on us all if expectations are too high for Barack Obama.

    He is the best choice we could have made in the past election cycle and I think now we have to let him do his job.

    We have to stop the hand wringing and all of us rise to meet these challenges in every way that we can. Sign up for a course, Study up, learn new skills, read a book, help with the change.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  158. Hans

    I'm surprised anyone would want to be president after W has destroyed our economy and our good will and standing in the world.
    Sometimes the times makes the man, hopefully this will be the case with President Obama. I wish he could take over today so Bush can't ruin us any further.

    Hermann, MO

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  159. Mike

    Obama has his work cut out for him, no question. But, with a higher level of intelligence in the captain's seat, maybe we can avoid some of the dumber mistakes this time around. We've complaining about sand in our eyes that our own boots kicked up. That metaphor works on more than one level. Thank you, Indigo Girls.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  160. Raven, St. Louis, MO


    Yes the expectations are extremely high for Obama because Bush has managed to extremely set the expectations to a new low. Remember Sarah Palin?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  161. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    We, as a country, cannot afford to think this way. We need to continue to hold onto the hope and faith that he was able to inspire in us while running for president. He showed an intellect, an insighfulness, an honesty, and a promise for the future of our country, that has been lacking with this current administration. Obama appears to be bringing the best, brightest, and well-seasoned people, with DC experience into his administration.

    If we start looking at his potential to bring real change as a glass half empty, then we will be disappointed because we are already seeing failure. Afterall, we could have been looking at a McCain/Palin administration. Americans need to count their blessings. Afterall, look what Palin recently did during her "turkey" interview. She makes Bush seem like a Mensa member.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  162. E CANADA

    The "Dream" cabinet that president-elect Obama is putting together should turn this country around.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  163. Jennifer, Minnesota

    Jack, since when is having an intelligent, thoughtful leader to lead our nation "too high"of expectations"? Oh that's right, sorry, forgot about that Bush guy for a second...

    November 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  164. Quinton

    Expectations are not too high, however, the ten trillion debt that Bush purposefully put us in to stall innovation will make things that much more difficult.

    Quinton in San Antonio

    November 21, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  165. Ed Woodbridge,Va.

    All the promising Obama did throughout the campaign, yes expectations should be high! I guess Obama's staffer Axelrod is now telling supporters not to be overly optomistic! This proves talk is cheap and Obama is no exception!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  166. Wayne

    What they need to do is go to the oil companys and borrow the money from them. Take the burden off the tax payers.It could be just that simple. Wayne

    November 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  167. Steve in California

    If all the expectations of Obama across the country were coordinated and comprehensive, he might have a chance. The problem for Obama is that everyone thinks he's going to fix their problems, no matter what. There's not a person in the world that can do that. Watch Obama fix a lot of things, but he has 8 years of shenanigans to overcome. Let's give him a chance, but remember that he is, while an amazing guy, still human.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  168. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    The American people have been so beaten down from the last pathetic administration that they are looking for anything that will restore some confidence in our leaders, and yes, the expectations for Mr. Obama are high. But the people must realize that they too must have expectations for themselves as well. The last eight years of a stupid and leaderless administration that has beaten us down with fear and threats has not done us well as a positive thinking populace. We need to rise above that now and support our leaders, and if they fail, we will need to vote in new folks when the time comes. It is called participation.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  169. B-Koi Vancouver Island, BC

    I think Pres. Elect Obama's expectations of himself probably exceed those of most Americans. I think that is the reason he is in the White House. I also believe that he really does expect the help and cooperation of those people that supported him so fervently, and believes totally that together they can make a better America. I am a Canadian for Obama and just think he's lovely ! I'm jealous of you guys !!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  170. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    The only thing I expect is that he will do his best. With his superior intelligence and outstanding judgment, that should be enough to make some huge improvements. I have no time limit in mind.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  171. Trevor Frampton - NorCal

    Expectations may be a wee bit high, but I do believe they match the needs of this country right now. If we hadn't have had the disaster, otherwise known as George W. Bush, over the last 8 years, then expectations may not be as high.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  172. Obama supporter from Colorado

    I think that NO one person could possibly live up to the expectations which have been projected onto President-Elect Obama (it gives me such a thrill to type that!!). However, he has an amazing capability for inspiring people to action. Just look at the sheer number of volunteers his campaign mobilized–and many of them were people who had never voted, never campaigned, or never donated before. If he can maintain that sort of mobilization and interest, it will be amazing what we can all do together, with him at the spearhead. I have great hope for him and for all of us. Working together, we can surpass even the high expectations and make America even better than she thinks she can be!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  173. Richie, Hillsboro, Oregon

    Probably, but, hey, we've had the lowest expectations possible these last 8 years. Let us enjoy it!!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  174. Jennifer, Minnesota

    The real question is: could our expectations have been any lower with this Bush these past 8 years? High expectations are part of this thing called HOPE, and as a nation, we need it desperately.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  175. williefloyd

    If everyone in our country will put aside their prejudices and remember what P.E. Obama said, we're not red or blue states, but united states, I think we will see great progress made. We must remember, he will be our president, not a miracle worker. I truly believe he is the very best our country has available. Let's unite behind him and accept our share of the load.

    P. Morrison

    November 21, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  176. Tom Sherwood

    Thankfully for him, the bar has been set to historically low levels as he enters his term.
    Expectations that he'll do better for us and for the world than the previous administration did, .... , yeah, don't see any real problem there!
    Expectations that everyone's needs and issues will be addressed by the end of his term is like expecting all prayers to be answered, ... , so as long as we accept that sometimes the answer to prayers is no, we'll be fine and so too will his performance be

    Middletown, DE

    November 21, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  177. me

    No he said he could do anything, lets see what he'll do. All running for office will tell lie after lie to get into office. If he don't do what he promised, the public should kick him out of office, with no retirement pay, and that goes for all of them.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  178. john .... marlton nj

    Sounds like a lot of back peddling … maybe the new slogan should read YES WE CAN’T or CHUMP CHANGE ... is it to early to start drafting the impeachment papers?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  179. Jerry,OK

    Jack, Expectations aren't that high for Obama. It just appears that way because Bush set the bar so low. Not attacking a sovereign nation needlessly, or balancing the budget shouldn't be that difficult, even though it was for his predecessor.

    Jerry Tulsa/OK

    November 21, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  180. circy in New Mexico

    How can they be too high after Dumbo and his buddies squandered our national treasury? At least there is an assumption of honesty and inclusiveness in the coming administration. History books will point to the Bush administration as the worst period in our nation since the Civil War.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  181. Warren in TEXAS

    No way to go but up.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  182. Kay Williams

    The majority of Americans aren't stupid; nutrionists are always telling the overweight, "you didn't gain this weight overnight & you won't lose it overnight; it will take hard work and committment." The same applies to the state of the country. The Bush administration had 8 years to run this country into the ground & it will take hard work and committment to set things right. Despite the backlash against Obama's cabinet selction, it looks to me like he's putting together a team with a proven track record.

    Harrisburg, PA

    November 21, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  183. Bruce St Paul MN

    It's all relative. The Shrub has set the bar so low that if Obama can stand up and complete a sentence he will be seen as a huge improvement. If he also sets us on a course that leads to economic recovery, health care, and improved international relations, he may be seen as a really special president.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  184. Rolyn Barthelman

    As the gloom spreads and the situation worsens, my ability to keep on moving forward stays stable given that Barack Obama is President Elect. You're right, no one can live up to those expectations, but I rest much easier at night knowing we've picked a brilliantly intelligent man to try and find our way out. If George Bush were about to start another four years I'd already have been on a plane by now. Call that un-American if you choose, but we're at such a fragile tipping point that if someone with the wits of Bush were still at the helm, I'm afraid there'd be little reason for hope.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  185. Matt in Boston, MA

    I do believe that we as a nation have set the bar too high for President-elect Obama. We, along with practically the entire global community, seem to expect him to be the Messiah. He seems quite capable, but in the state that the country is in right now in conjunction with his inexperience, I just don't think he can deliver. I do think that his various appointments such as Daschle and Emanuel go against his message of change, but at the same time, I'm glad to see him surrounding himself with such proven advisors. I just hope he does deliver in the field of bipartisanship by appointing a few Republicans and Independents to his Cabinet. After all, "Yes We Can" will only hold true so long as he can rally the entire country behind it. Only then can we build a truly better America.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  186. Scott

    People are expecting too much because he sold himself as the country's saviour with the media's help. Why would you expect them to think otherwise?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  187. Howard

    Are you serious??? Our expectations under this current adminstration is so low that any expectations, no matter how great or small, is better than we have now and/or have had for the last few years, months, days, minutes.....seconds! If he accomplishes anything, any gains at all, it will be greater than what we have now!!!!!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  188. Janice Mt. Pleasant, SC

    No. I think that most reasonable people realize that Obama will become president during extraordinarily difficult times. The operative word here is 'reasonable'. To begin to address these challenges, Obama is assembling a team of bright, creative individuals who have earned admiration in their respective professions. They are not excessively partisan, nor are they ideologues. I am grateful that so many smart, pragmatic people have agreed to work together on behalf of our country. It's great to feel confident and hopeful again!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  189. Craig Rogers Jr

    Making the next 4 years better than Bush's last 8 is a high expectation, its like a Harvard educated professor coming to teach Washington's special ed to the Bushes

    November 21, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  190. meg ulmes

    I can only speak for myself here. My expectations for the Bush administration are so low, that anything that Obama does will be a step up from the tar pit that we're in. I think that he and his administration will bring the tools to get started on solving our problems. I don't expect miracles, I just want someone who will come to work, turn on the lights, play nicely with others at home and abroad. In short, all Obama has to do for me is to make an honest effort to work on our many problems.

    Troy, Ohio

    November 21, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  191. Debora I from Nauvoo, IL

    There is a difference between expectations and hope. If the republicans had won the presidency, we would be shaking hands with McCain and counting our fingers. With Obama, what we get is a smart honest man who will deal with the massive problems we face in the best way he possibly can. Only God knows what might happen next. I have the hope that the best man for the job is working on the problem.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  192. Bill

    Men like President elect Obama have a way of rising to the expectations of the people he represents. Will things get worse before they get better? I believe they will. But for the first time in my life I feel we have a president who not only can make things right but will. I voted to give him 4yrs. Thats how much patience I have.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  193. SAM in NH

    the high expectations are motivating and inspiring. Most were neither motivated nor inspired over the last 8 years.

    He's able too get the adrenlin of the country pumping!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  194. Bill


    No the voters put President Elect Obama in office to undo the horrible eight years of President George W. Bush.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  195. Cathy, SD

    I think everyone is acting like Utopia is around the corner. We're not alone on earth here. Obama cannot control each individual American. I think Obama seems to be putting together a great team and that he seems like a solid leader that will help with our reputation, economy, etc.....but come on. Utopia?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  196. Joe

    Are you crazy? Expectations for Barack Obama are right where they should be. Obama has painted himself as ready to lead from day one and has the Congress and team to do it, so any supporters who say that expectations are to high then they are just being flat hypocritical.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  197. Kris Koliwad

    No. We are asking the President-elect Obama only to deliver on what he promised. That's all. We have greater faith in him to do so than we had in Hillary. We did not like what McCane promised!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  198. Michelle, PA

    Jack, Obama is inheriting more problems than any incoming President since FDR. At this point my only expectation is that he do no worse than his predecessor. The good news is a dead slime mold could do better than his predecessor, and Mr. Obama has a pulse, a brain and a plan.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  199. Renee

    When you put a person on a pedestal, it is a long and hard fall down.

    He is a man with a tough job ahead. We need to give him a chance and a break to do his job. Poor guy isn't even in office yet and some Republicans are preparing for the end of the world. Obama is seemingly a good "one." And the earth is still standing from that one "Bush" even though the economy is not.

    Perhaps those that think well of President Elect should keep him in their positive thoughts. And for those that are waiting for the fall, should probably advise Gov. Palin not to do interviews anymore if they want to place her on the future Presidential chopping block.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  200. YouSerious

    Bill Clinton all over again. How quickly we forget the mess he left us in, nobody remember the Clinton Recession? Here we go again. The messiah at work.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  201. Nicki from Anchorage, Ak

    Expectations are too high, because most people don't realize how bad our economy is. I don't think the economy will be running the way it should for at least eight years and probably longer than that. We have to almost totally change how we power our homes, autos, and businesses. Transportation systems will have to be changed – move more towards trains and buses. Restructure cities so they are train/bus friendly. Reintroduce regulations thoughout all our businesses. We also have a lot of work to do in foriegn policy and the environment. Health care is getting worse as we speak. I expect things will continue to worsen before they get better. It will take time for new policies to take effect.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  202. Chuck Polk

    His campaign slogan was "yes we can." Not "if we can." So its hard to not have have high expectations. It may be easier for Obama's staff to solve the automaker crisis than damper people's high expectations.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  203. Matt, Canoga Park CA

    Not if you expect him to fail misserably and he is well on his way there with wanting Hillary as his SoS and all the other Clinton cronies If she gets upset will she throw lamps at other foreign leaders?

    November 21, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  204. Sadie CA

    President-elect Obama ran on the fundemental position that "we the people" have the obligation to stand together to face and address our many challenges. I think the greatest expections we should have is on ourselves. No one person is going to "fix" our economy...or the war...or education....or healthcare. But, a great leader leading people who are willing to make change happen - these are great expecations we should all have and feel responsible to fulfill. Remeber,,,the point is "yes we can."

    November 21, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  205. Bert Robbins

    No doubt the big 3 need help! But it really bothers me if congress wants the auto workers to relenquish pension and health care benefits. When is the last time congress cut their pay, health care, or pension to alleviate the deficit?

    November 21, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  206. Diane Ghil

    No – I believe that Obama is proving to be the leader we all voted for and while we have high expectations, I believe the American people will be patient as we understand what a mess the Bush administration has left behind and that it will take time to solve everything.
    If there is anyone in the world who can tackle these problems, it is Barack Obama.

    Diane, Alabama

    November 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  207. Jason Florida

    Maybe they're a bit high, but if we set the bar low, we're sure to reach it. Let's aim high, work hard, and not judge the results too quickly.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  208. Peter M

    No, we know how much Bush messed things up. We will be realistic. We will be patient. We will work with him. We are not asking for what he can do for us. We are asking him, what we can do for this country!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  209. Grimster

    Of course they're too high, he's inheriting problems that are years old and years in the making, and you can't fix that very quickly. The question is can he fix them at all? We've got at least 4 years to find out.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  210. Jon

    I'm not expecting a particular result from Obama, but a specific approach. You can't expect him to hit a blackjack, just to stop hitting at 17.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  211. Christine, Upstate NY

    Yes and no. Yes, if all our expectations rest on the shoulders of this one man. No, if we are willing to make the kinds of changes in our own lives that will facilitate economic recovery. Nothing FDR set forth would have effected one drop of positive change if the Americans on the receiving end of things had not also been the Americans on the doing end of things. Obama has an FDR-esque challenge ahead of him. But without us, he may as well quit before he starts.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  212. Joe

    Expectations are only as high as he allowed them, nay promoted them to be high.
    Yes we can! was a theme. Now it is well, we will see!
    I think Mr. Obama is now being more realistic – the real world is tough, isn't it?

    November 21, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  213. Steve Martin Vernon Hills, IL

    Yes, but ones reach should exceed ones grasp, they say!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  214. Christopher Gaudreau

    Of course his expectations are high; we in a state of national crisis. The economy has to be optimized, health care needs to be better, the war is clearly a problem, etc.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  215. Cathy

    The question shouldn't be if our expectations are too high, of course we should have high expectations of our leaders. The question should really be phrased "Are Americans patient enough to give this President at least 4 years of support'?

    November 21, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  216. Chad

    Yes, the expectations are too high for Obama but unfortunately for him he put himself here. He was the one that promised everyone under the sun everything so now that the time is coming that he actually has to deliver on these promises, he's backing off. What a way to start...

    November 21, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  217. Rob Murphy Amarillo TX

    Dear Jack,

    It's not the expectations are too high, President Elect Obama is a very capable man.

    I'ts the timeframe the people want him to complete it in that is the problem.


    Rob Murphy
    Amarillo TX

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  218. Dave, CA

    If Obama is anything less than the greatest leader in human history, of course people will call him out on that. I for one, however, believe in him.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  219. Isaac Roosa

    Absolutely. I am an Obama supporter, but I think that way too the hype is way too high for what he's expected to accomplish. While I believe that he WILL avidly pursue the things he listed on his agenda, I think that he can only realistically hope to accomplish two or three of them. Things take time, so no matter how hard Obama tries, and how much he wants things done, the fact is that it takes time to move through America's red tape.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  220. Dave from Harlem

    I think it should be understood that it is a process in getting things wrong so it will be a process in getting them right. I do think president elect Obama has what it takes to solve our nations problems but it wont happen over night. The other part of the equation is the efforts of the American people. We can not afford to sit back and wait for one man to solve all of our problems. The people of our nation have to get involved with the change we are all expecting. It took the people of our nation to turn their heads the other way for all of these problems to come about. It will take a collective effort to turn things around. I do worry that Barack will ultimately be blamed if things dont turn around swiftly, however I do believe mainstreet understands the situation on the ground better than anyone else. We have been suffering through this longer than wall street. When it is all said and done I believe President Obama will turn the countries economic woes around.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  221. Dr. Beverly Hackett


    I think that everyone knows that this bad economy did not happen overnight and we are all willing to give Barack Obama time to fix the economy.

    Birmingham, Alabama

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  222. Bonnie Ricketts

    SOOOOO... How did the auto makers purchase out of the states auto establishments? And if they are making a profit why not put back the monies into the good ole U.S.A.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  223. Karine

    Jack-I don't think expectations are too high. After expecting nothing but lies and cronyism for the last 8 years anything positive will be well received. It is about time for high expectations that is how things really change, by setting the bar high.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  224. Richard

    Yes I think that we have placed all of our problems on Obama's shoulder and people are going to be disappointed not to see all the bad go away. He is a step in the right direction to getting our country back on track for all Americans but there is only so much someone can do.
    George Bush and Dick Cheney will go down in history as the worst president in history.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  225. Rodney

    Yes the expectations are too high. The reason is unlike most presidents he is STARTING in a hole. Most presidents have the luxury of buiding their foundation – or atleast starting it – in their first one-hundred days in office, then they build their 'house'. House meaning plans to execute to better the country. But with Obama STARTING in a hole, he has to work to dig out before he can even lay his foundation. I'm using the analogy of him starting in a hole...maybe I should be saying he is starting in a 'Bush'.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  226. Tom from Indiana


    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  227. Averroes

    I don't believe that expectations are too high. Regardless of who had won the election, Americans would expect that person to tackle and turn around the economic crisis, and repair our image in the world. What does seem to be high is the American people's belief that President-Elect Obama will actually be able to deliver everything within an unrealistic time-span.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  228. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Of course expectations are high for the Obama Presidency. They were high for Bush 43's also, but the big difference we have is that President-Elect Obama has the intelligence and wisdom to lead, whereas Bush 43 wasn't even close. All you have to do is look at who he "chose" to fill important positions and most of them blew it. Obama is hitting the floor running, whereas Bush couldn't find the floor.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  229. Ivee

    I think that people are willing to be patient with Obama. Most people realize that the ditch we are in is deep, and we will not be out of it any time soon. It's obvious that he'll work very hard for us, and that's what will reassure people.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  230. Kevin Mahe

    We should have high expectations for our President. The low expectations that the average American had for the previous administration gave us a President that achieved record low approval ratings.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  231. Al Franken

    President-Elect Obama and I plan on revitalizing our country from the bottom up. Please, make sure to fight for every last vote; they always count.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  232. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Since he's surrounding himself with ex-Masters-of-the-Universe, we probably won't see much of a change. Obama will just speak better when he tells us that our country has slipped into a depression. Obama is going to be taking orders from the people/corporations that gave him millions for his campaign -not the American people. Those campaign contributers want their favors fulfilled once he's in office, which means business as usual. The filthy rich will keep getting bailed-out bucks via the taxpayer (poor and middle-class) and there's nothing we can do about it. Geez, it soulds a lot like the years prior to 1776 -"Taxation Without Representation."

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  233. Jeff, VT

    Is having a president that isn't an embarrassment to your country too high?

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  234. irene a.

    Expectations are high of the obama presidecy , this of course is to be expected when people are eager to embark on a new , long awaited journey away from Bush presidency.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  235. Elizabeth

    Expectations ARE too high. He's just a man. I"m afraid that people that are waiting on the edge of their seat are going to jump at every little thing and that their negativity will spread and people will lose hope in Obama. I think people are being fair by expectiing too much and not expecting enough from him.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  236. Samantha

    I don't think that the expectations are high as long as we understand it will take time. If we expect that all the country's problems will all go away by magic once he is sworn in, then of course, we will be disappointed. however, I think Americans are smarter than that!!!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  237. Norm Las Vegas

    Anyone of any common sense cannot expect all the existing calamities and serious problems facing the nation to be resolved overnight. The country is in a worse state than it has been in many years. There is no doubt that Obma faces an extremely tough row to hoe. Hopefully, all members of government wil put aside partisanship and join together to put the nation back on the right path of recovery.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  238. c.douglas

    It doesn't make any difference how long it takes as long as we can see them working on our problems and making progress . We don, t need any more of the big promises with no results, while we watch our country going down the drain!
    Doug michigan

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  239. Lynda

    I'm sure our hopes are too high for everything to be fixed during Obama's first 4 years.........we just need help so bad and hope he's the magician to do it. I know he's going to try to fix the mess with the people he's bringing in to help but they may be beyond fixing for a while. We did this to ourselves...........I think we should do everything we can to help him help us.

    Madawaska, Maine

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  240. Mike from Atlanta

    Of course the expectations are too high...After eight years of the Bush administration and where they put this country, the expectation of Obama coming into office and fixing all that Bush screwed up are tremendous...It's unfortunate, however, that the common American doesn't understand that just the process of restoring the confidence in our government will take a lot of time, and until that happens, things will not happen overnight, let alone at all.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  241. Josh Barnard

    Yes I think they r. People r expecting a miracle from Barrack Obama in the first few weeks to a month and He can't fix the gaping hole that the Bush Administration has put in our struggling economy. We as Americans need to give Mr. Obama the time he needs to hit the ground running. I don't expect him to fix the problems that we have as of current. But I do think that He will fix as many of the holes as he can. I do hope that He makes the changes that he has promised and that He runs for a second term if He keeps his word when it comes to change

    November 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  242. Vicki5

    No, I don't think expectations are too high, and I'm not worried a bit.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  243. Joan in Boston

    The expectations are high, as they should be. However they need to be accompanied with patience and a sense of trust and belief that in time, he and his team will make strides.against the awful mess that he's being handed. What I sincerely hope is that those who didn't vote for him, and those who are politically motivated by prospects in 2012 will give him a chance and not try to undermine him at every turn. Unfortunatley I already see and hear signs of that as he goes about picking his cabinet and the charge of "no change" becasue he's choosing smart, experienced people that are essential in this complicated set of circumsstances. Maybe instead of the media always asking the same, predictable questions, you begin to ask what we all can do to support him.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  244. Gip, FL

    Congress at 10% approval and Bush at 20%, its not hard to beat!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  245. linda

    The expectations are high if the people of America think that President-Elect Barack Obama will make the problems this country has had over the past six years, go away just by swearing in. I expect the process of problem solving, resolution finding and government improvement to take up to 3-5 years with financial problems taking longer. As Americans we must support our president's endeavors for a successful, financially stable and powerful nation.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  246. Fred May Sr. WA.

    Jack This mess that Obama has inherited reminds me of a backlash on a fishing reel. What string do I pull first. Pull the wrong one and untangling the line will be hopeless. The tools Obama has gathered will be a big help but patience is needed . Good luck Obama

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  247. Terry

    Of course the expectations are too high. This situation, much like being extremely overweight doesn't happen in short time. A diet to shed the weight doesn't hapen in short order either. To be successful it takes constant intense effort over an expected several year timeframe to acheive success. No quick pill or program fixes it to achieve long term result.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  248. Terry in Hanover County

    Hopes are very high for President Obama but I don't expect miracles. It's going to take time to dig us out of Bush's mess. Probably 10 years. Unfortunately, the Republican Party and right-wing talk radio have set a very high, unreachable bar for President Obama. If he doesn't accomplish every one of his stated goals by January 22, 2009, they will declare him a failure. Fortunately, most Americans are more rational and fair than those guys are.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  249. John Best

    First of all, sarcastically speaking, after 8 years of an administration filled with village idiots, ANY expectation of the new administration might be considered too high!
    Seriously though, so many people are hurting so badly that all they/we have left are high expectations. Personally, my wife and I would be thrilled with ANYTHING that started to drag us away from the abyss that the Bush legacy left for us.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  250. Charles L. Hopkins, SR.

    No, I don't believe expectations are too high for the illustrious President-Elect. After all he did shoot off his mouth on having the solution to all of America's problems and the American public bought into it. He also helped shove this Wall St. bailout down everyone's throat. He lied about not having lobbyists on his staff but Tom Daschle will be there. Daschle is not a registered lobbyist but his wife is which would make this a conflict of interest. It's the same old political game in Washington just under a different name. This is the "change" America wanted and Obama spoke about?

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  251. Maggie Berwald

    My expectation of Barack Obama is that he will provide true leadership by inspiring and working with all the people in this country. They, in return, will make the sacrifices and pull the weight necessary to help turn things around. He has already said he can't do it alone. All of us have to work together. My expectation has already been met: I now have hope.
    Maggie B. from Bristolville, OH

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  252. Jeff Tautges

    Jack... Obama will do just fine so long as he communicates frequently and openly with the people. He said he intends to have a very transparent administration. This will be a welcome change over the secrets, graft and corruption of the Bush administration. If he keeps his promise to seek out the advise of we ordinary Americans, he may also come up with some extraordinary solutions to the problems the hired help would never think of or consider.
    Jeff (Montana)

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  253. Jarid J. Watson

    Let's be honest... expectations for ANY president are always too high. Congress are the real folks with power. So, pay more attention to your local elections and do your homework people! A president's main powers are to set the tone of the nation, and veto power. I will say the first of these is definately a skill Obama has and well, you know how the other has done.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  254. Nancy Jayer

    Obama is not a god nor does he have a magic to fix this mess of Bush prsidency. Unfortunately we have to be patient while we will watch our retirement funds dwindle.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  255. Anthony M. from Webster, WI

    Obama publicly expressed the expectations the public should have. So, instead, ask Obama if he's over his head. When he says, "No" then we can all breathe a sigh of relief and move on. Have a good one, Jack.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  256. Tee

    Expectations are way to high for President Elect Obama. We handed this man 8 years of failed policies and trillions of dollars in budget deficits. Unlike when the Clinton Administration got handed over the Regan policies. It's going to be a long hard road for American and for our new president. Patience is a virtue or more like in President Elect Obama's case patience won't hurt you.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  257. frannie, mansfield, ohio

    We have elected a man who is up to the job. I think we all understand that quick fixes aren't possible, I think we are willing to work this out.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  258. Dianne

    Jack, In our household, we would have voted for Popeye had he run for president rather than face any more of this destruction brought on by the current administration. So NO. My expectations are not too high for Barack Obama. ANYTHING he does will surely be helpful and at this point we'll take it one debachale at a time.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  259. Angella

    I think the expectations are high but he is up for the challenge. The only thing people should remember is nothing will happen overnight. If that is what president elect Obama is expected to do (change things overnight), yes the expectations are entirely too high.

    I for one believe that he is ready for these challenges that are put before him. Yes the expectations are high but I believe that he will do everything in his power to exceed the expectations put before him.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  260. Michael C.

    No, I don't think expectations are too high for Pres. Elect Obama. I consider him to be more than competent to address the issues our country faces. However, I do think the expectation that he will solve all the problems created by "W" and the Republicans over the past eight years overnight, or even in one term, to be unrealistic. Give him [Obama} the eight years Bush had to fix the mess and I'm sure he will do just fine.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  261. Martin K

    Yes, I do think people's expectations are way too high. We have to be realistic. But, I also do believe that the current mess gives the president elect an opportunity to act, on his promised fresh ideas from the election platform, boldly and quickly. Still, in so far as it took such a long time to get into this mess, it will also take a long time to reverse the course completely

    November 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  262. G.L.Tall

    Hey Jack, great question. I think the expectations are appropriate for the cultural climate we find ourselves in today. Anyone who thinks this is going to be remedied by a single man OR a single act will likely be disappointed, but I truly believe Obama's energy and focus will be the fulcrum point upon which those expectations will be realized. Namaste

    November 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm |

    Yes, expectations are too high.
    A lot of people missed the point if they thought Obama was going to do it for us. From the beginning he said we had to do it together. We're in transformative times now. We all have to take responsibility for our part. Together, he said, we can do it. Instead of sitting around saying "aint it awful", we must ask ourselves , "What is the change that is needed?" and take personal responsibility for that action. That is not capitalism or socialism. It's the American spirit!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  264. Sam, Smyrna

    I don't think expectations are too high, but I do believe we may expect too much too soon. We as a nation must exercise patience and temperance with regard to this administration...wait and see. Our economy is cyclical, and we have pretty much bottomed out domestically. We've been in a recession for a while, also in denial. Our greatest challenges will be with regard to our foreign policy, particularly in the middle east. There we must act more assertively to establish or in some cases, re-establish our stature.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  265. Robert Fisch

    I think the public expects very much from the Obama administration and rightfully so. The dems have all the power now. I think he will succeed. However, I still worry that Republicans will do their best to tank the economy even more as to try to win back power in 2012. The last 8 yrs. have proven that they can`t be trusted. This is why I switched parties. I`m embarrassed.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  266. Kelli

    My expectations for Barack Obama have far more to do with the process that he will undertake vs. simply raw results. If Obama can come in and put forth his best efforts to put us on track, as long as I see him workiing hard, I won't expect that he will be able to alleviate every problem immediately.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  267. Gip, FL

    It is very probable that 4 years will not be enough, we are still only 50% thru bad debt and 70% of the ARM's to adjust and unemployment to exceed 25% by 2010/11, Today 20 million out of work, another year that will be 40 million, thats the true # of those collecting a check or those that have exhuasted and not able to qualify for unemployment.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  268. Sabreen Sabur

    I think the Presidency of Obama has inspired people to be patience with the change he is bringing and that equates to change for the better that we bring into our on everyday lives. Why he's even got me recycling and being a thrifty shopper.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  269. Holly Stocking

    To focus one's hopes or fears on one individual is never wise. Each of us is affected by a nexus of forces, which we know only too well when we look at ourselves. When we look at others, these forces can be harder to spot, but they still operate. As citizens, we need to support this new president, each one of us becoming a force that will support him and support positive change.

    Holly Stocking
    Bloomingon, Indiana

    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  270. Hugh Betts

    If Obama holds to the ideals of "We are our brother's keeper" and leads the nation via that principle, there is nothing that can hold back a tremendous recovery. If however, the old rules of "me first|" capitalism rules the roost, the collapse will be total and worldwide....and will be very long lasting. Choose ye this dad!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  271. Fran Gariglio

    No, I don't think expectations are being placed too high for Obama.. Let"s not forget that Obama kept raising the bar for himself for about 2 years on the campaign trail, increasing his pandering, uh, promises, to his fellow Democrats which no human being could possibly achieve as President! . He's set his own bar, now the onus is on him to hit it!

    Fran Garigliio
    Greensboro, NC

    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  272. Lucinda

    Yes, we can't expect this one man to be able to turn a round something this devastating in our nation's hour of need! I'm tired of the media on different networks puting implacations on this one person when we should be looking to our goverment. Greed, lazziness, bad work ethics, and a lack of knowledge in all of their feilds of professionalizm! I wish there was a way of geting rid of these high end paying positions where there is reallly no work nor any accountablity! My prayer is that Obama stays true to himself and the true reasons he orginally ran for the office of president.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  273. John, Collingwood, Ontario

    In 2012 you should ask yourself: Are we better of today than we were four years ago!
    Give the guy the time he needs to fix things that Bush and company screwed up!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  274. John Reese

    Of course expectations for Obama are too high, because that's the way he sold himself to voters with the full support of a fawning media. That was the bait, now we get the switch.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  275. Tim N

    I certainly respect the incoming administrations concern over expectations. Given the current state of the countries economy it is not unreasonable to delay gratification. I would have wished the same from opponents of the outgoing administration while it was fighting a war.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  276. Annie Scott

    No, because my expectations of President Elect Obama are based on his respectful, strong and visionary leadership. I trust that his approach to problem-solving and diplomacy will be based on intelligence, consulting experts, and a sense that every human being has inherent worth and dignity.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  277. Dana

    Of Course there to high, he is the first African American President. However, Americans have waited for Bush to do something for 8 long, long years, so I think we can be a little patience now!


    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  278. James W. Blevins

    Since, to date, Obama has exceeded all normal expectations, it seems probable that that will continue. High expectations can make it easier to get things done.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    November 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  279. mike bucki

    Of course are expectations are too high. But if the sacrifices ahead are shared equally or nearly so then many of our expectations will be fulfilled. As candidate Obama often said "we are the ones we've been waiting for". We have to work together.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  280. Mohammad

    He set the level that high during his campaign and got elected with the messege of CHANGE, and people are so angry and disappointed that they are looking for complete CHANGE. The Absolute CHANGE. God be with all of us during this long period.

    The University of Arkansas
    Fayetteville, Arkansas

    November 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  281. Ryan

    Of course expectations are too high. Jack, we are talking about a man who has been looked to as a messiah ever since he became a candidate. The fact is, the sensible voters who have supported Barack Obama all this time will be willing to wait a little longer for the change that he promised them. Obama needs to continue to explain his plans to the American people as he assumes the presidency. That is the only way he will avoid a massive approval drop by the time February rolls around.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  282. John - Rochester, New York

    I think expectations are high that Barrack will take action to address each of the problems. However, I think that the American people realize that whatever actions are taken will take time to have effect. The problems didn't develop overnight, and neither will the resolution of them.

    We are looking for leadership and direction even where solutions are not self evident and problems not easily resolved. I believe the President Elect will assemble the best and brightest team and coordinate the effort to restore our economy and respect throughout the world.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  283. Dennis Johnson

    Barack Obama welcomes high expectations. He thrives on it and is smart enough to know it is best to shoot high and sometimes settlle at a place below the ultimate goal. I have total faith in him.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  284. Nell

    It seems as if people who did not vote for Barack Obama believe that many of his supporters worship the ground that he walks on but this is entirely an opinion not a fact. The American people knew what they were doing when they voted for Barack Obama. There is a great amount of faith in him and his administration. We can do nothing more than hope for the best in their governing of America. The expectations are not at all too high. Simply put, the expectations of the American people are for Obama to hold true to his word during his campaign, is that not something we want from every leader?

    November 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  285. Keith from Omemee, Canada

    Hi Jack: High expectations, yes. But high hopes as well and as Obama himself said in New Hampshire earlier this year when warned about false hopes "in the unlikely story that is America, there is nothing false about hope".

    November 21, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  286. Bob Fuhrman

    Change, I know a lot about change,It's what's left in my 401k.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  287. Bryan, CA

    High? Absolutely–even unrealistic. However, if there's a president who has the abilities and mindset to come close to–if not meet–those expectations, it's Obama. Most of the people who support Obama are willing to pitch in in every little way they can to help him succeed.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  288. bill tomaselli

    They have him walking on water, first time he gets his feet wet, they'll crucify him!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  289. Susan

    As long as people realize that we aren't getting out of this mess overnight, I think he'll be okay.

    Already he's picking people who are actually qualified for the job, unlike Bush who picked a guy who organized horse shows to run FEMA! And look what happened.

    Just the fact that Obama can pronounce words and speak in complete sentences will do a lot to relieve anxiety. And with the rest of the world's encouragement, I think he and we will be okay. We just have to ignore the Republican naysayers who are going to do everything they can to make it look like Obama is failing!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  290. Tom


    High hopes doesn't mean that the bar is in the stratosphere! After the past eight years, positive baby steps that gets us above the fog is what is needed at the onset of the Obama administration!

    After a month or so on the job, then they can start taking giant steps!

    November 21, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  291. AJ in Albuquerque, NM

    Look, I'd love to start a new job and say, "Hey, you hired me, but you know what, it's going to take me a couple of years to do the job." How convenient after he touted change over and over again in his campaign. Same old rhetoric.

    And, I am sick of hearing how the U.S. presidency is "the toughest job in the world". You mean the leaders of every other country have it easy? Again, I'd love to start a new job and have advisors up the wazoo making every possible decision for me. And, how relaxing to know my spouse will not have to lift a finger around 'the house' for the next 4 years. The White House has a full staff to do absolutely everything for the Obama's.

    Open your eyes America. That job is a piece of cake.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  292. No Bias - No Love Yet

    Jack, expectations aren't any hgher than any other president-elect. Pick a time and there was a problem. What the Obama camp now called a staff needs to understand is the pressure is on to keep those promises without making excuses...is he or is he not ready for the job? You promise change so now the public like any other President, feels the burden the public bears when its time to deliver.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  293. J0 Ann DANIELS

    Nobody could be expected to fix this economy right away. Rome was not built in a day. The first one hundred days is only the beginning. He has a long road a head of him. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt so that he can clean up what he had no part of creating. JO ANN

    November 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  294. Michael in Houston, Texas

    Yes Jack the expectations are too high but in the same breath they should be. Our elected officials have got us in this mess. People like to blame President Bush solely but folks, this downward spiral started way before G.W. Bush. The problem is we keep getting these promises of change, hope, peace, prosperity and then when these men and women get into office, most of them only think about their re-election and those who are giving them the biggest contributions. Clinton did a okay job but alot of his success was due to the failed policies of trickle-down economics, so we had no place to go but up. But Clinton did horribly regarding foriegn policy. So my point is Jack, you damn right my expections are high. President Obama if you want to prove your therory of change, Be the first President to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. And I am a strong supporter of President Obama since day one of the primaries.


    Michael in Houston, Texas

    November 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  295. Phil in KC

    Absolutely. Anyone who could bring us out of the mess we're in any time soon should be canonized. It took 8 years (or more) of wrong-headed policies and poor decision-making to get us where we are now. To expect Obama to lift us out of it in the next 4 years, or less, is extremely optimistic.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  296. Jim

    I am a realistice person Jack. Just as all the blame can't be placed on President Bush, I do not expect Obama to turn things around overnite.

    I do however find it ironic that during the campaign he touted change talked about how he would turn this economy around. Now he and his team is already warning that some of the goals make take some time and not expect too much.

    Still, I wish him the best as we are all in this together.

    Jacksonville Beach, FL

    November 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  297. Elizabeth Burton

    There are high expectations of President-Elect Obama, and he made a lot of promises. Given the miserable state of the economy and other domestic affairs, it is unreasonable to expect that he will be able to undo 8 years of failed policies in a hundred days, a year, or 4 years. He will, however, be able to effect change in some policies immediately. Other things will take longer. I take inspiration in the fact that he is putting in place a strong, experienced team that will lead up back to prosperity.

    Elizabeth Burton

    November 21, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  298. Bill in Ontario Canada

    Two years ago when the campaign for the Presidency started, the stock market was booming, there was little talk about foreclosures, everyone's jobs were reasonably secure, gas was at an acceptable rate and the war was heading in the right direction. I wonder if the President Elect would even have run if he had known what was about to occur in 2 years. Barak Obama is exactly what America needs right now but I sure do not envy his job. I pray that our American friends have the patience needed for Mr. Obama to perform his magic.


    November 21, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  299. Virgil Smith

    No. Jack, have you heard of the quote: "Aim for the stars land on the moon." The higher the expectation the higher he will aspire to achieve.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  300. Quentin Bruce Watnem

    I have full confidence in the team We elected now is the time for Us as americans to step up and do Our share to get this country back on track thanks Bruce.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  301. Ellie

    Jack no task is too high, when you have been choosen by "God". This man of God will do fine. Peoples should be ready for change. Why can't the peoples just pray and let him do what he has been sent to do.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  302. lucy

    I expect him to improve the status of this country in many areas. But, I didn't expect it to happen all within 4 years.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:38 pm |