January 7th, 2009
01:31 PM ET

Are Dems Off to the Right Start?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama's inauguration is 13 days away. He's not in office yet, and some say the Democrats are off to a rocky start.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, incoming Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was quick to publicly complain that she hadn't been notified that President-elect Obama intended to pick Leon Panetta to head the CIA.

The Democratic Senate refused to seat Roland Burris yesterday for the office vacated by the President-elect.

Nancy Pelosi was talking earlier this week about having to actually be supportive of the President of the United States. She didn't sound overly thrilled with the idea since she likes it best when it's all about her.

And Harry Reid is a loose cannon.

There's the Rod Blagojevich scandal, the Illinois Governor accused of pay for play politics. Then there’s New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson withdrawing his nomination as secretary of commerce because of an investigation into a campaign donor.

Finally, there doesn't seem to be a lot of public statements in support of the new President from members of his own party.

Here’s my question to you: Are the Democrats getting off to the right start ahead of Barack Obama's inauguration?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Denis from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania writes:
So far, Obama yes. The Democrats in Congress, no. In the first 160 days of the new administration, the Democrats in Congress will most likely make fools of themselves. Pelosi will have hissy fits that will show how incompetent she and her colleagues are. The Republicans will fare much better. Overall, the approval rating of Congress will stay the same. Same old, same old. President-elect Obama will give us a chance and the Democrats in Congress will take it away.

Terrell from Escondido, California writes:
Jack, As a lifelong Democrat I have to say nope. With the Blagojevich/Burris thing, the Feinstein snit, and the Richardson investigation, we are well on our way to shooting ourselves in the foot again.

Karen from Dodge City, Kansas writes:
Democrats aren't used to working as a team and for that reason Obama's biggest handicap is his own party. Hopefully he will give them the "my way or the highway" speech and get rid of some of the dead weight like Reid and Pelosi. That would go a long way toward convincing the public that Obama is serious about building an effective administration.

Krishna from California writes:
I don't think that they are, I am sorry to say. They have enjoyed complaining and when they were put in charge they have failed to deliver. Pelosi and Reid are pretty inept. Feinstein has been part of Bush-Cheney camp as far as CIA actions go. She was asleep at the switch when atrocities were going on there and failed to render oversight. She has no credibility now, in my opinion.

Tony from Torrington, Connecticut writes:
Are you serious? It's the Keystone Cops visit Washington DC. I can imagine the newspaper articles if these guys were Republicans. The Burris incident has Governor Rod Blagojevich pulling the strings of Reid, Durbin, Pelosi, and Obama. It's that Chicago training!

Karen from Nashville, Tennessee writes:
Sounds normal. We have a chorus of prima donnas and the conductor isn't on the stage yet.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Democrats
soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. JD in NH

    No. They need to end the Burris fiasco. Since the law is on the side of Mr. Burris, he should be seated immediately. This is a distraction from the critical problems we are facing.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  2. Dennis West Carrollton, Ohio

    So far they seem to be doing pretty good but then, only time will tell.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  3. Paul

    Yes, they seem to be going in a productive direction; however, the best direction for us to head might be...to Canada.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  4. Veronica in Virginia

    No Jack they are not. Until they get this Buriss mess over, they are at a stand still. I just hope this man go away, stop holding news coverage, then the Dems can get to work on Our bussiness.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  5. Jenna Wade

    Are the Democrats getting off to the right start ahead of Barack Obama’s inauguration?

    In the abcense of leadership from GW Bush and for the good of our nation Obama had to do something!

    So yes, Democrats are off to a right start.

    Roseville CA

    January 7, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  6. Lois Canada

    nothing like getting it all out early! Party Cleansing is best done before he takes office.....it's nice to be able to say...He wasn't even President when that Happened!

    January 7, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  7. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    Come on, trick question, right? The infighting exhibited by the Democrats is one of the greatest indoor sports, not televised by ABCs Wide World of Sports. Don't believe me? How about Senator Feinstein getting her knickers all in a bunch because she wasn't allowed to approve Leon Penatta? At what point does a Senator have any say in a presidential appoinment. Take a couple of deep breaths senator, per chance a strong sedative and understand that your Democratic President has submitted the name of an honorable, hard working man to head up a security agency. Get over it. You're not that important!

    January 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  8. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    There have been a few "gliches" to be sure.......but they will hit their stride once Obama is sworn in and starts demonstrating his leadership qualities. The Dems haven't had a strong leader to guide them during the past eight years, but I expect Obama will be far more than a "figurehead" President and will lead them in a positive direction.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  9. Kate Idaho

    Pretty much so. everyone makes decisions that are not always top of the mark, But I applaud him on his statement and follow though that the is "only one President at a time"

    January 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  10. Paul Grant/Santa Fe NM

    Absolutely not. The situation in Illinois needs to go away as quickly as possible. It will only hurt the Democrats in the long run. Since Burris himself is in no way tainted himself the senate needs to convince Jessie White to sign the paperwork so the senate can get on with the business we elected them to do in the first place.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  11. Jackie in Dallas

    Well, they haven't done much of anything except keep Reid and Pelosi on in their respective positions, so I can't say one way or the other.

    Before someone jumps on me about refusing to seat Burris in the Senate, I would like to point out that the Senate Secretary was actually the one who refused his credentials not the Democrats or Reid, and did so for legal and correct reasons. Appointed Senators must be appointed by the appropriate person, in this case the Governor of the state, and SIGNED OFF by the state Secretary of State. Jesse White refused to sign Buriss' credentials, and so they were not complete. I think it is up to the Illinois Supreme Court to rule whether the Secretary of State MUST sign off on a Governor's appointment, but frankly, I look upon it as a necessary check and balance for appointed offices.

    Frankly, I'm not expecting much from the Congressional Hill - I'm hoping that the inauguration of President Elect Obama will revitalize them into remembering that they work for us, not big business or lobbyists.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  12. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    I think they are doing the best they can till the inauguration. They do not want to do to much until the new leader Barack Obama is firmly in power as President. You see most of them do want to get him upset with them at this early stage.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  13. carson

    hope that Democrats will get better day after day even some more gambling are there in earlier days . but then they can make the right start to kick start the economy back.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  14. Joe in DE

    No resu;ts so too early to say.

    Appointments reek of the status quo – where's the change?

    The Dem leadeship in the Senate & House was poor- did they learn anything? We will see.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  15. David Bakody Dartmouth NS

    Jack, I well imagine that the Democrats are riding on the same train as PE Obama ..... for that matter most of the Republicans are also... albeit they are all still politicians and can not pass a mirror without stopping to take a look. For now they will stick with the winner and try to get their oars in the water but they are all in same boat ..... matter of fact we are all in the same boat .... the life boat President Bush put us all in en route to his world wide hunt for WMD's aboard the Titanic II.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  16. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Yes I think they are. They are close to having a bill ready for President Obama to sign on the stimulus package to help get our economy up and running. I like what I am seeing so far.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  17. don in naples, florida

    the dems seem to be on the same page they were toward the end of the bush term. there doesn't seem to be much difference– minus a change of faces, Obama is still racking up massive debt, and the economy has not improved.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  18. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Absolutely, all the players Obama is putting on the field have proven talent. I think he'll be a better quarterback than FDR and every bit as popular as Teddy Roosevelt.

    I know he brings to mind the Kennedys and his ancestry is of the same Dalcassian clan, but he looks to me like another Roosevelt. Hopefully the best of the lot because we could use a miracle.

    January 7, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  19. Elizabeth

    At this point, Obama has chosen intelligent, experts in their fields to fill positions. This allows him to take time to handle more than one issue at a time which certainly seems to be the answer right now. Everything is inter-related and our problems need to be approached that way. Yes, we are doing good!

    January 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  20. Ray in Nashville

    It reminds me of that quote from Will Rogers; "I'm a member of no organized political party, I'm a Democrat." If they aren't careful, they will hand control of congress right back over to the Republicans in 2010 and 2012.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  21. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Unfortuantely, with Barack Obama caught in the twilight zone where is no longer a senator and not yet the president, we are left with weak Democartic leaders in the House and Senate, and other headline grabbing party nimrods that keep popping out of the woodwork. After the ignauguration, I excpect the President to grab the reigns and the headlines. We have only 13 days left with the inmates running the asylum.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  22. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    The 'change' that Americans voted for turns out to be 'short-changed' again by the pompous, partisan, power hungry, Prince Harry and Princess Nancy of Capitol Hill. If 'change' is to happen; ALL the faces from the previous failures must 'change', too.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  23. Sherron Lout

    I think they have..but is Barack Obama the president-elect or have I missed something and Hillary Clinton been elected? I can't tell with all the appointments that have been made from the Clinton presidency. I thought we voted for CHANGE???? Good ol' Democrats.. here we go again!!!

    January 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  24. Sherron Lout

    Sherron- San Antonio, Texas see above comments...

    January 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  25. Vinnie Vino


    It is hard to say they aren't on the same path the Republican Party was on for the past 14 years, since the unjust contract on America, that eventually helped to destroy the conservative moment in their own party and across this country. So all Democrats in the Government should wisen up and unite behind President-Elect Obama...

    C.I., New York

    January 7, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  26. L.M.,Arizona

    I don't know about the democrats,but Obama is doing all the right things. Feinstein is not president so she found something out when we did so what! Let's all give Obama three years so relax.


    January 7, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  27. Jay in Atlanta

    Off to the right start? With eleven trillion in debt, another trillion point two per year inherited deficit, economy headed south, layoffs at historic levels, wars on two fronts, no energy, bailouts all around, no working energy policy, and the Republicans already playing political games, how could the Dems ask for a better start?

    January 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  28. Tony in Michigan

    Not from the sounds of it. The Dems have to suck it up just like the GOP and get over themselves. This past election was about much more than just moving away from the Bush years, the nation is in trouble and partisan politics are one of the major reasons. Every member of Congress needs to realize that the nation elected Obama as the next president, not them. Working with the president will be in everyone's best interest.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  29. Bill Tucson AZ

    The Republican party must be enjoying this. The Democrats are in self destuct mode and can't seem to come to any agreement within the party on anything. They didn't like Hillary as Sec. of State. They didn't like Gates staying on beyound the current administration. They don't like Panetta. Just wait till the stimulus package reachs President Obamas desk and he vetos it because the House and Senate have attached earmarks. They will really dislike him then. But the Republicans will be parading all the way to the voting booths in 2010.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  30. Wendi Herman

    Actually, Jack, I think your question is stupid and does not deserve an answer. It is the kind of question that provokes divisiveness between the Democrats and Republicans, just when this country needs to come together and Congress needs to work together. The issues surrounding Blagojevich and Burris have nothing to do with Barack Obama or his incoming administration. Pelosi meant what she said, whether you liked the tone of her voice or not: your role is report what she said, not characterize how she said it. Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination to ensure that he would not be a distraction to the work of the incoming administration, regardless of the outcome (and who is to say that he will not have a future role in the administration once the dust settles). And, as a courtesy and because of her position, Senator Feinstein could have been consulted regarding Panetta, but at the end of the day, it is still President-Elect Obama's decision: get over it Senator and work with the man (and don't be so quick to complain next time). BTW, Jack, are you going Republican on us?

    January 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  31. Jerry from Jacksonville

    Being a democrat I think what would really help would be if Dummies Reid and Pelosi would take a hint and go back to where they came from. All I can see is them causing alot of hate and discontent with their idea that they are the king and queen of the congress

    January 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  32. Willow, Iowa

    I am impressed with quite a few of his picks. And I am delighted that he picked people without Nancy Pelosi's help. He's picking who HE wants for the posts, not who anybody else wants. Give him some time to get up and running.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  33. Billy G in Las Vegas

    all the current drama reminds me of what my New dealer grandfather used to say about his party. "Democrates are like cats. you can't tell if their fighting or making love" (or words to that effect)

    January 7, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  34. Karl from SF, CA

    It's too early to tell. Congress has been sworn in for one day and Obama has 13 days before he takes charge. After eight years of Bush, it isn't going to be a quick or smooth recovery. If they can get over the Burris stupidity and DiFi's CIA PMS they will be just fine.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  35. Jim


    Barack and the dems will do okay if folks will just give them a chance. The actions of Blagojevich and Richardson are not Obama's fault and he has handled them with his usual calm dignity. Nor is Obama to blame for the current flaps over Burris, Franken, or Carolyn Kennedy. Those controversies will work themselves out and the appropriate winners or appointees will be seated. Pelosi and Reid clearly understand that working with Obama will do a lot more for their respective careers than being a whiny thorn in his side. Give them a chance. After all, it took Bush and the Republicans 8 years to mess things up this bad.

    Reno, Nevada

    January 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  36. Steve, Ameila Is., FL.

    The dems are on the wrong path. The path they follow was created by the representatives of the nuvo-robber barrons, republicans ect.. The problem with the economy is cash flow. Credit has evaporated and deflation rules. To solve the probelm the feds need to print money and deliver $25,000 to every living social card holder immediately. This money should be directly deposited into individual bank accounts to be released to the account recipients in 12 months. Meanwhile, the banks should be forced to loan 80% of that money at prime plus 2% to the recipients. The loan is repaid upon maturity in 12 months. An act like this immediatley puts money into the economy to pay mortages, credit cards, buy cars, or even invest in stock. The estimateds cash requirement for saving the entire country from the bottom up is less than or equal to the TARP,.$700B or so. I hope you can get this idea the geniuses in power...simplicity is the often the hardest thing to see.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  37. Pugas-AZ

    The honeymoon is already over. Obama had to fight the republicans to get elected. Now he can start the fighting with the democrats. Isn't politics great? It's too bad we didn't get a complete change of congress. Nothing will be easy from here to when the country gets ticking again-if it ever will.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  38. Jay in Texas

    The Democrats got off to a bad start when the nominated Barack Obama as their presidential nominee. It's a little late to get on the right track now.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 7, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  39. Thom Richer


    Here's a news flash for you and the rest of the "Muddia." George W. Bush is president until January 20, 2009. No. Really. I'm not kidding. How about Obama and the Dems starting off then...just for the record.
    By the way, is the media aware that we are still fighting and dying in Iraq? Or is Gaza a more important story to report day in and day out on their body count and not Americans?

    Nehaunee, MI

    January 7, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  40. Pamela-Ohio

    Anytime you have 2 people there will be differences, and sometimes one person can be a problem for themself. And the we have all the "armchair" quarterbacks who all have a better mousetrap chiming in every whipstitch. Perhaps some of them should run for elected office, and win, and show the rest of us how to do it better. The view is always better from the "cheap seats!"

    January 7, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  41. Meg Ulmes

    If I base my judgment on decisions that he has made so far, I would say that he's off to a good start. To judge him by two leaders of a pretty worthless Congress, a governor under indictment who made a foolish decision, a foolish man who allowed himself to be nominated by said governor, a governor who is being investigated, and a senator who thinks that she was slighted would not be fair. He can only be in control of himself and his decisions. So far, I give him a thumbs up.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  42. Ryan, Galesburg IL

    Any start that doesn't involve a Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld or Gonzales is a good start. Keeping these criminals away from the controls of government makes me smile.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  43. Tommy Abilene Tx

    President -elect Obama is by making smart choices.Reid and Pelosi,etc.-not so much.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  44. hugh ~ tracy, california

    With the Blagojevich-Burris scandal stealing the spotlight, Dianne Feinstein's ego bruised antics and Harry Reid's big-mouth as ring-master, the democrats are starting off the new year with the "Greatest Show On Earth!" "It's a Barnum and Bailey World." I can't wait to see who steps into this 3-ring circus as the party clown. I've got my money on Barney Frank!

    January 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  45. Winston in Berrien Springs, MI

    What a bunch of clowns Jack. The show the Democrats have been putting on lately reminds me of when I was a kid when, on Saturdays, my mom would send my brother and me out in our best Buster Browns to the Nickelodeon to see the show. Before the premier movie, the theater would entertain you with the shenanigans and tomfoolery of the Keystone Cops which would leave you belly laughing and rolling in the aisles. The only thing missing for this current freak show is the old guy with the handlebar moustache on the ticky-tack piano, the one who winked at you when you threw your popcorn at him.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  46. Bill from Maine

    Given the past eight years, Jack, I think any "start" is preferable to continuing to beat our heads against a dead-end wall. Furthermore, considering that we have had absolutely no leadership at the executive level, it will be miraculous if the President-Elect doesn't end up having to call a Constitutional Convention and lead us in founding the country all over again. So, given where we've been and how far we have to go, yes, I think we've made the right start. At least we're not standing still any longer.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  47. Robert in Seattle

    So Jack, can ANYBODY tell me just WHEN AND WHERE the Sec of State of Illinois signed off on Burris becoming a Senator??

    Isnt that the RULE OF LAW, and WHY arent the Dems following it??

    January 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  48. Mark from Yuba City

    Actually...from my perspective President Obama's start hasn't been that bad. He's getting his team together...he's being proactive on the budget and the economy, and he's making the right sound bites with the media and the public. It's sad that Reid and Pelosi are still in charge on Capitol Hill. The voters cleaned out the leadership in the White House. They needed to do the same to Congress. I don't that Reid and Pelosi will play ball with the Obama administration. And those two characters will make life horribly difficult for the new president.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm |

    I do believe the Change is to get the Republicans out of office and Obama running our Country. Bush and company sure hasn't done anything for eight years, but get us farther in a hugh debt. It isn't Pelosi and Reid that has done anything wrong. It is Bush, Cheney, Rove, and all their people kissing their behinds, and getting the kickbacks. Yes I think Obama is doing a great job choosing the people he has, as they already know what is going on and do not have to learn.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  50. Phil-Wenatchee, WA

    Seat Burris, swear in Franken, and the rest is history. Compared to the last disasterous 8 years, we're off to a great start!

    January 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  51. Dr. George Rimini, Italy

    Everything will come out in the Wash, just add a little Lindane to it! Loosey- Goosey and it's so juicy! Don't let a little peacock, pumpkinpuss worry ya now! The dems are in, and that's what I'm happy about!

    January 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm |

    The Democratic party is like a good computer program, with glitches. We have to call the technician (Obama) over, to work out the kinks....... I tell you America needs a focused, disciplined, open minded, listener..... As Obama comes into power humbly, I feel like he is going to challenge dems, and repubs alike, to put up, or shut up....... Wait'll they get a load of him!! Those who oppose his good ideas, will suffer the iron fist....... of the public.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  53. Harry

    The Democrats congressional leadership is expected to be in turmoil. This is why Obama has stated he wishes to use the "bipartisan" approach. I think this used to be called "playing both sides against the middle". I think that going the opposite direction of Reid, Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein would probably appeal to enough republicans, to overcome the loss of some democrat votes. Those 3 will eventually grasp the idea, that the term "change" was directed about them.


    January 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  54. joe m

    it's early yet, jack... give them a chance... they can still F**** this up royaly like any good politician would...

    January 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  55. Ron from SF

    Here's why I'm hopeful: They aren't Republicans. Thank God

    January 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  56. Mickie

    As always, they are all looking out for themselves. They won't throw total support publicly until they see it will benefit them at next election. After all, neither Pelosi or Reid had the guts to stand up to Bush or Cheney when they were elected to do just that and they still have their own agenda. Personally, I think we need some younger, less engrossed, blood to shake things up.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  57. Hubert Bertrand

    I'm mad at REID He says he will not work FOR OBAMA, But we will work together, BOY how arrogant, People like him we don't need in the senate

    January 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  58. Kay in Canton, OH

    It's starting to sound like Republicans Redux - only the names and the party have changed. Don't any of these people have ethics?

    January 7, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  59. Tom

    We'll see if the democrats are on the right track. George W Bush is irrelevant so things at least feel better. The Burris and Panetta things will go away quickly. Obama looks to cut the pork and that irritates all members in Congress. I believe Harry Reid should hand the gavel to Schumer. Pelosi has her nose our of joint since Obama is in the spotlight. Time to adjust the tiara.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  60. Gerry

    Obama has had a great transition and picked an all star cabinet. What he now needs to do is for Raul Emanuel to have meetings with Peloski, Reid and Feinstein to teach them about the No Drama Obama method of administration.

    January 7, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  61. Britney

    Jack, the democrats has not been in office for 8 years.. the american people should wait until things really start moving ahead when the democrats has that house and the president adminstration is in action... lets wait to really see if things will have a bad start.


    January 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  62. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Through everything that's going on, Obama is still cool, calm, and collected. He will end up saving the Democratic party from themselves with his strong leadership.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  63. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    You bet. Obama has accomplished more in his short pre president tenure than any prior president. Congress better get their act together this president is not going to allow another do nothing term. Change has started and for a change we have a democrat who is articulate, intelligent, thoughtful, reaches across the aisle.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  64. lynn. vancouver

    PE Obama is on the right track as even the Democratic mandarins in Congress are becoming aware that the change he promised to how things are done in Washington includes their actions!!

    Thus far PE Obama has lived up to his promises and the media, the politicians and the cynical don't really know how to deal with someone who will be bipartisan by putting his country before his party. Now it is up to the politicians to show their patriotic stripes (or not)!!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  65. Peggy in Iowa

    To Jay in Brownwood, TX.

    America has been on a nightmare since stolen election by GOP, GWB & associates. But you gave them eight yrs of chances. A few months of Obama and assoc. trying to clean up GOPs actions and you're still complaining about the nomination. Bring It On!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  66. sage of Maryland

    Politicians rarely get off to a good start. They need a lot of prodding by the electorate to hold their feet to the fire. Let's hope that the American people stay as engaged in the affairs of Congress as they were during the campaigns this year.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  67. Richard Williams in Larchmont, NY

    The horse is not in the starting gate yet. Let's see once January 20th arrives.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  68. Peg

    The Democrats themselves haven't a clue. They need to get rid of Reid and that female who thinks so highly of herself. All they do is complain, complain, complain. Barack will get them straightened out!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  69. Gigi

    Whats new? sound just like any other presidental change of power. And on Jan. 21st it will be business as usual and most likely monkey business. I don't expect great things coming from congress. And like any other new president he'll have his work cut out for him by getting cooperation from congress.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  70. jyll from TEXAS

    Well this mess we're in didn't happen overnight and it's gonna take more than a couple of days to fix...so everybody needs to take a very deep breath and give Obama and his appointees some room and let them work...now exhale!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  71. Lee in TN

    They might be the first out of the gate ,but it depends upon when you cross the finish line

    January 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  72. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Yes and no since everything can be repaired!!!! They simply forgot and hopefully will soon remember the message received from the electorat and remember about all of their hard work in order to get where they are today! People voted for them because of their strong belief in a new presidency...Time to not forget their message of hope, work, transparency and accountability and put any petty business aside. Face real challenges since the country and all citizens are facing them now and people have voted for all of them to face these challenges together and important to not forget that the people expects to be part of the solutions in order for people to take responsibilities as well as elected officials would be doing the same....it is the only way to have a government that represents its people... since we elect the government we deserve...we deserve better than petty business! People also expect this renewed politics to improve our standing in the world...but we do have to start at home first! Here is a tip to not fall back on petty business... think about the fact that the world is watching and witnessing a great democracy at work learning from all its weaknesses and strengths!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  73. Steve_in_the_sticks

    No Jack...they're bouncing off a lot of insignificant rocks on their way downstream, but it's a stretch to place Harry and the Liberals' act in the same arena as Dubya's and Cheney's Iraq campaign and their surplus-to-$1Trillion deficit show, and their interest in a Palestinian homeland.
    The Obama team has received more scruitiny from the "[i]Fair and Balanced[/i]" media in these last few months than did the Bush Reign of Enlightenment of the past 8 years. Pravda, ahh excuse me, [i]the Media[/i] needs to stop fulfilling the Adminstration's wishes and start getting factual [i]data[/i] from which an educated public can make up their own minds.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  74. Roland

    No, they are not. It's great that we finally have a president elect who truly wants to reach out across partisan lines, but Mr. Obama also will need to be a true leader within his own Dem party and call Pelosi and Reid on the carpet when they need it as well.

    St. George, UT

    January 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  75. Graeme Martin Vancouver B.C. Canada

    The Democrats have made a terrible start.

    Unity within the senate is necessary to Mr. Obama's plans for change within the US.

    The senate still looks like a TV drama.

    2 disputed seats? And the unlawful barring of Roland Burris? Sure, he only has one of two signatures but one is merely a formality.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  76. Betty in Texas

    Obama is doing fine. Reid, Pelosi, Feinstein, Burris, et al need ego adjustments.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  77. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    Those two wannabees in congress will probably find a way to make his job harder but I think President elect Obama can handle them.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  78. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Gosh, Jack, give them a chance! There are always those who will not agree 100%. And you have people with strong personalities wanting to continue to have control.
    Barack Obama is our next president and our next leader. It most
    certainly cannot be as bad as these last, diasterous eight years.
    He is trying to do something to right the wrongs and am praying
    ALL politicians will unite to save our country.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  79. Sue -Idaho

    jack, they aren't Bush/Cheney so I'd say they are already far ahead of the curve!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  80. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    The Democratic Party needs to learn about something called the "team concept". It is alarmingly obvious that Pelosi and Reid have never embraced it, and maybe it is beyond their psychological capabilities, so it's a good thing Obama has all that experience playing basketball, which is (except for the NBA) a team sport.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  81. Marilyn, Powell, OH

    Those expecting everything to be immediately rosy on January 21, 2009 are acting just like spoiled children who want everything NOW!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  82. Ralph Nelson

    Let's pray this is not a rerun of Jimmy Carter versus the Democratic Congress. At least, unlike Carter, he had chosen democratic economists. Obama has two years to make the turkey economy fly. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  83. Mary from Houston, tx

    Kudos to President-elect Obama for suggesting a lunch with the former presidents.
    This type of initiative indicates his ambition to serve, if he is open to listening to others, he's a great improvement.
    I have admired President Carter's ability to get Sadat and Begin to sign a peace accord and despite some recent negative press, believe Carter has much to offer our new president, as do all the formers.

    We all are in the mess left by the last administration, and the new administration's website change.gov seemed like a great start to a new era.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  84. Scott, Wichtia

    They're politicians, Jack.

    The only thing they're good at is screwing things up.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  85. Les Oklahoma

    Think President elect Obama is off to a wonderful start as far Dianna Feinstein she is a real expert she set on intelligence committee and must have sign off on wire tapping and prisoner torcher. The only mistake was to let her head the committee but the President didn't have anything to do with that. Al far as Burris goes he will be seated . The only mistake I see that President Obama making is caving to the Republicans on the large amount on tax cuts that has not proven to be real successful over the past eight years.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  86. Ken in NC

    I am a Democrat and as much as I hate to say this, it is so true. Democrats will be Democrats. Now that they are in power they are like family. The infighting begins among them as to who is hired and who has the weight and who has "PULL". They want to be the ones to say who is hired to work as members of the Obama Team. My personal opinion is that The President should have the say on who works for him. He should not nominate people and then have to wait to see if the "Power Hungries" will say "Yes You Can Hire This Person". I think they are off to a bad start just like every other administration.


    January 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  87. Danny

    I feel that the the democratic transition is doing great, and he has a top cabinet. He definitely does need to get Rahm out there to teach Pelosi, Reid, and all of those power hungry folks that his administration has no time for their type.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  88. Kevin

    Nope. Absolutely not. Reid and Pelosi are two of the worst people in congress, and it's amazing to see that they're still in there even after the last congress had a low approval rating.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  89. Paul from SF, CA

    This is such a ridiculous media-driven question! These are all little bumps in the road totally blown out of proportion by 24-hour news channels like CNN that need to fill their time! Knock it off Jack!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  90. Jeremy Geerdes

    I think the Democratic leadership is realizing that the issues facing our nation today are much bigger than the popular soundbites that got them elected.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  91. DJ Chitown

    The Democrats aren't really doing anything different or new. They finally got the media's attention because Baby Bush has been silent for the last two weeks.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  92. Ira in L.A.

    Off to a perfect start: Start with a head of steam, and then jettison Richardson and trip up on a few other minor things to lower expectations. Managing expectations is the job of a true leader, and this man is as brilliant as they come.
    Superb. I can hardly wait for him to tell Jimmy Carter what a jerk he is. That should broaden his support 🙂

    January 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  93. Blake

    Yes, sadly they are getting off to a bad start but it will all be settled the day the persident elect is sworn in.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  94. Mike Cochrane

    Of course they are off to the right start. If we were to look at the colors of the carpets we can come up to opinions that don't make any sense either. Since they are still 13 days away from coming into power, the rest of this planet called EARTH is happy and hopeful that we can get back to a balanced power.

    Love your show Jack. Hope you are doing well.

    Quebec City

    January 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  95. romnak, corbin KY

    Sure it's a rocky start. Obama is inheriting what can arguably called the most screwed up mess in the history of the United States. What they need to do is get their act together, cut the bulls–t, and get down to the business of running the country credibly. If they can't do their job, lets fire them all and start all over. I doubt it could get any worse.We already know what a villiage idiot from Crawford, Texas can do.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  96. Rick

    In short, not really. Until they learn to devote their time appropriately to things that actually matter, we'll all be stuck in the mud together. It seems pretty simple to me.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  97. Tom in Dubuque

    Seat Burris, he has a reputation in Illinois as an honest and ethical man; we need to get on with fixing this country. The president elect needs to start imposing his will on the Democratic leadership , as he is now the head of the party.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  98. Wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    well hard to say, all though if they replaced there head's of the senate and house it wouldn't hurt..those two just seem to lean to what ever is popular that day, leader's i think not.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  99. AJ from Austin TX

    Off to a good start?! Are you kidding me?! The democrats have had two years to make good changes in Congress and they haven't done anything worth mentioning. You've got Barney Frank who is taking no blame for the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac fiasco. Instead, he blames Bush for everything. And the media (yes you, CNN) let him get away with it. What about getting us out of Iraq? What about earmarks? Of course instead of taking responsibility for their failures, they just blame Bush and the Republicans. Pelosi and Reid: Be a man and admit your failures and fix them!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  100. Tony Ligterink

    Jack, there's always going to be dissent between members of the same party. It's just the way things go in life, you will never have members on the "same page" topic after topic, regardless of which political affiliaton one may claim to be from.
    At least Obama himself has shown up ready to go and that's really all that matters after the past 8 years of ineptness!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  101. charles

    Obama has a lot of women to deal with.I guess michalle is the one that count

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  102. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    Could everybody just please let the man get sworn in first!!! The expectations are so high after the disaster that was the Bush years that I fear Obama is not going to get a fair shake.
    When a new adminstration comes in there are always bumps in the road and this is just the same.Everything is just getting magnified by the gravity of the situation we find ourselves in.
    Just imagine this. What if poor tired old John McCain were taking the oath on the 20. Then I would be very frightened.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  103. henry

    A good start is always good, but a better finish gets my vote. They should fine.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  104. David Gerstenfeld, Las Vegas

    Well, the democrats have reloaded & their feet must have healed.
    So what else is new? Now, if only we could replace Harry & Nancy with capable leaders, President Obama would have a great team to lead the country.
    David, Las Vegas

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  105. Steve

    Gee Jack ... Dianne Feinstein was on the oversight committee ... right. She signed every damn decision Bush wanted. Uh – let's see ... perhaps those in California need to take a hard look at why she is in office. Get a Democrat in there that has some sense of duty!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  106. John Greenslit

    posturing is all part of the process, no harm and no foul. More noise than affect. 534 people simply show their desire to be President. Slow news day?

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  107. Indigo

    Democrats are not use to having much say about anything, that's why the silence is deafening. Democrats and President-elect Obama are going to be just fine.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  108. Max W.

    I think it's a little too early to be talkign about being off to the 'right start'. I mean, as you said on air inauguration day is still two week off.

    in the coming weeks, "right start" is going to be defined by how Obama reacts to the tumbling economy, addresses the numerous issues in the Middle East, and deals with whatever else comes up in the next few weeks and month (because this is politics, if its not one thing, its something else).

    He's still the 'President-Elect' everyone...until the 20th he's a politician with influence, but without a job! 🙂

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  109. Derick

    Being a constitutional law Lecturer,President Elect, Barack Obama, should have known better, not to rush initially in joining the Democratic leaders to” deny ” the appointment of the junior senetor of illinios, Roland Burris, Who by all indication is likely to be his replacement.
    Greensboro, NC.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  110. Lori from Sacramento


    Sure it's been a bit rough....kind of like a newborn deer trying walk for the first time. A bit wobbly, unsure and yeah, it may fall down a few times.

    But the goal is clear and so far Obama has put together an admirable team to get us out of Bush's mess.

    Remember, it's not how you start, it's how you finish, and Obama will finish strong 8 years from now.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  111. Gwen

    Yes Jack, there has been some hurt feelings, but for the most part they have worked pass them, and I think they will continue to work together both Democrats and Republicans. The Country is hurting so badly now, I think they want to work together.
    I think the Country is off to a good start

    January 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  112. Andy in Ann Arbor

    The Democrats are off to a fine start – Obama and his team face unprecidented media attention and expectations – unrealistic expectations. Let's all remember that this is the toughest job in the States.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  113. Sharon Hunsucker

    THis scenario has more divas than the red carpet at the Oscars? Do you really think they will do anything except promote their own well being?

    January 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  114. Tom in Milton, NY

    They are certainly getting the BIG things right. Petty bumps in the road are to be expected.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  115. Lynn

    Barak Obama needs the votes, and the intelligent efforts of the House and Senate, to get our nation back on track economically. With his latest misstep, Harry Reid seems unable to put his fascination with his own importance, aside. Perhaps it is time to put Harry Reid aside.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  116. Neil

    Jack, I look at the Democrats transition this way. It's better to get these hiccups out of the way now rather than screwing it up later. I have far less tolerance of on the job training than I used to.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  117. Jim

    There seems to be a lot of things happening outside of President Elect Obama's control. Let's not let the media make this out to be something it isn't, as we know things will change tomorrow. We know Obama and trust him from the past two years of campaigning, why not wait until he gets into office and then judge!
    Jim from Florida.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  118. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Congress was sworn in just on Monday,Obama won't be sworn in until the 20th and Bush is still President. Let's give them a chance before we start calling them failures. There a lot of mess left by bush that needs to be swept out or fixed and they can't do that overnight.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  119. Jon

    The democrats are doing exactly what I expected them to do, crash and burn. If you didn't think this country's problems could get worse just wait and see what the next four years have in store for us.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  120. Barbara Walker

    I don't see a rocky start for the Dems. I see a slow news day for CNN.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  121. Marjorie Lominy

    Never underestimate the power of the Democrats for snatching defeat from the jaws of Victory.....

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  122. Sam

    Allow me to give a blunt, Biden-esque answer: "yes". Sam, Columbia, SC

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  123. Louis Linzie

    I hope Democrats can conduct their public policy with as much transparency as they do their infighting.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  124. harry Hassoun swamsea ma

    great start any start that doesn't include BUSH CHENEY OR A REPUBLICAN is a great start

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  125. PoliticoMike

    You worry to much. I think the Dems are doing great, especially with Obama steering the ship. As for being upset that you didn't get a heads up about the new CIA boss, get over it! She didn't get it because she supported Bush's tourcher methods and said herself that a the President (Bush) can pick who ever he wants. So, stop crying, lady!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  126. Bob

    Democrats are nothing except politicians. They can read the polls and know that the public wants Obama to get something done quickly and the last thing any of them want is to be seen trying in any way blocking that effort. I'm sure Obama will let us know if there is anyone screwing up the works.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  127. Jane


    I love ya, Man, but Harry Reid is NOT a loose canon. He's spot on in his assessment of George W. Bush as worst president ever. In fact, I've had that very statement firmly appended to my bumper sticker for at least two years. I never thought I'd live long enough to see Warren G. Harding replaced as presidential bottom feeder, but it's happened.

    As for how the Democrats are starting off, I think they're doing just fine. Roland Burris will be seated, as well he should be, and we'll all get down to work in time for the inauguration. The appointments have been fabulous to date, including that of Leon Panetta to direct the CIA.

    Decatur, GA

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  128. Dawn Kucera

    I think we need to keep things in perspective. The issues of late (Burris, Richardson, etc) are tiny pebbles in the road compared to the really big rocks the country is facing. President-elect Obama is getting high marks from all corners on the big stuff - his appointments, plans for the economy and the professionalism of his transition. All these day to day issues will be forgotten as soon as he and the Congress start grappling with the important issues: the economy, the environment and the war in Iraq.

    I think these small things are getting a lot of attention because of the lack of any controversy in the big things that really do matter.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  129. Pennie Johnson

    It really doesn't matter what Democrats ( as politicians go) think. What we the people think is all that matters and so many of us are behind our new president.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  130. Sandi AZ

    I think it could it have been alot smoother had they not tried to fill all the cabinet offices so early. It is evident to me alot of the Dems are dragging their feet on some of the issues. My guess would be they are afraid of getting a much younger generation in the House and Senate and may not get the votes come next election. People want a definate change and the Senate and House will be the next places these old cronies will be voted out!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  131. Ronda in Coralville Iowa

    I am a democrat but I tell you it does feel as though the dems need to quit the whining and stop with their personal agendas and for once just do what is best for the country get behind our new President and just for fun see what kind of progress can be made for a change vs. deadlock.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  132. Brian

    President-Elect Obama is correct in his position that there is only one president at a time and thus can not fully lead in all United States affairs. Where the President-Elect is failing is leading his own Democratic Party, a body of which he is the current leader.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  133. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    Everything will be just fine AFTER the inauguration of Pres-elect Obama. The "green' glow of envy is showing in those Dems already on the hill because Obama is getting all of the "good" attention and because he is more admired than they are. As such, they will say and do anything to get the attention they think in their itty bitty minds they deserve. And yet, I remain a proud and hopeful Democrat!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  134. M. Grant, Nashville

    Sorry Jack,
    but I have to completely disagree with your characterization of the beginning of this new administration. Barack Obama is off to a great start and none of the circus like events happening on Capitol Hill will have any effect. I believe the new CNN poll gives him an 82% approval rating. The Blago/Burris circus has nothing to do with him.

    As for the Nancy/Harry show on Capitol Hill, well, that's a different matter. Harry is just spineless and I doubt that will change regardless of who sits in the Oval Office.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  135. dan krause

    Come on Jack:
    you have to cut the Democrats some slack. They have been out of the real game for a lot of years, and now that Andy Gump is leaving town, they are losing their favorite target.
    You need to see the the Democrats as something like a pack of family dogs let loose for the first time in a Doggie Park. They seem to be running around with no real purpose, but as soon as an Alpha Dog comes in, they fall right in line.
    And unlike the recent administration, no one will have to run behind them with plastic bags.

    gulfport, florida

    January 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  136. Joe, Jacksonville, Fl

    No !! They are now finding out that Obama is not going to play ball with Democrats or any other party.... He's there to chance Washington, and that what he's going to do.... This is great for the American people......

    January 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  137. Oscar, NYC

    Not at all! This is THE TIME for Dems. They have both houses, the most popular incoming president in god knows how long and Republicans are in a serious identity crisis with no real leadership in sight.

    Dems are running around like headless chickens, not producing a coherent message and throwing away their momentum on empty issues like the Blagojevic matter. A problem solely within their own party, mind you!!

    I can only hope that Obama exerts himself as 'Daddy' when he takes office.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  138. Jeff Crocket

    The Democrats are chasing their tails. it is business as usual for the most part!! This Burris and Caroline Kennedy mess is pure comedy!

    Right/Wrong you can tell!!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  139. leo

    Everything is copasetic, full speed ahead. The talking heads need fodder to earn their pay.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  140. Rich fr West Grove

    Pres. elect Obama is off to the right start, as for the Democratic Party, they are, have been and always will be their own worst enemy. Yet, I truly believe Mr. Obama's will leadership will change that.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  141. Nicolle

    I don't feel that President Elect is off to a bad start if he were President at the moment. I am an Independent and I feel that considering the times that we all live in due to the current adminstration decisions over the 8 years, we need to give, the President Elect, once he takes the office, the time he needs to clean up 8 years worth of things. Maybe I am being biased about him, but everyone needs to give him and his adminstration a break. Every new adminstration has things to clean up from the job holder before them. Everyone has their style to get that done. After 1 year of holding the office then throw the barbs if people want to. Thanks Nicolle

    January 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  142. R.J. Seaby

    The litany of Democratic fumbles, stumbles, gaffes and over all clumsiness is the entertaining side of American politics. The congressional leadership at times proves that the Peter Principal is alive and well. President elect Obama will soon learn that we do not have rocket scientists running our country.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  143. James W. Blevins

    Given the number and magnitude of the problems left behind by the "worst president we have ever had", the Democrats are doing a magnificent job.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    January 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  144. Philip O

    Considering the president-elect has not tyet been inaugurated, this endless reporting on the mistakes of the democratic party is simply nonsense. Granted, the next presidency is an important one, and for that reason the numerous "issues" arising are thanks to nit-picky muckrakers who feel the need to dissect the flaws by the newly-reigning party.
    Never before has this much attention been paid to the president-elect's cabinet appointments or new senate sessions; I'll make nothing of it.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  145. ken

    Jack, if you are an Obamanite then you wouldn't see this coming. However, if you knew my family and freinds they would tell you I seen this coming long before he was elected. There is a storm coming after January 20, I'll give it two years to hit. You heard it here first. NUFF SAID

    January 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  146. Mary

    West Virginia

    Oh come on Jack!! Throw a life preserver, the Titanic is sinking again.
    Let's see, economy disasterous, planet in peril, illegal war and no one consulted me.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  147. Jimmie Jones

    I feel that the Dems are on the right start. If everything went smooth it would make me wonder what is wrong.Like a marriage, if you never have problems, it is a true sign of something is not right.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  148. Bob

    The more I hear about the Senate and House of Reps. the more they sound like a kindergarden class. They must learn to play nice with each other if anything is to be done. Somebody remind them that there is no I in team. The only I is the "I am President" that Obama can say in 13 days.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  149. Eric in Ashburn, Virginia

    C'mon Jack – the Republicans have been virtually invisible and silent. Isn't that a good thing?

    January 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  150. Roman

    Ummm. yep! they're exactly where they need to be. Things don't always go your way. And the Democrats are going to learn to that each and everyone of them are going to have to sit back and think about what the hell are you doing to correct this mess we're in. Humility is going to handed to them on a silver platter. For once all of you do something for your country and not yourself. Show some true patriotism and put your country first. And then and only then, you will achieve greatness.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  151. Lars Bergeson in Utah

    Come on, Jack, all of your points are non-issues. What would the broadcast media do without milking every nuance out of these situations. Despite your disdain, Jack, you're like all of the rest. Whatever happened to reporting the news, and, when commenting on the news, emphasizing the facts, and reporting gossip as gossip?

    January 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  152. Jack, Phoenix

    It doesn't matter Jack. We will be done with Bush and anyone including you could make things better than they have been. !

    January 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  153. Sherrol in Canada

    There was already doom and gloom before the start Jack. Obama was doing fine before, Blago, Burris, Feinstein and the lot, and you must admit only Feinstein was a misstep on his part.

    As for the Dems in Congress, I do believe their deafening silence comes from a place of uncertainty. Everyone has trepidations when they get a new boss and tend to err on the side of caution.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  154. Jane


    I luv ya, Man, but Harry Reid is NOT a loose canon. In calling George W. Bush the worst president ever, he's spot on. In fact, I've had that very line appended to my bumper for at least two years. I never thought I'd live long enough to see Warren G. Harding replaced as presidential bottom feeder, but here we are.

    As to how the Democrats are doing, they're doing just fine. In choosing Leon Panetta for the CIA post, they're making it clear that torture and other immoral behaviors will not be in their future. There couldn't be a better choice. Roland Burris will be seated; Al Franken will be seated; and everybody will get down to work cleaning up the Republican mess.

    Decatur, GA

    January 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  155. Terese

    This reads to me: Democrats are in office, everyone switch blame.

    What an average opinion.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  156. David from Newport OR

    No. But with the leadership of Pelosi and Reid, why would expect differently? These two idiots will destroy the gains we as Democrats have made by electing Obama. Don't believe me. Watch and learn. In 2010, there will be a MAJOR shift once again.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  157. Collin

    Due to the current condition of the country americans are paying more attention and voicing out especially on pay to play politics. the irony in this situation is that Obama's campaign was all for reform and cleaning up the government, and its back firing on his own party. most of the pay to play scandals apear to be in the dem party. but to answer your question i believe the dems are off to a good start not a great start but a good start. The best thing to do isnt always the easiest to swallow.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  158. Valerie - North Carolina

    Jack – The Democrats are like a big family who are all wanting the spotlight and trying to stay ahead of the pack. Obama's presidential campaign was orderly and organized and one of the best ever run. But he is now dealing with the prima-donnas of government. Let's hope this intelligent and talented man, once placed into office, can get his party in line to face the many overwhelming problems that face this country. Personally, I put my money on Obama.

    Valerie – Raleigh

    January 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  159. Rodmyr Plantin

    Yes! Barack Obama conductivity as president elect over shadows the negativity fiasco members of his party are involve in. As long as barack is purified the democrats will be view positively.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  160. Will Walk


    The Democrats haven't done anything for the past two years with their control of Congress. What makes you think they will change and get off to a good start now? This circus will be playing for a long time and that's not at all meant to be funny. This country has serious problems and it needs solid leadership.

    Just wait until Hillary Clinton doesn't get her way! It will make the Pelosi, Reid, Burris, Feinstein et al news today seem calm.

    I'll bet John McCain is smiling somewhere and why do you think Bush has that smirk on his face?


    Spring, TX

    January 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  161. Tim

    The Dem. pulled off no political miracle in Obama getting Obama elected over McCain. Bush managed to trash the Pep. Party real well during his tenure. But what people seem to have forgotten,Obama has a one gallon pail in his hand to catch a million or so gallons of muddy water. Besides,though there seems to be an aire that Obama is the "second coming",he may be able to lead the people through the parted Red Sea,that exists in Americans minds,but in the process will find that the earth is really flat when the crossing is nearing an end,thus leaving Americans to find no milk nor honey,but a shear drop off into an economic "blackhole".

    January 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  162. Danni

    Off to the right start????What have they done??? They have not fulfilled their promises after winning the house. We are still getting promises as we speak. They are making me turn independent.

    Upland Ca

    January 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  163. Jay Maynard

    The Democrats are showing their true colors: corrupt, ultimately political, power-grabbing. They can't get off on the right foot because they have no right foot to get off on.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  164. Helen Nickerson

    It seems that everyone in DC is looking out for themselves. Doesn't matter if they are Democrats or Republicans. Burris, Pelosi, Reid and all the rest only care about their pocketbooks and no one elses. It's time they get the message that they were elected to take care of the people of these United States, not just themselves and their buddies.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  165. RJ in TX

    Nothing can be headed in the right direction with Pelosi sitting shotgun!!!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  166. Daniel, Indiana

    To accomplish bickering, division and back-biting, this is the right road. It wouldn't matter who the President would be with politicians like these. Don't get me wrong, they all would be doing the same thing. I think it is a defective gene.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  167. Peter


    Dems just forgot send out the memo about changing their act. Its like watching an 200lb man try to button a suit coat tailored for a 150lb guy.
    Any move they make and the buttons will start shooting off in all directions.

    What will they do when they no longer have Pres. Bush as their scape goat.


    January 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  168. Vinit from Berkeley, CA

    No, the Democrats aren't off to a particularly good start, but it's sadly still an improvement from the last eight years of a $2000 decline in middle class real wages, wealth that hasn't been this unequal since the Gilded Age, and rampant wall street corruption with simultaneous unabashed impunity. Remember, the modern Democratic party has never been about demagogues in Congress like Reid and Pelosi; it's a party for the American people. So while Congress and some governors may not be off to a good start, those Americans who have found a new sense of optimism are.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  169. Tim

    It's like a big scary family picnic, Jack. Auntie Diane's got her nose outta joint 'cause she hasn't gotten enough attention. Blago, the uninvited embarrassing cousin, showed up with his pal Burris. Burris now thinks he's just part of the family and won't leave. Uncle Harry's threatening to pitch him out, but Uncle Harry's all bluster and no action, so everybody knows Burris is around for good. It'll all be ok , though, once Daddy Barack and the rest of the cool people arrive.
    Tim in Texas

    January 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  170. Jay Maynard

    The Democrats are showing their true colors: corrupt, power-grabbing, ultimately political. They cannot get off on the right foot because they have no right foot to get off on.

    Jay Maynard, Fairmont, Minnesota

    January 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  171. Matthew

    I now have more about Obama being rejected by his own party. Because he wants to represent the United States of america instead of the Blue states of america, the left doesnt like him anymore. Perhaps he should switch parties? Since the Right likes him as the Left abandons him.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  172. chimera

    Democrats are just so undisciplined. They act like people who have been badly abused or traumatized. If they keep it up they will be out before they can enjoy being in.

    Cali in Concord, NH

    January 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  173. Andrea Wallick

    Stuff happens, aren't you due for another vacation Jack?

    January 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  174. Pat Henkels - Blue Bell, PA

    No. Primadonnas don't know when they have the audience in the palm of their hand. Pelosi and Reid better wise up. They have a chance to really make a differenc e with a new president with vision and guts to try and get us out of this mess. If they aren't carefull in two years they will lose their edge and the Republicans will come in to continue with much of the same. Remember history does repeat itself.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  175. J.

    They have been in session for what a day and a half? Give them a break and ask this question in 100 days. Pelosi needs to learn that the election gave Obama the mandate, no the Democratic party. Obama leads, they follow, not the other way around.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  176. Linda


    You are so right, it doesn't seem like the Democracts are happy that Obama is going to be the President, its like now they won't have any thunder to feed the people anymore.
    First Diane Feinstein needs to shut up, who needs her permission to select a cabinet member, the Burris situation is a joke and as a Afro-American I am disgusted with how he is pushing his way into the Senate seat- what a Ego, Self Center creep he is , and I sure most Afro-Americans agree (and he did play the race card), As for Pelosi you are right on and maybe Reid needs to think before he speaks. As for Bill Richards I don't know why he gave everyone the impression this matter would be taken care of by the New Year, so now its another pressure on Obama to pick someone else. The Democrats are the ones making it difficult for the President

    January 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  177. john monroe

    current Democrat problems are molehills compared to the past 8 years-cut them a little slack

    January 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  178. Charles

    How could someone participate in this conversation if all people leaving comments are Bush bashing Democtrats. Oops I guess CNN is not fair and balanced....just trying to please lefties.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  179. Stanley M Rice

    Yes, the Democrats are getting of to a rocky start. Let's not all nitpick Obama to death.
    Congress should be helping him hit the ground running. he is who the majority of Americans wanted. AS BARACK SAID, " THIS IS ONE
    AMERICA" THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO. let's do it!

    Stan Rice Sherman Oaks

    January 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  180. Nancy

    I don't think Barack Obama gives a crap about whether or not the Democrats are getting off to a good start, and rightly so. He seems keenly aware that our elected officials on both sides of the aisle over the past eight years have behaved like absurd egomaniacs at best and a pack of murderous clowns at worst, and he appears to be intelligent and secure enough to treat them accordingly.

    I am starting to feel calm for the first time in eight years.

    Nancy, Dearborn, MI

    January 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  181. Jerome Davis

    They all need to wait till the man ( OBAMA ) gets in before they start with all the negative talk...!! I do belive they all will come togather Democrats, and Republicans alike.. As was said by Bush we all want Him ( OBAMA ) to be soccessful,, CAUSE WE ALL LOVE THIS COUNTRY.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  182. Paul Pershick

    Jack, I really like Wendi Herman's response. It will interesting to see if you show it @ 4:00.

    Vancouver, BC

    January 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  183. John Moore

    Pretty much the same controversy and scandal that accompanies a democratic administration. No surprise.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  184. Jerry in Atlanta

    Give me a break, it's "journalist" like yourself that are responsible for getting the Democrats elected in the first place.........

    January 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  185. Phillip D. Pauly

    Dear Jack:

    Never before has a President-elect had so much expected of him. We need to give the new administration the benefit of the doubt; after all, they're not even in power yet. I think the frustrations we are feeling are due in large part to the lack of leadership coming from the current administration. Instead of one president at a time, or the problem of having two at a time, I feel like the office is presently vacant. Mr. Obama can't start early, but Mr. Bush should not have quit early.

    Phil in Minnesota

    January 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  186. Rob - Houston, Texas

    I could be better, that is for sure. Interesting how the shoe fits on both feet. You think you have everything on cue, a great agenda, and pin pointed eveything you need to take care of on your list. Then some extra curricular events and personalities take hold and things are no longer clear cut anymore.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  187. Thomas in Alabama

    NO, the democrats not getting off to anything that resembles the right start. The democrats are about to RUIN all the good will and support they were getting from voters. I can't believe Harry Reid would even consider seating Roland Burres. If they do seat Burres how are they going to defend that decision during the 2010 elections when they will have armed the republicans with everything needed for victory.
    I am not a big political party guy, and now I see why. The Dems don't know how to lead and the Repubs can't lead.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  188. Jamie

    I think it's starting to look like '93 all over again and the midterms in 2010 will be just like 1994 when Gingrich and the Contract of America got in. The Dem leadership better get to work and support Pres elect Obama.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  189. Dee Ousley

    No one is perfect, there will always be some glitches, but I think President Elect Obama is doing his best to put a team together that will work hard to get the job done. Being that the people being selected are at the top of their game, I don't think they will be yes men/women I don't believe they got where they are by being so, and I don't think President Elect Obama chose them to be quite. Be positive and have patients, everything will be alright.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  190. wilbur robinson

    I would not be surprised if there is a rapid recovery from the current fiscal problems. The Dems, who set this in motion as far back as just after "W's" inauguration, by refusing to seat any judges or so many of his necessary appointments, have it within their power to reverse and quit pressing for more bad news, which is about all they could do in their campaign, stressing the bad on all counts and hoping that it would place all the blame on "W." And it seemed to work, as the electorate fell for it. And the Dems pulled up once again that mantra of lies and inuendo ("it's the economy, Stupid!") which served them in unseating GHWBush and letting us seat instead of a war hero, a draft dodger, serial adulterer, convicted purjuror, snorter of cocaine, etc etc. Our economy is so heavily tilted toward credit that anything which casts that factor into question can snowball into a calamity – true or not. Now, if they can only remember their original tales, and just set about reversing them, there could be a surprising recovery. Which they can credit to Obama, and those of us which are hoodwinkable, will be duly hoodwinked, and vote obediently in 2012.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  191. Erik Lander

    As long as the democrats do not run over a bike messenger.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  192. Arthur in Chicago

    Like any marathon, this is just the beginning. It's not how you start, it's how you finish.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  193. Nate from Columbus Georgia

    I think that the start reflects the diversity of opinions that are obvious in the democratic party, (unlike that lockstep that we've seen in the republican party under the BUSH administration). Better to initially disagree and then work out the differences, than to blindly agree and then have to carry the Party Line in an effort to cover-up the mistakes. I've seen more republicans disagree with "W" in the past two months than I've seen in the past SEVEN years. Where was their independent thinking and values then? Isn't it nice to at least have an opinion on the table that engages more than the wants of the wealthy and the powerful! We love Barack and we love our families-EVEN families often dissagree.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  194. Erik Lander

    As long as the democrats do not run over a bike messenger.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  195. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    I think the Democrats are doing fine in preparation for the new president. They could actually be doing even better had the Republicans tried to do a good job, but they seem incapable of doing that under any circumstances.In regard to Sen. Feinstein I would not nor will not lose any sleep over her complaint about the CIA. . It all goes back to the thought it takes a looser to see a looser and Sen Feinstein is an expert on that. Burris is another loser that I'm not worried about.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  196. Cali Dem

    No, very unfortunately the same old group who hasn't been able to get themselves pulled together in the past 4 years, and then 2 years can't get themselves rallied around an exicting, new direction now that Bush is FINALLY out. Instead we have the same old in-fighting and nonsense, the Democrats just don't seem to be able to keep from imploading whenever they get a chance to really ste-up... Blagojevich should have already stepped down, Burris should have thought more about his country and his party and declined (for now), Feinstein should keep her mouth shut to the public. We need a united front to focus on the REAL issues effecting us, get strongly behind Obama and his amazing potential, and stop making many of us Democrats shake our heads in utter disgust...

    January 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  197. Dixie

    You said we are being to queit about all the things that are swerling around Mr Obama and what he is trying to get togegther to start to dive into this mess we are in. Well I live in Il. and I can tell you we are NOT keeping quiet. Our so called Gov has been a nothing but a ourrage to us sence day one!! And Mr. Burris has been in office here for ever but has been picked to upset the rest of the proceedings and that is the only reason! It has taken some of the heat off of him.And President ellect Obama is doing a wonderfull job even with everything that is going on!! I think everyone should back off and let the man do what we elected him to do or at least give him the chance to. Stop tearing down all the good and possitive things for the dark and gloom that makes news!! Wait till after things go south before you judge what he is doing! We have a chance for the change we despartaly need so please try to be more possitive for all our sake.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  198. Dakota

    Yes, Jack, I believe the Democrats are doing just fine. They have a lot on their plate. However, too many people are expecting instant gratification.

    I particularly like the nomination of Leon Panetta. He has responsible, "intelligence community experience" while serving with the U.S. Army; and, the White House Chief of Staff is certainly part of the “intelligence community.”

    He was the main person responsible for balancing the budget. Also, as Chief of Staff, he made day to day White House operations work more smoothly, through better management.

    Leon Panetta’s reputation and credentials are flawless. Plus, he is a very good person! He has an excellent record of cutting costs and doing an outstanding job at whatever the task.

    Although he is an "outsider" in the intelligence community, Leon Panetta does not carry past CIA baggage. Therefore, he is an excellent choice to MANAGE the activities of the CIA.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  199. Karen - AZ

    I'm 64 years old and a registered republican who voted and donated to Obama. Yes and it is the best transition of power I have seen in my lifetime!!! Lets just hope it rubs off on the rest of America!!! Power of Positive Thinking!!!!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  200. Southern Boy

    I'm a Republican and certainly didn't vote for Obama, but I unabashedly and completely support our new Congress and incoming President. It is far too early to judge how they will perform, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on these issues. There will ALWAYS be embarassments to whichever party is in power, so you just have to shake your head and look beyond to the real issues. I'm praying for them to succeed, but have an aching fear that "Yes, we can" is going to turn into "What? No way" or worse. I hope not.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  201. Jackie

    The Economy has been going down hill for the last two years, after DEMS took control of the purse strings and allowing Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and others to run amuk . And, let's talk about social issues...it's now a free for all...anything goes. No discipline, civility and respect for authority , each other and yes, ourselves. I blame that on the far left. We can only hope that O'bama and the Democratic Congress do half as good as President George W. and the Republicans. Believe it or not, I'm routing for him. No other choice over the next few years.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  202. Bob R

    One of the telling things is how they (congress) now feel they must be supportive (reluctantly) for the incoming president because he's from the same party. Washington himself worried that having political parties would fracture the whole system. Listening to Pelosi, she basically admits that they refused to work with Prez. Bush and therefore share as much responsibility for the current state of affairs.

    Its also telling how everyone jumped at the $400+ billion deficit of the last year of Bush's presidency yet they are quiet at early reports that Obama will run up $1 trillion defecit.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  203. Tom Blackwell

    Leave it to the Democrats to completely drop the ball just when they've finally wrestled complete control of DC from the Republicans. They (especially Harry Reid) look like bumbling amateurs. Just when Obama should be making a historic, triumpant entry into Washington, the press are focused on everything the Dems are involved in except the President Elect. Very amusing.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  204. Asad Ilyas

    Jack, honeymoon is over and its time people actually woke up and stopped day dreaming. No change is coming as is evident with IL senator scandal. This congress and senate like the ones from the last decade will concentrate on petty issues, partisanship, infighting and not the economic conditions of ordinary citizens like me who have lost 20% of my assets in less than 3 months.

    Obama even though i like him alone cannot do anything and sooner the voters realize this and take matters into their hands the better by voting every knuckle head like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi

    January 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  205. Casey

    Yes – If you judge the party's performance strictly on the merits of Obama's decisions and appointments. NO – Absolutely not, if you consider the hodge-podge actions and statements from dysfunctional old-guard Democratic party apparatus. Party unity has taken a back-seat to the power hungry ruling majority we have in the Bush-lame-duck-power-vacuum disaster. Take the reigns Barack, and whip your party into a new line, that's "change we can believe in."

    January 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  206. Don Drummond

    Absolutely not. Barack Obama has publicly stated we shall be facing trillion dollar deficits for years to come. The people should be outraged and we should replace the word deficit with the phrase "Not raising taxes on you, but giving your kids and grandchildren a nice surprise" We should be fighting deficits and the democratic party doesn't even acknowledge the irrationality of trillion dollar deficits and their implications on our economy.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  207. Denise from Tennessee

    Give the Democrats a chance and stop dissecting their every move.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  208. Eric Walker

    Jack, if you look back at the recent history of the tough leadership of the Democracts. Just remember what they ( The Great Harry Reid and Pilosi ) told President Bush when his cronnies refused to answer subpoena's issued by Congress. Politicizing of the justice department, The investigation of Torture and Black opt sites while denied by this administration while FIFTEEN SOLDIERS were left out in the cold, and who lives have been destroyed, while our President Changed the law to protect himself and others before losing control of Congress. Oil Drilling ! Soon to be Senator Burris. President Elect Obama is going to do fine. Oh, thats were my faith in the Democracts end.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  209. Paul, Charles Town, WV

    Business as usual in Washington, Jack. Oh, what a tangled web they weave. I am still optimistic that Obama will inject some humility and sound, responsible leadership into Washington, but it is likely to come AFTER he is elected. There will always be creepy spiders from both sides of the aisle rearing their ugly heads, some more poisonous than others. Let's hope Obama can avoid getting bit by the ones that can kill his fresh ideas for America.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  210. Tyrone

    On point once again Jack, and I just responded to Roland Martin's article about this. Absolutely wrong track for the Dems. Its uncanny how the party in power can muck things up an they aren't even at the crest of their power yet. If I were Republican right now, I'd jump all over the Burris thing and call for him to be seated immediately. Even if it were for my own personal edification and appearing to care about "perceived race issue", I think it could have a long term positive effect in the minds of minorities in this country–especially if the Republicans can build off it with REAL platforms that are truly inclusive. Furthermore, the Dems are truly one more HUGE scandal in the coming year from suffering the fate of the other guys, in 2010 and dare I say, 2012.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  211. Sharyn

    You can't please all of the people all of the time and I, for one am glad that he isn't trying. He is trying to do what is best for the country and if there are those unhappy in the party, oh well. We did vote for change...didn't we. Playing Washington politics doesn't seem to be on Obama's agenda and I am glad for that.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  212. Jim

    No. They are burying themselves with the Burris fiasco. Regardless of whether you not he is tainted by being appointed by Governor Blagojevich, Burris was legal appointed. We cannot, and should not, ignore the law it when fails to suit our interests at the time.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  213. Ted

    Overall I think Obama is doing great, just a few hitches and you can't possibly get everything right. The Democrats underestimated what an idiot Blago is so that is a clear mistake.

    BUT I think some problems along the road right now are a good thing. The GOP had a smaller mandate in 2004 and went way over the top with hubris. This is a good thing, they got control but they have taken on enough water that they don't think they walk on it.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  214. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    Not the best start, could be better but they haven't had a lot of practice in working as a uniform group. They'd better learn fast if they don't want to continue the poor approval ratings. Personally, I think Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are too weak to be the leaders of the two houses. If Obama is not successful it will be thanks to the poor leadership of the democrats. Sniping should not be allowed anymore. It's time to get something done and you only do that if you adopt an "us" attitude. We've had enough "me" to last a lifetime.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  215. bill, PA

    We live in an age of "I, me, mine – heck with you."
    We are addicted to spewing our opinions and explaining why we have the direct divine inspiration to save the world.
    The media feeds on this rich source of conflict like there was something of importance going on.
    It is most likely that a small few of very rich, very powerful people who like being invisible have already made all the decisions. R. Murdoch will let us know soon enough what is going to happen. Watch the WSJ editorial page for clues.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  216. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    They're about as off to a right start as anyone can get in this climate of second guessing, punditcy and incessant meddling.

    Since the law is on Burris' side, seat the power hungry idiot because he won't be the nominee in 2010 anyway. The taint of his selection to fill the President-Elect's seat will haunt him to no end.

    If there had been any decency, no one with dignity would have taken this appointment leaving Blagojevich to twist in the wind on his race card playing laurels.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  217. Ben Horner

    I believe that Mr. Obama is doing a great job, but his biggest problems are going to be Pelosi and Reid. He is going to have to reel them into the middle, where President Obama is trying govern. Obama realizes the middle is where we Americans are at, and the bipartisan bimboism needs. Let's come to together as Americans. Tell Pelosi, Reid, Boehner, and McConnel to get their troops in line and follow this wonderful leader we have elected.

    From Georgia.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  218. Alex from Idaho

    They are going to shoot themselves in the foot. It's almost like they want to lose their majority the next time around.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  219. Paul, Charles Town, WV

    Business as usual in Washington, Jack. Oh, what a tangled web they weave. I am still optimistic that Obama will inject some humility and sound, responsible leadership into Washington, but it is likely to come AFTER he is in office. There will always be creepy spiders from both sides of the aisle rearing their ugly heads, some more poisonous than others. Let’s hope Obama can avoid getting bit by the ones that can kill his fresh ideas for America.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  220. Ann from S.C.

    It all sounds like my second grade classroom to me! A "right" start, I suppose, would be one where all the players behaved like adults, but we are talking first about human beings and secondly about polititions with oversized egos. Wouldn't it be nice if Obama could get this bunch of megalomaniacs working as a team?

    January 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  221. Brian - Trinidad

    Obama's tremendous appeal stemmed from his insistence that he has a different approach,a different style and things will change. I've heard the buzz,wait until after Jan 20 etc etc,but having seen it all before I can honestly say that not only Obama and the Democrats are off to a bad start,but I'm afraid that this is the best they can do and expect the same over the next 4yrs.Maybe they'll re-run those SNL skits ridiculing Sarah Palin to take our minds off the pathetic government we have.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  222. Dennis

    Everything is going along fine. Democrats are a loud and open group. Things get said, and we all learn from them.
    As I watch the news I see the eagerness of people to see Obama act. They are disappointed because he won't say this or that. He is not President yet, but he has told us much. You didn't hear the same whinings before Bush was sworn in, because the expectations were so low.
    For Obama to give his views on the Gaza crisis at this time would be the next thing to treason.
    Many times one can tell the intelligence of man, not from what he says, but from what he does not say.
    Relax. Enjoy the moment. On Jan. 20 stayed tuned to CNN.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  223. JJ

    I don't know if the Democrats are going in the right direction, but I like the fact they don't have a lot of positive public statements about the incoming president even though he's one of their own- maybe that's because he's actually going to reach across party lines and attempt to get something accomplished for the good of the country- not just for the bennefit of one party or another.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  224. Sherri I

    With GWB leaving a national debt of $11 TRILLION dollars, 2 wars and a economy that is in a bottomless pit, the Dems & PE Obama are off to doing was must be done to get America back on its feet again. I think the MSM has run out of IMPORTANT news because the election is over. What you mentioned Jack is minor in comparison to what President Obama has to do effective 1/20/09. I haven't seen or heard any negativity from any Democratic towards each other, I have only seen & heard the Republicans complaining. Get a life MSM!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  225. ron

    Hi Jack Barak Obama was elected because people are sick and tired of the Republicans and because he promised change. The massive stimulus plan to save the economy, get jobs coming back and for infrastructure improvement is being scaled back due to republican objections over the cost. Well, the 600 dollar Bush "gift" and the 800 billion bank bailout didn't help the economy, so how is a 500 dollar tax rebate and a much smaller stimulus package going to change anything? If Barak is going to mollycoddle the minority Republicans and compromise in order to "just get along", the republicans will be back in 4 years.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  226. tim

    hi jack,
    better to get this stuff out in the open now BEFORE obama takes office instead of waiting for things like energy policy meetings, enron, 9-11, iraq, halliburton, abramhoff, plamegate, wmd, mushroom cloud, rumsfeld, torture, politicizing the cia and justice dept., etc. to arise like the (reactive) last administration did.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  227. Shelly from DC

    On Israel / Hamas, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind – yes and a no.

    1) Violence / Brute force is possibly never the end solution to a problem – it is just a comfort short term AND creates a long term evergrowing problem (imagine the kith and kin of the innocents killed – their minds have been sown with irreversible hatred!)… I do try to think Israel is considering this an opportune time (before the new Obama administration takes over and gets more pragmatic / even handed and all of this could become unjustifiable / improbable…)

    2) Unless the fanatics are overridden by the educated professional smart / moderates in a religion, that religion (you know which one) will keep paying an enormous price… Give the kids more education and DO NOT PRODUCE them if you CANNOT RAISE THEM properly – I know more than 50% of the folks in the religion BELIEVE that Birth Control is a SIN and that explains how many MORONS exist . Once addressed this should take away 50% of the menace. So, can others keep quiet while this menace exists – No.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  228. San Fran

    I would say the Obama is off to a great start, if I were a Marxist or a Fascist. However he is a very mercurial thing bound for abject failure and will leave office before his term is over.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  229. JH

    Hi Jack. It seems to me that it is the establishment wing of the democratic party that is all flustered with Obamas decisions. It seems to me that he is bringing some changes with him and they don't like it. Two and a half months ago he was the Jr. Senator from Illinois and was technically under their leadership. Now, he is President Elect and they are trying to assert their authority – of which they now have precious little. The people of this country elected him to bring change – he's bringing it and if it means stepping on some toes – so be it.
    Sen. Feinstein can have her say at the confirmation hearing like all the other Senators. Sen. Reid needs to do some reflecting fast. Yes, he is the Majority Leader, but without the majority he is like everyone else. They must remember they are not the President Elects equals without the entire body of congress!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  230. Carl

    The CIA appointment is the biggest disappointment yet. It screams poor judgement!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  231. Cheryl, St. Joseph, MO

    Can't wait to hear PE Obama's inaugural address when the clarity of his intended policies and that calm straight-forwardness will be broadcast to the American people, who are so thirsty for leadership "they'd drink the sand" if they thought it would bring them relief.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  232. Annie, Atlanta

    They have a long way to go to catch up with what the Republicans have been doing the last 12 years. Hopefully they won't. But Pelosi and Reid have to go. They're spineless and ineffective.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  233. Jacksonville

    The Republican pundits need to simply stop, shut up, and take their medicine. The criticisms of the Democratic party at this point are at best premature, at worst pandering to issues nonexistent. When we consider what the Republican regime did with its tenure in office these "issues" are seen for what they really are – a smoke screen by the right wing to distract Americans from what needs to be done! SHUT UP AND CONTEND, REPUBLICANS! YOU BROUGHT THIS ON YOURSELVES!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  234. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Jack, I'm a Conservative, not a doctor...

    January 7, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  235. Sidney P from Dallas

    Whether it's a good start or not, I wish everyone – you included, would just stop already with picking everything to pieces. I wish there would be a moratorium for at least 100 days on forming any opinion what so ever, much less voicing it, about the new President. After 8 long years of no leadership at all, let Mr. Obama lead and why can't we just decide to trust that there is a method to his madness. Everything he does is for a reason. He sees the big picture of where he wants to go. I believe we should ALL support him and be prepared to make whatever sacrifices we have to in order to correct the problems created by the previous administration. In fact, I think that everyone who voted for Bush the second time, should support an unemployed family.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  236. Jammer

    I love our new and histroy will prove he was the best ever President. I will give him an A plus to the highest degree...job well done...I think we should make it a law that to speak against Mr. Obama will immediate death or life in prison....

    January 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  237. Elton

    get rid of cry big mouth Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid then maybe things will be fine.This is the reason why the democrats will lose control of congress in 2012.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  238. RJ

    The Democratic congress just blew what little credibility, if any, they had with the Burris appointment. What a joke! Nothing against, Burris, this was a Pelosi and Reid screw-up from the start and Obama went along for the ride. I think those two should step down or the Democratic congress will be voted out, just like in the 90(s). This will give the neo-cons the ammunition they need.

    Democrats need to remember, congress's approval rating is extremely low, even though the spread between Republicans and Democrats is high in terms of favorability. That can quickly turn if they continue down the same path. It would be nice if both main parties start considering what is in the best interest of the American People and not party politics. I wish we had stronger third party involvement.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  239. JFB in Philippi, WV

    The Richardson and Burris incidents are embarrassing, and the CIA appointment is perplexing, but on the whole, I am impressed with the way Obama and his transition team have performed. I am not surprised that there have been bumps in the road, and I do expect Obama to show his fallibility on any number of occasions. Some of Obama's supporters will never see his warts, just as some of his critics will never give him any credit for anything positive. I must say, i am extremely gratified to have a president who has the intelligence AND the temperament to consider the issues carefully. Seems to me that that stands in great contrast to Bush 43. May Dubya have a long, happy, and SILENT retirement.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  240. Nancy

    Off to a good start? Yeah if were the Academy Awards. I'm all for giving the guy a chance but jeez, he's still human and probably isn't the reincarnation of FDR. Let's see how the next 24 months go and then deem him King Obama.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  241. Mark

    All you left wing won't be so jovial when we are stuck with a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit and Obama will go back in his word and raise your taxes...so much for free healthcare and education.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  242. Andy

    If scandal are a good start, then yes.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  243. Eyes, Illinois

    Yes. The Democrats are off to a wonderful start with a wonderful new president who is gracious, very intelligent, and energetic. We finally have a vision of the country coming together rather than constant positioning for the next election. And the approval rating of 81% shows the country (both red and blue states) knows it.

    Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do by being 'inclusive' rather than excluding candidates with other affiliations. However, there are a few people who did not comprehend the political platform he advocated. Obama's background as professor of constitutional law provides tremendous insights into how political figures of varying backgrounds/affiliations come together to decide the best possible outcomes on different issues affecting the country.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  244. mcarey from Ohio

    I think the Dems are starting off in the right direction (of course, ANYTHING would be right compared to what we've had). Those people who are expecting the mess that we were left to be cleaned up from "jump" and looking for the leaders to stand around holding hands and agreeing on everything are smoking something that I'm sure can't be legal!!!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  245. PAT California

    Ask me again on Jan 20!

    January 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  246. Anna

    Cable news programs need to get over the need to have 24/7 coverage of controversial crisis, even when there is none. These 3 "scandals" in which your have had 70 days to to talk about are not crises; they just are not as big as you guys are making it. We are all getting very tired of this stuff. It would be more important for you to cover the complexities of what our country is facing in the coming year(s). Go find out the money trails of where our 350 billion went in the past month or so.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  247. dave walker,n. dartmouth,ma.

    Yes. Obama is not waiting for his inaugeration to think. He will hit the ground running,along with the Democrats. Hopefully it's the average joes that will benefit from their foresight. Anyway,even if they sat with their thumbs up their butts,they would be headed in the right direction compared to the incompetent buffoons we have now.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  248. desiree


    January 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  249. Lois Mitchell

    This is a joke question, yes? With an preponderance of nominations that have been greeted with praise, and a careful and creative balance of personalities, policy orientations and a wide range of experience represented, the Democrats are off to a very good start. And, they haven't started yet. Do we really want to return to the days of rule by fiat-Dick Cheney's or George W. Bush's? I don't think so.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  250. Rob

    Gee, Cafferty...leave it to you to make Obama a victim, like he is completely untainted. Put the Kool Aid down.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  251. Thomas, Alaska

    I speak for no-one but myself when I say this: Pres.-Elect Obama is a man. He is not a demagogue, he is not a super-hero, but a man in whom with have put our faith and the hands of this nation in. I trust he will be able to fulfill those duties to the best of his ability.
    We ask so much from him, expect him to be perfect.... but no-one is perfect. We all make mistakes. Heck, its not even his first day in office yet. Let us respect this man for his commitment, and let him do his job. If you feel you could do better, then I'd like to see you run for the 2012 election... see how far you get.
    People are corrupted, people want more power and more money. Our trust and faith can and will be tried, our dedication to the cause will be tested, but the importance is that we stay strong, and we remember what this nation is about. Freedom. Do not forget the struggles of this nation for freedom. It takes people with courage, people with heart to make that great of a dedication to protect and defend freedom. Politicians may be wrong, Governors may be corrupt, but so long as the ideals of this nation remain unhindered, the cause remains.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  252. Independent for Obama

    Are you kidding? Self-absorbed goofballs like Pelosi, Reid, and Feinstein just make Obama look more intelligent, classy and presidential by comparison.
    Janie , Holyoke MA

    January 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  253. Mary Helen, Bloomington IL

    Feinstein needs to blow her nose; Reid and Pelosi need to realize it is NOT about them but about the American people – she needs to stop blinking her surgically enhanced eyes, Reid needs to learn to smile and they both need to remember the majority with which Obama was elected. As for Burris and Rod – I'm hate to tell you I'm from Illinois except so is Obama. As for not hearing much in support of him – all Dems need to get with the program, most of the new Senators and Reps probably got into office on his coattails. mhh, Bloomington IL

    January 7, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  254. Bridgette

    President-elect Obama is off to the right start, but the Democratic troops need to fall in line! With staggering problems facing the country, no one on "main street" cares if Gov. Blagojevich outfoxed the Democratic Senate leadership, nor do they care that Dianne Feinstein's feelings are hurt. They care about finding a job with benefits and staying in their houses! President-elect Obama needs to get the kids to quit throwing sand in the sand box and march to the same tune!

    Bridgette from Atlanta

    January 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  255. Harriett in Chapel Hill

    Do the Keystone Kops ever "git 'er done"??? Obama is doing just fine, but the rest of these guys and gals act totally disorganized. I will give them a very small break for having to work with obstructionists since '06, and certainly Blagovich isn't helping but unfortunately, Dems do not understand how to lead. I, along with many others, pray continuously that Obama will be an effective and strong Commander in Cheif for all Americans. Failed partisan politics will not save our country or our planet.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  256. Jerry - Toronto, Canada

    Hi Jack,

    Not a bad start, not a great one either. The U.S. needs a solid base right now and theres no more room for petty squabbling. Sometimes it's like watching a bunch of 5yr olds playing musical chairs, they're all running in circles, ranting and raving, worried they'll be left out of the game. It's time for the Democrats to grow up, move the chairs, make one big bench and come together to have a single voice.

    And I'd wish they'd hurry up Jack, they're giving me a headache.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  257. desiree


    January 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  258. Rae from Indiana

    I think it is congress, period, that people are sick of. When I voted, I voted for no one that was an incumbent. And I will keep doing it until these people get into their heads that it is not about them...it is about we, the people. And we are suffering. The old stuff doesn't work. It is time for something new.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  259. Will from San Jose

    Obama is part of a new generation of Democrats and he is ruffling the feathers of the existing power structure within the party. Since that structure has been entirely ineffective it's about time it go ruffled.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  260. dave walker,n. dartmouth,ma.

    Tough to say. Should be a little of both. We need someone who isn't politically strangled,but yet knowledgable enough about the intricasies of the CIA and its vital functions.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  261. dan

    This counrty does NOT need to come together. 46% did not, nor ever will, vote for these rediculous spending policies. The stimulis plan is a joke and will not create sustainable jobs only more government waste and debt.

    Republicans need to opoose Obama on principal and if they never get the power back so be it. The liberals want more control to buy more votes and control more of everyone hard earned money.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  262. Ben Dover

    I think the Dems are off to a good start. They are doing as well as any other criminal organization. Of course some are going to caught and questioned but we all know that is part of politics.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  263. Larry in Cape Canaveral

    BO is giving this country exactly what he promised. He has 'changed' the Cabinet back to a Bill Clinton vintage and his economic stimulus package takes tax money from the working class and redistributes it to those who don't even pay taxes. Thank God, nothing lasts forever.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  264. Jay in Texas

    Peggy in Iowa:
    For your information, I hate crooks in office whether they are Republicans, as in Bushs' case, or Democrats like Obama. I am a true Independent and, as such, voted for Ralph Nader. So don't go blaming me for re-electing the crooks in our government. I admit that I made the mistake of voting for Al Gore in 2000. I should have voted for Nader then too. I have not made that stupid mistake since.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  265. Lynn, Boise, ID

    Did the democrats win the election? Because by the way they are bending over backwards to be sure not to bruise the fragile over-inflated egos of the other side. Seems to me that to do a really good job, democrats need to grow a backbone and republicans need to realize they are big losers and become humble.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  266. Steve

    There problems are only beginning. The number one issue of the Obama administration will be - How do they handle the spread of Nuclear Weapons? How do handle the possibility of Pakistan having major troubles with the Taliban, etc? Mark my words. THE single most important issue of the Obama presidency is nuclear weapons, whether the media wants to talk about it, or not. –Steve, Holland, Michigan

    January 7, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  267. David P. Kronmiller


    It's going as smooth as anyone should expect given the state of the country. I think they're doing their best at trying to overcome their occasional propensity for chaos – Burris being a fine example of that struggle.

    Now Obama's doing a damn fine job despite his party's self-confusion. Given the economy, the wars, and our own democratic version of a regime change – I think it's going swimmingly. (okay, maybe not swimmingly but we're treading water nicely)

    David P. Kronmiller
    Burbank, Ca

    January 7, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  268. Chuck C

    Jack, overall, I think they're off to the right start. The news these days is mostly low-level troubles, and that includes Blago. In a year, most people won't even remember his name. The Democrats will eventually cave-in and seat Burris to ensure it stays in Democratic hands.

    What I am most interested in is this: What will the Obama Administration have to say about Israel and the current mess in Gaza? Only then will we really know what we're dealing with. "Change"? or "More of the same"?

    January 7, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  269. GOPer

    Fresh idesas – What? 300 billion dollar tax rebate seems like a republican idea. Which by the way did not work the first time.
    Some fresh idea – I guess "spreading the wealth" is what B.O. is all about. More welfare checks to people who do not work.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  270. Laughing

    Well, you have to admit that by electing a democratic comedian to the Senate was a worthy choice, since their perfomance is laughable.

    January 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm |