I’m on a sort of random observation kick today and with the Chicago teachers’ strike and the role that teacher evaluation has played in it measuring performance is much in the news. How should President Obama’s performance be measured? By the results, how hard he’s tried, by how much opposition he’s received, or by what he promised? Something else? Some combination?
In foreign policy I don’t think the results have been too bad. He hasn’t started any new ground wars which is something. I wish he’d withdrawn from Afghanistan two years ago, gotten the Doha round of trade negotiations back on track, negotiated more free trade deals. I wish he hadn’t engaged in the air war that was instrumental in ousting Moammar Ghaddafi (not that I’m any friend of Ghaddafi’s). A few other things.
Measuring performance is even trickier on the domestic front. A lot depends on how highly you weight what you’re afraid might have happened. Using that yardstick President Bush was a pretty darned good president (which I don’t think he was).