"Nothing special," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs when asked what President Obama is doing today to mark the end of his 1st year in office and the start of his 2nd.
(AP Photo/Chuck Kennedy, Pool)
(at left, President Obama takes the oath of office, Jan. 20, 2009.)
To hear Gibbs tell it, no one at the White House is much interested in noting the one year milestone.
Barack Obama's chief campaign adviser says he would not direct the president any differently amid the current political turmoil facing over health care reform and the economy facing the White House, but implored the Democratic party to "step up."
David Plouffe, who is no longer a member of Mr. Obama's staff, told "CBS' "The Early Show" Wednesday, he was disappointed but not surprised that the Democrats lost the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's senate seat in Massachusetts Tuesday.
Plouffe noted that Democrats took control of Congress in the 2008 election on a message of change. "We have to deliver on that," he said.
As President Obama contemplates his first year in office, he might be forgiven for recalling the words of Queen Elizabeth II, looking back on a year rife with royal scandal: an annus horribilus, she called it, and you don't need six years of Latin to translate her sentiments.
Mr. Obama has suffered the steepest decline in job approval of any first year president since they started keeping such data: in most surveys, he is barely at, or under fifty per cent. His health-care plan, the signature effort of his first year in office, has grown steadily less popular and its survival, as one Congressional Democrat put it, "Hangs by a thread."
It may, in fact, be doomed on the precise one-year anniversary of his Inaugural, if Massachusetts voters send a Republican to the U.S. Senate today to fill the seat held for nearly half a century, by Edward Kennedy, the patron saint of liberal health care.