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The Obama Presidency: Fifty Days And Counting

(AP/Ron Edmonds)

It's Barack Obama's 50th day on the job, so how come the economy's not fixed yet?

Unfair question? Sure. But it's also the inevitable question that he tries to answer at every opportunity.

"From the day I took office, I knew that solving this crisis would not be easy, nor would it happen overnight," said the president over the weekend in his weekly radio and Internet address.

Of course, nobody expected the crisis to be turned around "overnight," but what he's really telling us is "no time soon."

"We will continue to face difficult days in the months ahead," he cautioned.

Nevertheless, he remains confident and optimistic that the actions he's taking and policies he's implementing will ease the crisis and return the economy to growth.

"I also believe that we will get through this -- that if we act swiftly and boldly and responsibly, the United States of America will emerge stronger and more prosperous than it was before."

The economic quagmire has dominated his first fifty days in office, but a CBS News log of his daily activities shows he was determined to score points on other issues as well.

Here are some key dates: (with links to summaries and video from each day that appear in Hotsheet)

Tuesday, January 20 - Inauguration (See Full coverage here)

Wednesday, January 21 – Signs Executive Orders on Gifts and Lobbying

Thursday, Jan 22, 2009 – Signs Executive Orders on Guantanamo Detentions

Friday, January 23, 2009 – Signs Executive Order lifting Pres. Bush's ban on federal funding to international groups that perform or counsel on abortion

-Holds his first White House meeting with Congressional Leaders to discuss economic stimulus plan

Monday, January 26 - Issues Memoranda on fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 – Attends House and Senate Republican Caucuses at the Capitol

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - House passes Stimulus Bill

- Meets with business leaders on the economy

Thursday, January 29, 2009 - Signs first bill into law: S. 181 – The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009 – Speaks to labor Leaders about the economy

- Issues orders on employee rights and government contracting

Sunday, February 1 – Hosts Super Bowl party with members of Congress

Monday, February 2 - Confers with Defense Secretary about Iraq

- Meets with Democratic Congressional Leaders about the stimulus bill

Tuesday, February 3 - Tom Daschle Withdraws as HHS nominee

- Announces Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., to be Secretary of Commerce nominee

- Visits local Charter School

- Sits for five network TV interviews

Wednesday, February 4 – Discusses Mideast policy with Secretary of State Clinton and special envoy George Mitchell

- Addresses Senate Democratic Caucus meeting at the Newseum

- Second bill signing ceremony: SCHIP – The State Children's Health Care Program

Thursday, February 5 – Attends National Prayer Breakfast

- Visits Energy Dept to discuss stimulus bill

- Signs order creating Advisory Council on Faith

- Takes first rides on Marine One and Air Force One en route Williamsburg, Va., to address the House Democrats "issues conference"

Friday, February 6 - Announces members of his Economic Recovery Advisory Board; laments jump in unemployment rate to 7.6%

- Takes his family to the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater at Kennedy Center

Saturday, February 7 – Makes his first visit to Camp David with his family

Monday, February 9 – Conducts a Town Hall Meeting in Elkhart, Indiana

- Holds his first White House / Prime Time News Conference

Tuesday, February 10 - Senate passes Stimulus bill

- Conducts a Town Hall Meeting in Ft. Myers, Florida

- Sits for interview with ABC's Nightline

Wednesday, February 11 – Makes case for the stimulus bill on visit to a construction site in Springfield, Va.

- Discusses Afghanistan with Defense Secretary Gates

- Attends performance marking re-opening of Ford's Theater

Thursday, February 12 – Judd Gregg withdraws as nominee for Commerce Secretary

- Attends Lincoln Bicentennial in Capitol Rotunda

- Visits the Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Il., to deliver another speech about the economy and the stimulus plan.

- Addresses a Lincoln Association banquet in Springfield, IL

Friday, February 13 - House approves latest version of the stimulus bill, but not one republican votes for it

- Addresses Business Council members on stimulus

- Obama family departs for long weekend in Chicago

Tuesday, February 17 - Travels to Denver to sign $787-billion stimulus bill

Wednesday, February 18 - In Phoenix, unveils plan to ease the mortgage foreclosure crisis

Thursday, February 19 – Makes first foreign trip of his presidency to Ottawa, Canada

Friday, February 20 – First month in office

- Addresses nation's mayors on the stimulus plan

Sunday, February 22 – Hosts dinner for nation's governors.

Monday, February 23 - Addresses governors about the economy and the stimulus plan

-Hosts "fiscal responsibility summit" with government, business and labor leaders

Tuesday, February 24 – Delivers first Address to a Joint Session of Congress

-Hosts first foreign leader to visit him at the White House: Prime Minister Taro Aso of Japan

Wednesday, February 25 - Names former Washington Gov. Gary Locke as latest nominee for Commerce Secretary

- Announces strategy for new regulation of financial industry.

- Hosts performance in tribute to Stevie Wonder

Thursday, February 26 - Unveils his federal budget plan and its $1.7-trillion deficit this year

- Hosts visit by his hometown Chicago Bulls

Friday, February 27 - Visits Camp Lejeune, NC., to announce timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq

- Attends Wizards-Bulls game at the Verizon Center

Saturday, February 28 - Plays basketball at Interior Department gym

Monday, March 2 – Announces intention to nominate Gov. Kathleen Sibelius, D-Kan., to be Secretary of Health and Human Services

Tuesday, March 3 - Visits the Transportation Department to spotlight highway and transit projects in the stimulus bill

- Meets with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

- Takes part in event marking 160th anniversary of the Interior Department

Wednesday, March 4 - Announces new policy on federal contracting

- Presents new swing set to his daughters on the lawn outside the Oval Office

- Hosts dinner for congressional committee chairmen and ranking members

Thursday, March 5 – Hosts Forum on Health Care Reform

Monday, March 9 - Issues Executive Order lifting Pres. Bush's ban on federal funding for new embryonic stem cell projects

Tuesday, March 10 – 50th Day of his presidency

- Announces policy on education reform (read more here)

Other mile markets of the first 50 days:

-Unemployment soars to 8.1%.
-National Dept up $325-billion on his watch.
-Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted to 6,662.

But in an interview Friday with the New York Times, Mr. Obama said he knew in advance there were "going to be a lot of unexpected twists and turns" in his presidency and in the nation.

"This is still a human enterprise and these are big, tough, complicated problems," he said.

Further, he said he knows that if a problem makes all the way to the president's desk, it means it's hard to solve.

"So typically, if something's in my folder, it means that you've got some very big, difficult, sticky, contradictory issues to be wrestled with," he told the Times.

No complaints please, Mr. Obama. It's the job you begged us for. We'll check back at Day 100.

Complete Coverage: Obama At 50 Days
Also, make your predictions about Mr. Obama's approval rating after 100 days and after 1 year.

Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here.
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