The First 100 Days

Last week I suggested that an Obama administration, of it were extremely lucky and everything went smashingly, might eek out 3 big achievements in the first term: wind down the war, reform health care, and institute a cap and trade regime to cut carbon emissions. After thinking about it for a bit, it occured to me that Obama doesn’t really have 4 years. He really has less than 18 months before the 2010 midterms start to vie for Congress’ attention.

Via Ezra Klein, here’s what Obama himself is saying about his first 100 days:

After sitting down with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to figure out a strategy in Iraq, “[G]et our health care plan moving. We need a bill…by March or April to get going before the political season sets in.”

So that’s one and two. The carbon emissions legislation can probably wait, since the environment has grown considerably more popular, pressing, and mainstream as an issue in the last few years. In fact, energy reform could even be an issue to run on in the 2010 midterms rather than run away from.