When asked to grade the performance of President Barack Obama during his first 100 days in office, Willie Earl Means was quick to give the country’s leader an “A.”
That doesn’t mean the Cataula, Ga., man doesn’t have some problems with him.
“I’m an Army veteran,” said Means, 54, a worker at West Central Georgia Hospital in Columbus, “and I don’t like the way he’s handling the military. I think he’s breaking down things too fast. I believe the military men in places like Iraq have a better idea of what’s needed than politicians.”
On the other hand, he said Obama is doing a good job getting people back to work. “It’s too early to tell, but I think his economic plans are good. He’s taking charge.”
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Dennis McClung, 44, from Smiths Station, Ala., gives Obama a “D.”
“He’s making a lot of change,” McClung said. “But he’s doing it before he has fully evaluated the situation.”
McClung said Obama needs to “slow down.”
Rob Santry, a 25-year-old private investor from Columbus, gives Obama a “C,” saying he has seen “no significant improvement in the economy.”
He said that Obama’s budget plans had a “negative impact abroad” and investors have shown little confidence in Obama.
Yolanda Floyd of Clayton, Ala., is a 37-year-old shift manager at Taco Bell in Eufaula, Ala.
“I’d give him an ‘A’ because I think his stimulus package is going to get more people back to work,” she said. “That’s the No. 1 thing needed to get this country going.”
She also said that Obama had improved the relationship between other countries and the U.S. “We’re getting more respect and making friends.”
Amanda Hood, 17, is a Hardaway High student. “I’d give him a ‘B,’ she said. “I think he is doing real well on the economy.
“He’s being aggressive. I plan to be a soldier so I’d like to know more about his plans for the military.
“Also, I’d like to see him make a statement on the right to have a same sex marriage. I believe people should have that right.”
Charles Davis, 53, who works at The Market seafood restaurant in Columbus, said he believes Obama’s stimulus plan will “get the country going in the right direction.” He likes that Obama is trying to bring peace. “I know the troops were coming home but he’s doing it faster.”
Mageline Martin, 52, of Columbus said it’s “too early to tell,” but she gives Obama an “A” because he’s “not sitting still.”
“We’ve got a lot of things that need to be fixed and he seems to really be working hard at the job.”
Norman Hardman, 20, only has a “C” for the new president. “Nothing has changed for me,” said the Columbus State student, “and for religious reasons there are policies I don’t agree with.”
Among those were stem cell research and abortion.
Melanie Gregory, 44, of Columbus also feels Obama is working hard. “I’d give him an ‘A,’” she said. “He’s doing an excellent job considering what we were coming from.”
Michael Hiers, 47, works for a swimming pool company. He said he’d give Obama an “A” although he doesn’t like the government getting too involved in the running of companies, calling that “socialist.”
“I think he is doing everything he can and some of his policies look like they could be effective, but ask me again in two years.”
Minnie Farr, a 49-year-old pre-K instructor, gave the president an “A.”
“I think he’s working at making things better for everybody and doing what he said he’d do,” she said. “He really cares.”
Bob McKoi’s grade was a “C.”
“He said he was going to get the economy turned around,” said McKoi, 56, a maintenance man, “but it looks like things are still going downhill. Every day there are more layoffs.”
Kris Sims, also a maintenance man, gave the same grade of “C.”
“He’s probably doing better than some people thought he would, but I still thought more change would have happened by now.”
Aaron Hebert, a 25-year-old church youth minister, said he’d give Obama a “C.” He said he doesn’t like seeing government grow as much as it seems to be doing under Obama. “There are a lot of high expectations but not much is getting done. That’s politics.”