Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Obama's score at halftime: 17 promises kept, 2 broken

Obama moved quickly to fulfill his early promises. The next ones probably won't be so quick.
Obama moved quickly to fulfill his early promises. The next ones probably won't be so quick.

In his first 50 days, President Obama has made progress on a wide range of campaign promises covering everything from sending troops to Afghanistan to removing trees and brush that cause wildfires.

PolitiFact has rated 17 of them Promise Kept and another seven as a Compromise . We've scored two as Promise Broken and two others as Stalled .

Although Obama ran into opposition from Republicans on the big economic stimulus package, Democrats muscled the bill through Congress and allowed Obama to fulfill some of his promises on taxes and energy. He's also moved swiftly to use his 2010 budget proposal to advance many other promises, such as extending the Bush tax cuts for people who earn less than $200,000 and increasing the size of the foreign service .

Some other observations about his progress at the 50-day mark (which falls on Tuesday, March 10):

• He's gotten the low-hanging fruit of campaign promises. Nine of the 17 we've rated as Promises Kept did not require congressional approval and were accomplished through executive orders or simple presidential directives.

• For his biggest promises, he has a mixed record. Of the ones on our Top 10 list , we've rated four In the Works, one Kept (Create foreclosure fund for homeowners), and one Compromise (Create $500 tax credit for workers). The other four are rated No Action.

• We've rated 38 promises In the Works , including many from his 2010 budget outline, which came out Feb. 26. He addressed dozens of his promises in that budget (including many that we haven't had time to rate yet), but we put them In the Works because they need approval from Congress.

• He's on track to keep one of our most closely watched promises: adopting a dog for his daughters . First lady Michelle Obama said the dog — likely to be a Portuguese Water Dog —  will probably arrive next month.

But Obama won't always find it this easy. He's got some more promises that he can fulfill unilaterally — such as the creation of new agencies or special advisers on specific topics — but for many of the promises, especially the big ones, Obama will have to persuade Congress to go along.