Hey SNL! We've rated Obama's promises!
By Angie Drobnic Holan
Published on Monday, October 5th, 2009 at 10:03 a.m.
A Saturday Night Live skit over the weekend showed President Barack Obama admitting what he's accomplished so far: "jack" and "squat."
"There are those on the right who are angry. They think that I'm turning this great country into something that resembles the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany, but that's just not the case," said actor Fred Armisen, who plays Obama. "When you look at my record it's very clear what I've done so far and that is — nothing. Nada. Almost one year and nothing to show for it."
Armisen-Obama then went through a checklist to show all the things he hasn't accomplished, with the categories of "Done" and "Not Done." ( Watch the video .)
Here at PolitiFact, however, we're tracking Obama's 515 promises with our Obameter , which rates them as Promise Kept, Promise Broken, Compromise, Stalled, In the Works and No Action.
Just for fun, we thought we'd go through Saturday Night Live's checklist and match it up with the promises we've rated on the Obameter.
• "Close Guantanamo Bay - Not Done." We've rated Obama's promise No. 177 Close the Guantanamo Detention Center as Stalled. Congress has been reluctant to fund the closure and press reports have indicated progress is not proceeding as the White House had hoped. Still, Obama gave himself a year to get this done, and that's not until January 2010.
• "Out of Iraq - Not Done." Actually, Obama did not promise to have troops out during his first year; he promised to remove them in approximately 16 months. We rated Obama's promise No. 125, Direct military leaders to end the war in Iraq , as Promise Kept and his promise No. 126, Begin removing combat troops from Iraq , as In the Works.
• "Improve Afghanistan - Worse." The promise we've rated on Afghanistan is No. 134, Send two additional brigades to Afghanistan . We've rated this Promise Kept.
• "Health Care Reform - Hell No." We rated Promise No. 433, Sign a "universal" health care bill , as In the Works. With health care legislation pending in Congress, many of Obama's campaign promises about health care reform are rated In the Works.
• "Global Warming - Not Done." One of Obama's top promises on global warming is No. 456, Create cap and trade system with interim goals to reduce global warming . Congress is considering legislation on this, so we've rated it In the Works.
• "Immigration Reform - Not Done." Promise No. 288, Provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants , is rated No Action.
• "Gays in the military - Not Done." We rated Promise No. 293, Call for repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" policy , as Stalled.
• "Limits on executive powers - Not Done." We rated promise No. 516, No signing statements to nullify instructions from Congress , as Compromise.
• "Torture prosecutions - Not Done." Obama never promised to prosecute people who tortured terror suspects. He did make promise No. 175, End the use of torture , which we rated In the Works.
Obama has also broken some promises that Saturday Night Live did not mention. There's No. 240, Tougher rules against revolving door for lobbyists and former officials ; No. 234, Allow five days of public comment before signing bills ; and No. 24, End income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 . See the full list of promises we've rated Promise Broken .
"So please stop saying this country is on the road to socialism," Armisen-Obama concluded. "If that were actually the case, I'd be making some real changes. Instead it took me four months to pick out a dog."
See individual promises for sources.
Names in this article: Barack Obama
We want to hear your suggestions and comments.
For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.
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