So much for the first 100 days. In fact, one might ask, when exactly did the first 100 days start?
For President-elect Barack Obama, who steps into the Oval Office as the country faces its most tortured economic climate since the Great Depression, the task of getting down to business started well before his official Jan. 20 inauguration. For weeks, he and top advisers have criss-crossed the capital outlining plans for a massive stimulus plan aimed at jump-starting the economy. They have also plunged deep into negotiations with the Treasury Department and Congress over how to reformulate the financial rescue program and gear it more towards helping struggling homeowners. As a result, soon after the inauguration Congress will likely release the final $350 billion installment of the government's big financial system rescue, the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP.
But forget the current headlines for the moment, and take in the sheer scale of Obama's ambitious agenda. Since his election, Obama has shown little sign of backing away from his big, costly plans to reform health care coverage, tackle the enormous energy and environmental challenges the country faces, or refashion a creaking regulatory system in financial services to bring government oversight into the 21st century.