The latest, Kathleen Sebelius, took office on Tuesday evening after being confirmed by the Senate as secretary of health and human services. The two-term Kansas governor was endorsed, 65-31.
According to the latest NBC News/WSJ poll, Obama enjoys higher ratings from the public than his more recent predecessors at similar points in their presidencies.
More than 60% say they approve of Obama’s work, nearly two-thirds view him favorably, and the majority believe he’s gotten off to a good start in his first three months as president.
Moreover, the poll suggests that Americans find Obama sympathetic. More than 80% say they personally like Obama, even though they don’t agree with all of his policies. And respondents give him high marks on his personality, demeanor and leadership qualities.
Obama’s Democratic allies in Congress aim to give him a gift to cap his 100th day in office: the passage of a congressional budget plan that endorses much of his ambitious agenda, particularly his plan to reform the system of American health.
While a welcome victory, passing the budget through Congress would only be a relatively easy first step toward Obama’s goal of providing health care coverage for all Americans.
Next would be tough negotiations between lawmakers, the Obama administration and a wide range of interest groups.
With the economy in recession and the bailout of the financial sector costing hundreds of billions of dollars, deficits would skyrocket to $1.7 trillion for the current budget year, dropping to a still astonishing 1.2 trillion dollars in 2010.
The budget measure is a non-binding scheme of tax legislation and follow-on spending. This is Congress’ response to Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget plan released in February.
As Obama pushes through with his plans, Americans are eagerly waiting to see what kinds of changes he will make in the next 100 days and for the rest of his term as president.
Obama is holding a town hall meeting in Arnold, Missouri on Wednesday morning and will hold a primetime press conference Wednesday evening at the White House.
Keep track of what Obama has done since taking office:
Day 99: White House plans help for second mortgages (April 28)
- The Obama administration has unveiled measures to address the role of second mortgages or other liens on properties that could put pressure on consumers and businesses.
- The Senate has begun a debate over Obama’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, as supporters stress the need to give the agency a leader amid the swine flu outbreak .
Day 98: Clinton: US Acts Quickly to Fight Global Warming (April 27)
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told representatives of 16 major world economies on Monday that the United States is moving quickly to fight global warming. At an international forum on energy and climate change hosted by Obama, Clinton said the United States no longer doubted the urgency or scale of the problem.
- The outbreak of a flu virus that has led to a public health emergency in the United States underscores the need for a strong government commitment to scientific research, Obama said.
- Obama promised major investment in research and development for scientific innovation, saying the United States has fallen behind others.