When asked how he thought his first year as 44th president of the United States had proceeded, Barack Obama gave himself a B+.
To say other parties have been less enthusiastic is like saying Tiger Woods is unlikely to receive the NOW Husband of the Year Award. Although the Divorce Lawyers of America might be coerced into throwing a testimonial or two.
Admittedly, there are three camps in the whole "How has Obama Done So Far?" debate. The Right, which has been calling for impeachment since this time last year; Independents, who consider every politician the enemy of the people; and the Left, which can be seen wearing their disappointment like dented chain mail on returning Crusaders.
For those of you wishing to celebrate the occasion, may I mention that the traditional first-year anniversary gift is paper. And a piece of photographic paper incriminating a Republican senator in a compromising situation would be most appropriate. That's "compromise" we can believe in.
Granted, history will give the ultimate grade, and you'd have to be a fool to judge an entire presidency based on 12 months, but this particular fool thinks it's not only instructional, but also a lot of fun to produce a quarter-term report card, so here goes:
English -- B+. Good understanding of vocabulary words, and the ability to use them correctly. Nice having a president who, when he speaks with a foreign leader, the other guy isn't more eloquent in English as a Second Language.
History -- C+. Apparently wasn't paying attention during Clinton Health Care instructional in '93. Looks like we'll be forced to repeat this class every sixteen years.
Geography -- A+. Displays exceptional work habits. Visited more countries in first year than any other president in history. Most of that necessary to rebuild the bridges torched by a predecessor who shall remain nameless.
Mathematics -- Incomplete. Seems to be working with a malfunctioning abacus. Further review by Professors Bernanke and Geithner not expected to help much.
African American Studies -- B+. Has innate understanding of the subject.
Semantics -- B-. Is a conscientious worker. No matter what you think of his policies, you have to admire his ability not to get involved in them.
Business -- C-. Needs to increase speed and comprehension. Tends to allow himself to be bullied by the louder students.
Physics -- C. Seems unable to grasp rudimentary concepts like how every action affecting Congress will have equal, opposite and totally disagreeable reaction.
Creative Writing -- A-. Exhibits enormous creativity. Sometimes gets carried away and confuses other students.
Home Economics -- C. Shows initiative; thinks things through for himself. Must come up with more encouraging phrase than "We're losing jobs at a much slower pace."
Sex Education -- B+. No visible activity at all. Pleasant change for a Democrat. Helpful to have so many negative role models in Congressional ranks for comparison.
Attendance -- Satisfactory. However, whole school is beginning to suspect that the most dangerous place in Washington is between him and a camera.
Physical Education -- Exemplary. Photo of him emerging from Hawaiian surf set off beefcake war with Scott Brown.
Penmanship -- Satisfactory. Leaves very few fingerprints.
Home Room Conduct -- Cooperative. Polite. Plays well with others. Sometimes fails to stand up for himself.
General Comments. Continues to grow in independence. Has problems accepting responsibility. Needs to work on leadership qualities.
Overall Grade -- B-.
Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.