Oklahoman: Obama’s first 100 days don’t impress Oklahoma delegation

Apr 29, 2009
In The News

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office, a benchmark reached today, haven’t made him any more popular in Oklahoma than when he lost every county there in November, according to the state’s mostly Republican congressional delegation.

"Style only goes so far,” said Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne. "Substance is what determines the fate of an administration. And so far — if you live in the 3rd District of Oklahoma — this substance is going to be hard to choke down.”

Rep. Dan Boren, the only Democrat in the state’s seven-person delegation, said Obama "remains unpopular in Oklahoma,” but he applauded the president’s willingness to tackle tough issues.

Boren, of Muskogee, was the only member of the delegation to vote for the $787 billion economic stimulus package, but he didn’t back Obama’s budget, a blueprint of spending and policy priorities.

"I look forward to working with him on measures that bring jobs, economic development and improved health care and education programs to the citizens of the 2nd congressional district,” Boren said Tuesday.

Appointees suffer

Besides voting against his spending plans, Oklahoma’s senators have opposed several of Obama’s nominees, including, on Tuesday, former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of health and human services.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, praised Obama for trying to mend the country’s relations with other nations, but said he strongly opposes his domestic policy. Obama is "moving to a larger federal government, a more intrusive federal government and one that will give us less liberty,” Coburn said.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said Obama "has already reached too far, and people are aware of it.” He predicted Democrats would pay at the polls.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, agreed, saying, "In the first 100 days, we have learned that President Obama is charming and attractive, but also exceptionally liberal. He is using Democratic majorities to move America dramatically to the left. At end of the day, his liberal policies are likely to trigger a conservative political comeback.”

Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa, said the change promised by Obama has been reflected in more spending, more taxing and more borrowing.

"Just one hundred days in, this administration is poised to add more to our federal deficit than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined,” Sullivan said.

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