South Florida gives Obama high marks for first 100 days

The Miami HeraldApril 27, 2009 

It's nearly 100 days into his presidency, and Barack Obama has yet to disappoint Jean Acevedo, a small-business owner who ardently cast her vote for the Democrat in November.

Acevedo praises Obama's juggling of big issues. In her estimation, the president has made all the right moves in redirecting environmental policy and revitalizing foreign relations, and in aggressively tackling the economic trouble he inherited – although like many people she is wary of massive bailouts and ballooning federal deficits.

"I can't believe how much he is trying to handle and how well he is doing it," said Acevedo, 61, who lives in Delray Beach and describes herself as a fiscally conservative Democrat who also voted for Republican Gov. Charlie Crist.

The president's policies have yet to make a significant mark on South Florida. Economic stimulus money is just starting to wend its way here, and Obama has not tackled broad healthcare reform, a critical campaign promise for a region with one of the highest rates of uninsured people in the country.

And Obama's aggressive deployment of the government purse has solidified an apparently small but determined opposition across the region.

But Acevedo's faith in the president's ability to steer the best course remains firm – a confidence shared by a solid majority of Floridians at this early but symbolically important juncture in Obama's presidency, surveys suggest.

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