As the new president marks 100 days in office, critics and supporters are fiercely debating the merits of his policies.
Barack Obama has been praised by some commentators for his dynamic tackling of the ongoing economic crisis, closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, setting clear goals for Iraq and Afghanistan and for stressing the need to develop a new energy policy.
The president’s foreign policy has also received high marks, in particular for his efforts to reach out to leaders with whom previous administrations refused to talk.
However, criticism of Obama has also been vocal and, in some cases, focused on the same issues as those singled out by his supporters.
The economic stimulus package and the recently passed $3.4 trillion budget, as well as the proposed healthcare reform, have been blasted by the critics as marking the largest expansion of federal government in decades.
It is also setting the stage for a crushing debt which will be inherited by future generations, they say.
Conservatives are also increasingly worried about what appears to be an erosion of the system of checks and balances in Washington.
In particular, the recent move by Pennsylvania senior senator, Arlen Specter, to join the Democratic Party has brought the latter a step closer to the filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.