Volume 2, Issue 1 (2010) Fall 2009 - The First Year of the Obama Presidency

Editor's Welcome - November 30, 2009

Dear Readers,

The last year in American politics has been momentous. In November 2008, George W. Bush left office and was replaced by Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American President. For all Americans, regardless of political party, it was a sign that our nation has taken a significant step forward from the era of Jim Crow and segregation. That President Obama won the southern states of North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia, the capitol of the old Confederacy, also spoke to how far our country has come.

But it has not been smooth sailing for President Obama. After a year in office, he has struggled with various crises, from the economy, to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to health care. The opposition to many of his policy goals has been fierce, both from within his own party as well as from Republicans. In this issue of the Legislation and Policy Brief, we dissect three areas that were crucial to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign: lobbying reform, increasing transparency, and passing important legislation through Congress. The broad range of ideas in this issue makes it clear that, although President Obama has put America on a path toward resolving these crises, these central problems in government remain unresolved.

In January 2009, the Legislation & Policy Brief will host a Roundtable Live panel discussing President Obama’s first year in office, the topics written about in this publication, and what is to come in the next year. We invite you to join us in what we believe will be a lively conversation.

As the third issue, and first of the new academic year, reaches publication, it is important that I thank the editors and my fellow editorial board members for their important work during this semester. Their tireless work made this issue possible, and I am proud to share it with you.

Thank you for your interest in the Legislation and Policy Brief.


Jordan Acker