As the first two years of President Barack Obama's tenure wind down, the President has made a big push to accomplish some of his goals. While he has kept many of his promises, he has not kept others. Some of those are stalled, others in the works.
Among the accomplishments are passing Health Care reform earlier in the year, extending middle class tax cuts, passing the START Treaty, repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the military, and passing the 9/11 health bill for responders to the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York.
During a press conference this week, preceding his Christmas vacation trip to Hawaii, Obama defended his record to the Democratic base that elected him in 2008.
[I] don't think there's a single Democrat out there who, if they looked at where we started when I came into office and look at where we are now, would say that somehow we have not moved in the direction that I promised, he told reporters.
There's not a single thing that I've said that I would do that I have not either done or tried to do. And if I haven't gotten it done yet, I'm still trying to do it, Obama noted.
Among the criticisms by Democrats is that the President compromised with Republicans to also extend tax cuts passed under the Bush Administration to the highest two percent of earners in the U.S. The President campaigned on the issue, saying he wouldn't extend them, but Republican unity prevented him from it. In the end, tax cuts were extended for all until the 2012 election year, when the issue will be taken up again
President Obama has kept 127 of his promises, compromised on 40, broken 28, is stalled in 82, and is still working on keeping 226, according to the political tracking website Politifact.
Among the bigger promises he has kept are requiring children to have health insurance coverage, a part of the health bill which has run into litigation problems about its constitutionality. The White House believes the law will stand after the court process ends.
On closing Guatanamo Bay, the military prison housing suspected terrorists, the President has run into difficulty, as concerns about trying enemy combatants in civil courts has blocked much progress. The first case tried in a civilian court convicted one man of only one of all the charges leveled against him.
The President has also touted his border-protection credentials, saying recently he had done more than any recent administration on the matter. While he has provided more funding for border protection, including making available the deployment of more than 1,200 troops to the border, other parts of his immigration reform agenda remain without progress. Most recently, Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act which would provide a pathway to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants who attend college or join the military. His broader push to provide a pathway to all illegal immigrants has seen no progress.