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IQ: Hope and change and ... whatever

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Both Barack Obama and John McCain promised change in the 2008 election. A year into office, Obama looks conspicuously passive, Republicans are virtually unanimous in opposing his every move, and ongoing gridlock remains the norm.

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David Koller
Southeast

High school teacher

Assess President Obama's first year. He has a good agenda, but he hasn't tackled a lot of things he vowed to do, and he's created a lot of debt.

What could he have done differently? I, for one, dislike how he went to Europe and was so apologetic about the U.S.

Rate his performance on health-care reform. We are a capitalist, free-market society. Reforms should focus on removing market constraints, not making health care socialistic.

Predict how mid-term elections will go. Like it did in Clinton's first term, the pendulum will swing back toward the Republicans.

What's the future of the two-party system? I vote Republican, but I'm tired of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. I'd like a viable alternative.

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Devalyn Kirkman
Central

Career development coordinator

Assess Obama's first year. Given the magnitude of the problems he inherited, I'd give him a solid B. He warned us there's no quick fixes.

How's he done in reforming health care? I'm not thrilled. I was looking for changes to make it available to everyone.

Has unanimous Republican opposition to Obama been a good or bad thing? It's disturbing, but I can't say I'm surprised. Congress needs to work together for the benefit of people, not for itself.

What's the future of the two-party system? There's a ton of people in the middle that a third party would represent a lot better.

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Ingrid Shwaiko
Downtown

Graphic designer

Rate Obama's first year as president. Average. I rooted for him and voted for him, but I had no expectation of any miraculous change. He's trying to please both sides in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I think that's fine.

Name something he could've done differently. Focus more on reforming the insurance system instead of the health-care system. Also, do more for the environment.

Assess the Republicans over this past year. I'm angry. They care more about exerting their power than about solving the issues.

What trend do you foresee in the mid-term elections? I'm not optimistic. All my Republican friends are ranting about the wave of change that's coming.

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