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Barack Obama's first 100 days

Duration:
18 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 27 April 2009

As Barack Obama notches up a hundred days in power, Business Daily gets assessments from two people who know first-hand what it felt like under Messrs Bush and Clinton.

As is the way of these things, journalists tend to make much of a new leaders's first hundred days in office - and, in truth, it is a good time to take stock. The jolt of reality is right upon us but memories of all those brave new promises are still there too.

So what's it like to go from the easy rhetoric of the campaign trail to the hard reality of power and decisions?

Steve Evans spoke to two people who know from the inside. William Galston was an advisor to Bill Clinton, but first Diana Furchtgott-Roth who was there in the White House with George W. Bush in his first hundred days.

Plus, the planet's true pandemic - not the one you're thinking of but one which kills far more people with barely any notice.

Obviously, all the attention at the moment is on the swine flu that's erupting in different parts of the world. It's impossible to predict the eventual death toll, particularly now that the authorities seem alert to its dangers.

But if you think of a previous global epidemic, that of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS for short), on the best figures, 774 people died between November, 2002 and July, 2003.

And that total is only about one tenth of the number of people who die every single day from an unremarkable accident at work. The authoritative and independent British Safety Council operates in fifty countries, and its crunched the numbers.

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