TODAY   |  January 20, 2010

President Obama’s year in review

Jan. 20: It has been one year since President Obama took the oath of office. NBC’s Jamie Gangel looks back at the ups and downs of the Obama White House thus far.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back now at 7:44. a year ago today, barack obama became the 44th president of the united states . this morning he's marking his one-year anniversary in an unfortunate way, with a stunning defeat in massachusetts in the senate race there. our national correspondent, jamie gangel , is here to take a look back at the year that was. jamie, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, matt. from all the excitement about the first african- american president to the challenges of the economy and health care to those white house crashers, i'm not sure president obama ever imagined what he would be facing. so, we took a look back at some of the most memorable moments.

>> obama ! obama !

>> reporter: let's face it, you couldn't ask for a better start -- hope, history, and of course, aretha's hat. sure, there's a fumble.

>> we are faithfully --

>> the office of the president of the united states faithfully.

>> reporter: but all in all, there is obama mania. at first, plenty of goodwill.

>> please, be seated.

>> reporter: a new openness.

>> enjoy yourself, roam around.

>> reporter: a new first family.

>> this is the current issue of " us weekly ."

>> reporter: everyone is talking about the mom-in-chief, her style, her arms, her official portrait. and there are other firsts -- the first blackberry, first interview, first youtube presidency, and endless questions about the most pressing issue.

>> what's the latest on the dog search?

>> reporter: but within days, it's official, the honeymoon is over. welcome to the economic crisis .

>> the president's $825 billion economic stimulus package.

>> reporter: so much for bipartisanship.

>> if this is the change we all can believe in, america's best days are behind her.

>> reporter: and welcome to the confirmation process. some make it --

>> i want to apologize to the committee.

>> reporter: some don't.

>> i screwed up.

>> reporter: finally, almost $1 trillion stimulus package .

>> there you go. it's done.

>> reporter: but is obama taking on too much?

>> the economy, health care , two wars, and today, education reform .

>> reporter: the first promise made --

>> guantanamo will be closed.

>> reporter: -- can't be kept. iraq --

>> our combat mission in iraq will end.

>> reporter: afghanistan. more to come. and what about that budget?

>> $4 trillion in spending in the current fiscal year.

>> reporter: those bonuses.

>> it's hard to understand how derivative traders at aig warranted any bonuses.

>> reporter: the bailout.

>> president obama , are you listening?

>> reporter: rush is listening.

>> i want barack obama to fail.

>> reporter: congress is twittering. when the going gets tough, get out of the white house .

>> i do think in washington it's a little bit like " american idol ," except everybody is simon cowell .

>> wow!

>> reporter: it's the frequent flyer presidency. there are reachouts --

>> the united states is not and will never be at war with islam.

>> reporter: and shout-outs.

>> i love you back!

>> reporter: but to touch or not to touch, a bow or not a bow. and what about that handshake?

>> now he's making some choices that in my mind will, in fact, raise the risk to the american people of another attack.

>> i don't worry about the politics.

>> reporter: just in case, blame bush.

>> let's remember the conditions that the president inherited.

>> reporter: and bring on bo. it's nice to make history.

>> thank you, again, sir.

>> reporter: but every day, a new challenge.

>> nice.

>> reporter: a plane, a protest, a possible pandemic.

>> i wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now.

>> reporter: where's that teleprompter? post-racial?

>> cambridge police acted stupidly.

>> reporter: not quite yet. where's that beer? olympic gold , a bit tarnished. even when you win, you lose. report card?

>> good, solid b-plus.

>> reporter: reality check --

>> it's very clear what i've done so far, and that is nothing.

>> reporter: what a difference a year makes. "h" used to be for hope. now it's for health care .

>> you lie!

>> reporter: let's make a deal. the left isn't happy, the right isn't happy, the governator isn't happy.

>> but this is getting nowhere.

>> reporter: and of course, "h" is now for haiti.

>> you will not be forsaken, you will not be forgotten.

>> reporter: yet another test for the president. "c" used to be for change. now it's for critics.

>> ben jones is the tip of the iceberg .

>> the president has an agenda that is radical.

>> reporter: more troops.

>> additional 30,000 u.s. troops to afghanistan.

>> reporter: more terror.

>> we are at war against al qaeda .

>> reporter: more cheney.

>> the white house must stop dithering.

>> reporter: and watch out for those town halls and tea parties. jimmy carter says it's racism. the president? mr. cool.

>> i was actually blank before the election.

>> reporter: now, unemployment is up.

>> people want jobs.

>> reporter: polls are down.

>> he's below 50% in approval.

>> reporter: the salahis drop in.

>> we were invited.

>> reporter: democrats drop out. and no one ever expected this.

>> the independent voice of massachusetts has spoken!

>> reporter: it's enough to make a president wish for day one again.

>> remember the inauguration? that was pretty cool.

>> reporter: and if the first year left him nostalgic, matt, last night's election in massachusetts was a wake-up call. whatever happened to "yes, we can"? matt?

>> jamie gangel in washington. jamie, as always, thank you very much.

>> reporter: thank you.