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100 days of gratitude

For a country considered one of Washington’s best buds in Central America, Costa Rica offers fleeting media interest marking the first 100 days of the new guy in charge up north, with only a few opinion pieces running in Tico papers and a side-note on leading TV networks.

Perhaps editors and network producers needed a breather from the airtime they have offered Barack Obama, from his campaign all the way to recent superstar treatment in Trinidad, with generous praise throughout. Those media that have covered the hundred-day marker were similarly kind in their words.

“The first actions by the government of Obama fill us with optimism not only with regard to the crisis, but for the arrival of a new generation in power that is more open, multilateral and with the energy essential to facing old and new challenges,” writes Nuria Marin, a columnist in the daily newspaper La Republica.

However, Marin points to “confusing signs” in Obama’s foreign trade policy, and notes a worrisomely high U.S. deficit not seen since WWII.

Writing in the business weekly El Financiero, Douglas Montero says Obama shows good signs of fulfilling three necessary pillars of a good president: “leadership, commitment and humility.”

He adds that the “deluxe” economic team Obama picked to build his administration “requires an enormous dose of leadership” and that many of Obama’s decisions “reflect a commitment to his words.”

Montero notes, “While to some it seemed too many televised appearances since Nov. 4, now it must be said that that was a smart move that helped voters get to know his plans … and gain public approval.”

However, alluding to comparisons with Franklin D. Roosevelt during the last crisis of this magnitude, he writes, “Everyone hoped for another ‘New Deal’ and with (Obama’s) arrival in power it would resolve the world’s problems. … In my point of view it was too much of an illusion to think that one person could change the world in that time … 1932 is not 2009.”