If first impressions count, Barack Obama has got off to a rip roaring start according to a new national survey conducted by CNN. Four out of five Americans (79%) believe that the President-Elect is doing a good job with the transition. This grade is a significant improvement over the scores that George W. Bush got for his transition in 2000 and Bill Clinton received in 1992 while he was preparing for the presidency…

Obama 2008-79% positive
Bush 2000- 65% positive
Clinton 1992-62% positive

Any way you look at it about four out of every five Americans support President-Elect Obama. 78 percent think Obama will be a good president, and 78 percent also think he will unite the nation.

So what does Obama’s solid standing with the public suggest?

1. He should take advantage of the public support he enjoys and move quickly and aggressively to deal with the economic emergency facing the nation. Most significant changes in government policy take place early in a president’s term before the honeymoon with the public ends.

2. Members of Congress, including Republicans, are going to have a hard time explaining to their constituents why they oppose the new president’s economic stimulus plan.

3. The new president shouldn’t settle for half measures and he should propose a large stimulus program that is big enough to jump start the economy while the public supports him and the GOP still is under public pressure to support anything the President-Elect proposes.

4. The President-Elect should keep a high profile even before he becomes president on January 20th because the power of presidency is more the power to persuade than it is the formal powers the Constitution gives the president. After a short time, President Obama’s standing will decline if things don’t get better and Americans transfer the blame for bad times from the old president to the new one.

The moral of it all for the new president is that he who hesitates is lost.

Brad Bannon is president of Bannon Communications Research, a Democratic polling and consulting firm.