PolitiFact staffers will be tracking each one on the Web site's Obameter, which will show whether they are In the Works or Stalled, and will ultimately indicate whether the promise was Kept or Broken. The ratings will be tallied on a chart on PolitiFact's home page that will show the overall progress of the Obama presidency.
Among PolitiFact's findings:
• Obama calls for more regulation, new agencies and at least 11 new groups that would have "corps" in their name, including: an America's Voice Corps to foster international diplomacy; an Artists Corps to work in low-income schools and communities; and a Health Corps to improve public health.
• Of the 510 promises, most deal with foreign policy (87); followed by health (76); the environment (59) and energy (51). He's also fond of transparency (33) and government efficiency (32). Only one deals with canines — a promise to buy his daughters a dog.
• He likes advice. We found he wants to create at least 10 new advisers such as a director of urban policy, a special adviser on violence against women, the nation's first chief technology officer and an American Indian policy adviser.
• Even before the need arose for a major economic stimulus bill, Obama proposed hundreds of billions in new spending. His ideas include $150-billion over 10 years on green initiatives, $60-billion for roads and bridges; $50-billion for the global fight against AIDS; and $25-billion more in foreign aid. He also promised billions in cost savings by ending the war in Iraq, reducing earmarks and reforming federal contracting, to name a few.
• He likes green. Overall, Obama hopes to create 5-million "green" jobs as part of a more energy-efficient economy. He wants to retrofit federal buildings to save energy. For veterans, there's a "Green Vet Initiative" to help vets get jobs in renewable energy. He even has a plan to help spur a "Green Revolution" in Africa.
Obama's high level of detail — and the large number of promises — reflects the need for a newcomer to establish his credibility.
"Obama was relatively unknown at the national level," said Martha Joynt Kumar, a professor of political science at Towson University, "so he had to have a greater degree of specificity about what his plans were. You've got to let people know who you are."
PolitiFact.org has a long list of fact-checking resources on many politicans and activists from both sides of the aisle.