The Ingenious and Unpredicted Strategies of President Obama
It’s much more common these days to hear people criticizing the president than offering praise. It’s so widespread that, no matter whether one loses their job or loses a shoe, a sarcastic, “Thanks, Obama,” brings laughs and knowing nods from everyone who hears it.
But as this president has only 18 months left to serve, it’s time to look at all he’s accomplished, and all the good he’s done not just for the African American community but also for all Americans. No presidents go through their terms without vocal opposition, and few have had to endure the vitriol and semi-racist attacks that President Obama has faced throughout his tenure. But through that, he has kept on, continuing to effect change even when faced with an obstructionist Republican Congress. History will likely remember him as at minimum a good, and very possibly a great, President of the United States.
The historical record loves firsts – George Washington, Neil Armstrong, and Jackie Robinson all come immediately to mind – and, no matter what else happens during his eight years, any placemat of the Presidents will, after Obama’s name, say something like “First African American President”. And, to anyone who remembers Election Day in 2008, the wonder of that accomplishment is still fresh. “I never thought I’d live to see,” was on the lips of at least half the country.
But it might be that the true effect of Obama’s presidency may not be felt for many years to come. While every boy, and probably too few girls, was told they could grow up to become President if they worked hard enough, it was understandable if any child of color, looking at the 43 previous occupants of the Oval Office, felt like they were shut out of that ambition on the day of their birth. It will be a generation until we know how many children today, seeing in President Obama someone who looks like them, might decide to pursue public service and, ultimately, high office.
Another question that’s unanswered for now is the long-term effects of the recent deal with Iran. But there’s no doubt, though, that just to open negotiations took courage, and freeing us from the immediate possibility of another war in the Mideast will pay dividends both in the taxes that won’t be spent to pay for it as well as the lives that will go unspent.
There’s so much else – Obamacare, the thriving American auto industry, unemployment dropping from 10% to 5.5%, a deficit that’s shrunk from 12.1% in 2009 to 2.4% in 2014, and all the jobs lost in the Great Recession recovered with millions more added on top. So one more time and with no irony at all: Thanks, Mr. President.
Is Barak Obama the best President ever? Vote Here: