Will historians view Barack Obama as a good President?

  • Steady leadership, righted the ship

    Obama came in when the economy was tanking and GWB had committed one wrong move after another (allowed the nation to be attacked on 9/11, went to war in both Iraq and Afghanistan without an exit strategy, put the wars and tax cuts and Medicare Part D on the nation's credit card, tried to privatize Social Security and fortunately failed, responded poorly to Hurricane Katrina, was caught lying about WMD, and on and on). The nation wanted change and Obama was the answer. Obama and the Democratic Congress passed key legislation in the early part of his administration, including bailouts and stimulus bills for the economy, equal pay for men and women (Lilly Ledbetter), the ACA and Wall Street Reform. All of these were historic pieces of legislation that are still very relevant to today, and will be for a long time. These laws, in addition to other actions of the gov't and others, could be credited with strengthening the economy (5.6 unemployment rate as I write this, down from 10 at its peak under Obama; record stock market; huge corporate profits) and with providing health insurance for approximately 20 million people (due to exchanges and subsidies, as well as expanded Medicare). Internationally, Obama got Bin Laden and seems to have strengthened alliances and avoided any other major quagmires, although there has been unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (but Obama has been right not to commit more troops). The POTUS should not be blamed for unrest around the world, although some want to blame him. There have been no major scandals under Obama, which is actually an achievement, given the 24/7 media and right-wing media that salivate over that stuff. He has also lowered the deficit and managed to lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the top 2%. Obama is not perfect: his education agenda has been lacking (too much testing tied to ludicrous stakes), too much surveillance on ordinary Americans, I do not agree with drone warfare, he has not closed Gitmo as promised. Lots of good stuff, however, that will have lasting consequences.

  • Top quartile president

    Despite the relentless opposition of Republicans from before Obama was even sworn into office (Senate Minority Leader McConnell: Getting rid of Obama is my number one priority), Obama led the country out of a massive recession by passing bailouts, a massive stimulus package that also was a major investment in infrastructure and energy efficiency (the stimulus package may be his most enduring achievement) and quantitative easing (printing money). The debt skyrocketed, but that will be seen in history as a fair tradeoff for addressing the major economic recession. Unemployment rates eventually dropped substantially, the stock market hit record levels, and the GDP grew month after month. The ACA was his other major achievement. Although there it remains popular at this point, it will be seen in history as a major achievement and will become politically untouchable, as was the case for Social Security and Medicare. Then there are the smaller, but still significant, achievements: Killing Bin Laden, the Wall Street reform act, and the serious executive action to curb carbon emissions at power plants, among others. His failure to pass major legislation after losing the super majority in the Senate and the majority in the House will be seen as a problem, but the Republicans in the House truly were intransient. Oh, and he was the first black president. Given the history of extreme racism in the U.S., from hundreds of years of slavery to a century of Jim Crow and extreme prejudice, the election of a black president will certainly be seen as significant. Few believed such a thing could happen in this country prior to Obama. Race relations probably did not change much during Obama's presidency, but it might be a sign of positive things to come. He failed to accomplish several major goals, and some of his policies were wrong-headed, in my view: The Race to the Top education bill, which increases the stakes of deeply flawed tests in schools, the use of drones in Pakistan, and his bailing out of banks but not ordinary home-owners during the recession. Overall, his presidency has been significant and there have been no major scandals, which is somewhat unique in this culture of 24/7 news media.

  • Has done a lot of good for the common American.

    While naysayers ignore that Congress' only job the last 6 years has been to oppose everything the President tried, he has gotten a couple of things like the Affordable Healthcare Act off the ground and 10 years down the road people will see how much better it was for the working class. He has also done more in Iraq and Afghanistan than his predecessor in terms of achieving goals.

  • Positive solving Stance

    History will see Obama as person, who tried to solve important challenges. Of course, you dont get complex issues like healthcare, right in first time. It has to be further refined. I wish Obama can play some smart politics to somehow influence some republicans to work with him. It is hard to believe not even few republicans are willing to vote to align with Democratic party,

  • Good intentions, Bad execution

    I think Obama does very well at articulating the relevant problems in American society: political dysfunction, inequality, drug war, poverty, etc., but I'm afraid he doesn't have the political skills to get thins to move in a historically divided congress. That's what really matters in the end. He has been too willing to compromise at some points and not able to engage his opponents in a personal way that would cut through some of republican intransigence. He has three years left; the economy is improving, though still sluggish.

    I really think his legacy will depend on how well the ACA turns out, how well he addresses inequality, and how well he handles the NSA controversy.

  • Not a great president, but a good one

    Historians will undoubtedly view Obama as a good President. There's a number of areas where I disagree with his policies, but the country's economic recovery, the passage of the healthcare bill, and the destruction of Al-Qaeda far outweigh his weaknesses.

    (1) Economy - in 2008, the country was facing an immediate meltdown in an economic depression, and Obama had Congress pass a number of bills to stabilize the economy and provide relief to the unemployed. Did the economy start booming immediately? No, but we didn't have a second Great Depression, and the economy and employment rates are considerably better now than in 2008.

    (2) Healthcare - Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton each tried to pass a national healthcare bill and failed. Obama succeeded largely because he knew how to work Congress. Does the bill have flaws? Absolutely, but it does give people with insurance considerably more protections, and will increase the percentage of Americans with health insurance.

    (3) Terrorism - Until Obama was elected, the War in Iraq was the country's main military objective, and the War on Terrorism had more to do airport security policies (i.E., no liquids on planes) than actually removing terrorists. Obama has had Osama Bin Laden, and most of the Al-Qaeda terrorists killed. The world is much safer because of Obama.

    Fast-forward 30 years, and much of the criticism that Obama currently faces will seem trivial in light of his accomplishments.

  • Probably seen in the top quartile of U.S. Presidents in history

    Obama's administration has accomplished a great deal: 1. Brought the economy back from the brink and improved unemployment over time 2. Killed the most wanted terrorist (Bin Laden) 3. Passed a sweeping reform of health insurance that will ensure that tens of millions more people have health insurance and slows the growth of health insurance costs overall 4. Ended the war in Iraq, and soon Afghanistan 5. Passed the stimulus bill that both boosted the economy and will be seen in history as a great investment in green technology and infrastructure 6. Brought the American auto industry back 7. Cut budget deficits in his second term 8. Was on the right side of history in supporting the overthrow of governments in Libya and Egypt. 9. Put some pressure on Wall Street to prevent another collapse through tougher regulations. 10. More inclusiveness toward LGBT in the military and marriage laws. He will be seen as an even better president in history if he: passes immigration reform, enforces the Clean Air Act and limits pollution from power companies. In a sane world he would be recognized for what he has accomplished and be given more votes in Congress to accomplish his second term agenda. I see many shortcomings of this administration as well (especially in Education, failure to get public option in ACA, failure to shut down Guantanamo), but overall history will look favorably on this president.

  • Yes they will

    Obama will be seen similar to FDR. He handled the worst economic period since the Great Depression and we've seen slow but sure recovery since he took office. He's done wonders for the LBGT community with the repeal of DADT, becoming the first sitting US President to support gay marriage, and supporting the repeal of DOMA. The Affordable Care Act not only supplies affordable health care to millions more people, but it supplies health care for things like mental health.
    He's faced extreme gridlock in Congress and they will blamed for that, especially with their 6% approval rating.

    Posted by: WSB
  • Yes Obama will go down as one of the best Presidents the country ever had.

    Obama got Osama bin Laden, the prime terrorist threatening America, and he saved the country from another Great Depression through his economic policies. He also got the Affordable Care Act passed which will finally insure millions of Americans and save them from filing for bankruptcy due to extreme medical bills for a serious illness.

  • Obama Overcame Long Odds With Economy, Two Wars

    Barack Obama was elected due to a populace unhappy with the economy and two long wars. He didn't have it easy when he was elected. It didn't help that Republicans were too set in their ways to get things done after Bush Jr. ran the country to the ground. Obama will be seen as a good president who tried to get stuff done with an opposition party bent on extremist views that leaned too far to the right.

  • Pathetic. Arrogant. Selfish. Elitist.

    There are always a few people who refuse to take the blinders off, but over time most people will grow out of this celebrity worship they have for Obama. Once time has removed some of the obscuring glimmer from his presidency. Eventually, Barry will be remembered as the chance that didn't pay off. We took a chance on an inexperienced senator in order to prove, to ourselves and the world, that America is no longer a race-focused nation. We ignored the obvious warning signs and voted a bad choice into office. Well, some of us didn't ignore those signs, but we were called racists in this now race-neutral America.

    Obama will be remembered for what he is: A pathetic latchkey kid who just does not like America. He was taught from a very young age that America is bad. That our wealth comes from theft and oppression, which is why he's doing everything he can to rid us of that wealth. He is the brainwashed poster boy of the Leftist elite.

    People talk about the economy, but you can't spend an economy into recovery. They talk about health care, but health care is NOT a right. People say "Obamacare isn't perfect, but at least he DID something..." Yeah, he DID something that lots of Leftists before him tried to do, but the nation was smarter then and less scared. Obama made great use of fear and manufactured crises to pass something we've been rejecting for decades. So...Hooray.

    People talk about foreign policy and the wars. Obama has made America look weak to the rest of the world, because like most Progressives he is a coward at heart. He sympathizes with our enemies because he was raised with Muslims. He has shown clear disdain for Israel because he is pro-Palestine. True, he made the decision to let the SEALs go get Bin Laden, but it wasn't his victory. The intel came from Bush's policies, and Obama delayed making the decision because he's always so concerned with his own image.

    Barry Obama is a coward, an elitist, and an enemy of America. The only thing I can say to his credit is that he isn't stupid. Nixon was forced to resign because the people in his administration weren't as crooked as he was. Obama avoided that mistake by appointing equally Leftist people who hate America just as much as he does. Well, he hasn't "fundamentally changed" America. Not yet. There are still patriots here, and we still love this country and believe in its ideals; though we may sometimes fail to live up to them.

  • Extend and Pretend

    His economic policies have allowed a corrupted centralization of financial power to exist and flourish on the taxpayer dime. It's an unsustainable system, and it's going to fall again. It will likely be on his watch, and that alone will be his defining legacy. The President who turned the Great Recession into a Greater Depression.

  • Negatives Outweigh the Positives

    His economic solutions to the recession came up extremely short. The ARRA ended up having no significant impact, the weak dollar on the global market and national debt. I'm hard pressed to come up with one, or two monetary decisions that proved successful. So monetary policy was a failure. Combine that with a bad foreign policy ala red line with Syria, ISIS, the failed Iranian nuclear talks, Crimea ect. The green energy policy was ill timed, and non productive. The Affordable Care Act as currently instituted just moved 700 Billion from Medicare for seniors, and higher rates, and deductibles for our millennials. The jury is still out on the long term benefits of this overcomplicated costly bill. He constantly pits American against each other for nothing more than political gain. The war on women, rich against poor, and always places blame for his failures on gridlock when a true leader would cut through the government gridlock as past presidents have.

  • He divides rather than unites

    He lectures us: about how racist we are rather than working on improving race relations:about income inequality yet lives the life of the 1% he criticizes; how powerful he is and how he will do what he can to do what he wants and wants to clos Guantanamo even though one of the ones released has a 5 million dollar reward on his head, etc. etc. We got change alright, just not the kind we expected

  • Barack obama might get rid of pennys and obama care has done nothing to help us

    Don't you people remember opening your piggy banks hoping you had enough pennys to make a dollar. Obama care costs more and gives you less.The reason we have pennys is to honor Abe Lincoln. Don't you people know what Abe Lincoln did for this country .Follow Obama and it will end in chaos

  • Barack obama might get rid of pennys and obama care has done nothing to help us

    Don't you people remember opening your piggy banks hoping you had enough pennys to make a dollar. Obama care costs more and gives you less.The reason we have pennys is to honor Abe Lincoln. Don't you people know what Abe Lincoln did for this country .Follow Obama and it will end in chaos

  • No, he will not be remembered favorably, and for good reason.

    Obama is one of the worst and most corrupt presidents of all time. History will show the long reaching effects of his presidency for decades to come.

    I'm not going to even get into the obvious reasons. There are many things people don't pin on Obama, that will later be recognized.

    For example...Did you know that Obama caused one of the worst oil spills in history? That's right. Obama signed the papers that allowed the Horizon to drill for oil in the Gulf, despite backlash from environmentalists and professionals warning him what did happen, could happen. Therefore, Obama is directly culpable for the consequences.

    Most of that oil is still there. Why isn't the ocean black with oil you say? Because light only reflects from 300ft deep in the ocean. That means anything below 300ft, does not show up on satellite images. With the crushing pressures of weight at the bottom of the ocean, the oil is held down and compressed, staying at deep depths, slowly but surely seeping to the top.

    History will show that Obama's policies were primarily directed at giving stuff to blacks, at the expense of whites. From raising money for only poor black children (who are smaller in numbers than poor white children) to filling the government with black lackeys like Eric holder, and his soon to be replacement, who just also happens to be black, which is nearly an astronomical improbability due to the black population ratio.

    Don't listen to the lies. Blacks are over represented in government. Blacks make up 13% of the population, yet over 30% of all IRS employee's.....You don't get that number without deliberately disparaging non black applicants.

    50-100 years from now, Obama will be remembered as one of the worst president in history.

  • Worst President In Three Generations

    Don't assume the economic problems of 2007 and 2008 couldn't have righted themselves without government intervention. Financial and economic cycles are continuous. To give him credit for turning things around is far too simplistic. Second, why on earth would you give him credit for health care when it is unpopular with a majority of Americans? And lastly, he policies and process were responsible for the two worst mid-terms in 50 years. He will leave his party far worse off and weak than any President in history. His unwillingness to act as a leader and work with the opposition party (see Reagan and Clinton) and his inability to stop acting like a college professor who can give lectures and sit in his office and read instead of getting out, formulating partnerships and doing work is the antithesis of presidential.

  • He was lost as a president; he'd have been a good mayor.

    As a foreign opinion: I don't think he ever developed an ability to deal with any opinion other than his own. While well-meaning, he seemed completely at a loss when faced with events he hadn't instigated. His foreign policy (if he had one) has been extraordinary. As a relatively pacifist president, he has lacked the decisiveness, responsibility or strength to deal with any of the foreign policy issues he has faced, instead being naïve, credulous and indecisive. Obama toured the world doing his impression of JFK to get re-elected. He goes around apologising to people in other countries for things he didn't do (which understandably seems to irritate some US voters), but oddly doesn't seem as willing to apologise to them for things he did do. Yet, on the other hand, he gives every impression of not liking foreigners at all. He seems instinctively isolationist. The price of being the greatest power on earth is that you have to use that power. The cost is that you do have to be the world's policeman. Obama doesn't seem willing to do that or to make that case to the American people.
    His policy to deal with Islamic terrorism is a total fiasco. Rather than eliminate Al Qaeda and support nation states, he has abandoned them, allowed even worse organisations to spring up in Syria, Iraq and across Africa.
    He pulled US troops out of Iraq only now to put them back in again to fight terrorists armed with US weapons. I don't know who Obama wants to rule this territory once he's finished bombing it, and I don't think he does.
    In Ukraine, he proved unable to thwart Russia from using Soviet tactics so old that they feature in TV comedies from thirty years ago. It's possible that the sanctions will eventually crush the Russian economy, but I'm not clear how turning the world's largest nuclear power into a failed state will improve anyone's security. It affects his allies economies, in some cases quite seriously, but he won't have the US really lift a finger either to oppose Russia or to help Ukraine. What's the point of him even having an opinion?
    Everyone knows they have three months to act entirely unopposed against US interests before Obama will make a decision to deal with them (as per Iraq, Afghanistan, Arab Spring, Ukraine, ISIS). He has been a walkover for far weaker adversaries and has seriously diminished foreign perceptions of US strength, prestige, principle and effectiveness.
    I don't know how effective he has been domestically. The overall effect seems to be that he's got his healthcare policy done; he hasn't done anything to prevent future financial crises; he's nearly doubled your national debt; he has reduced the power of the US abroad in the long term wasting the sacrifices of US forces since 2001.
    He'd have been a good mayor of New York, but was totally useless at an international level.

  • Executive Order abuse

    They will talk about how he abused his executive order to step around congress, they will discuss his abuses on liberty. How he said he would kill us citizens without a trial using drones, they will discuss how he lied to the American people to gain popularity, and how he was impeached.

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