America says goodbye to Obama, our forty-fourth president
On January 21st, our country’s leader will not be the vibrant Hawaiian you’ve all come to know.
It will be a new experience when Barack Obama, arguably one of the most polarizing and dynamic presidents of all time, leaves office this month. For all of us here at Darby, Obama has essentially been our childhood president. Our generation grew up reading about the latest presidential event he was involved in.
His presidency helped many of us learn the basic principles of democracy and showed us how government and the people are intertwined. With our Commander in Chief being so relevant in our lives over the past several years, let’s take a look back at Obama’s presidential legacy.
Obama’s election victory in 2008 was groundbreaking. The first African-American president in history made headlines everywhere. He had broken the glass ceiling and many were hopeful the future. His followers anxiously waited for the change that Obama had promised to begin.
Barack entered the presidency in a tough position. America was in two wars, climate change was a hot topic, and the country was in one of its worst recessions of all time. Obama had a long road ahead for his first term.
Despite the adversity, it didn’t take long for him to make waves. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his diplomacy efforts, and he worked diligently on the economy. By 2010, America was adding thousands of jobs a month.
Obama’s next accomplishment was one of his most controversial: Obamacare. In 2009, Nancy Pelosi introduced the legislation for a new, radical health care idea. It would give more people protection who couldn’t have it before. After deliberation from Congress, these ideas were passed to Obama, who signed the Affordable Care Act into action on March 23rd, 2010. While ObamaCare did have many beneficial aspects, the sign up rates were lower than expected and the costs were high. This prompted much criticism from Republicans, and it is yet to be seen how long Obamacare will stick around under the Trump Administration.
Before Obama’s reelection, the war ended in Iraq, and American forces killed former Al-Queda leader Osama Bin Laden.
Obama faced opposition from a Republican Senate and Congress during his second term, so his actions were limited. He did, however, use tools such as presidential pardons and executive orders to make change. There was a theme of social reform during his second term, and he faced challenges such as terrorism and race relations.
During this term, same-sex marriage became legal, Obama had to deal with attacks such as San Bernardino and the Boston Marathon bombings, and the President pardoned many people for less serious offenses, such as drug possession.
Obama had a huge impact on this country. His economic and social policies definitely brought the change that he had promised. The merit of this change is up for individuals to decide.
Whether or not you agree with his politics, Obama will be seen by many as one of the coolest presidents of all time. What other president has “dropped the mic” at a White House dinner, or sang “Purple Rain” to a trick-or-treater? Not only was Obama in the know on today’s pop culture, he was quite the athlete. A devout Chicago sports fan, Obama could be seen shooting baskets and sinking birdies on free days. If not for anything else, Obama could be remembered as the most relatable president in recent American history.
Overall, it’s been one heck of a ride with Barack Obama. He has been an influential figure in all of our lives. From everyone here at Panther Press, we thank President Obama for his service to the United States of America, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.