Barack Obama

A presidency in review

William Beckman, Co-Editor in Chief

Over the last eight years, President Obama has done a lot. From enacting the famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) “Obamacare” to preventing a second Great Depression, it is undeniable that President Obama has had a very eventful presidency.

In 2008, Obama inherited a horrible economy from the Bush administration. With a much criticized bailout of big businesses, President Obama took the loss of 8.4 million jobs from that recession alone and turned it into the lowest unemployment rate the country has seen since the later years of the Clinton administration.

In addition to his success in turning around the economy, Obama has made good on his commitment to get troops out of Iraq. While he could not follow through on pulling the military out of Afghanistan, this was a nearly impossible challenge to begin with. Considering the difficulty that comes with getting an army out of a country filled with enemy militants and training a country’s army to competently defend themselves, I’d say Obama did very well fulfilling half the promise he made regarding the troops in Afghanistan.

Many critics of President Obama complain that he over uses his power of Executive Action. They point to his recent use of this power to force through gun control legislation. While it’s true that this pushes the boundaries of what a president should or should not do, it was necessary because Congress would have kept any law he wanted passed stuck in the House for years. Many times the situation was a sort of “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” because if Obama did not force these laws through, people would criticize him for not following through on his plans.

People who are not the biggest fans of Obama also tend to discredit him by way of saying that he doesn’t keep his promises, but according to a non-partisan fact checking website, he has kept or is in the process of keeping 70 percent of promises made in office or while campaigning. I concede that Obama has not kept all of the promises he made on the campaign trail, but with the opposition he faced from congress during his second term, it was unlikely that would be able to stick to his word entirely.

Maybe Obama just seems so great to me because of who we have to compare him to, George W. Bush, who got the U.S. into the entirely unnecessary Iraq war. In addition to this, Bush caused the aforementioned economic mess, which someone (guess who?) had to rescue us from.

All in all, I’d say Obama has had a good presidency, certainly better than President Bush. If he were up for reelection, I would vote for him over any candidate currently in the field, from either party.

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