The good & the bad of Obama’s presidency

2008 was a remarkable year in the history of the United States. In that year, the first African-American was elected as President of the United States, mister Barack Obama. He beat senator John McCain from Arizona, in a convincing manner. After a presidency of four years, Obama won the elections again, this time beating governor Mitt Romney. In this article we will review Obama’s presidency, looking at what he achieved during his presidency, and things that went wrong.

One of the first things Obama wanted to do in his presidency, was reform health care. That is why in 2010 he enacted the Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare’. It was designed to increase health insurance quality and affordability, lower the rate of people that are uninsured and reduce the costs of healthcare. The act is seen as an improvement to the previous situation, but there are still flaws to it. Now that Trump will be president, and the Republicans control the Senate and the House of Representatives, the act is likely to be erased.

A key point of his 2008 presidential campaign was the financial crisis. He ended this recession by creating an economic stimulus package. Without this stimulus, the economy in the US would have taken a longer time to come back from the recession. A part of this was bailing out the car industry. By doing this Obama saved a lot of jobs which is part of why the unemployment rate went down under Obama.

In 2009 Obama received the Nobel Peace prize for “..his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.”. An example of this is the strengthening of ties with Cuba, trying to restore the relationship between the countries. To add to this, Obama has ended the Iraq and Afghanistan war and reduced the nuclear arsenal by 10 percent. Though it has to be noted that troops have been sent to the middle east once again, to combat ISIS fighters. The Obama administration also achieved its goal of killing Osama Bin Laden.

Obama is also known for acknowledging the problem of climate change, and trying to reduce greenhouse gasses. He was one of the leaders to make the International Climate Agreement, and has introduced bills that helped reduce greenhouse gasses. Nevertheless, Trump has already said he might throw the agreement in the bin, which would mean all Obama’s work would have have been in vain.
However, Obama’s presidency was not applauded by everyone, as there are things that have gone wrong under his presidency. The first example is the war in Iraq. The United States ‘ran’ the country, which meant that they kept the country from going into anarchy, and kept them relatively safe from terrorist/militants. After the United States suddenly withdrew, no one in that country knew what to do. There was no real organization in the country, which lead to anarchy and the rise of ISIS. Now, Obama has tried to regulate the country by fighting from the skies and sending in advisers. But this is all too late, as ISIS has done a great deal of damage to the country and region. The same can be said for Afghanistan. Because America ‘controlled’ the country, it destabilized when the Americans left. Obama also said in his campaign that he would shut down Guantanomo Bay, but as we all know, Guantanomo Bay is still open.

Obama has also increased the national debt by an enormous amount, mainly because of the stimulus package during the recession. Over the following decades it will become clear if his spending was too much, or if it was justified. Obama also failed to effectively work with Congress on several matters. Of course it is difficult as a Democrat to work with a Republican congress, but Obama struggled very hard.

All-in all, Obama’s presidency can be seen as a success to some, and a failure to others. If we look at healthcare, Obama has reformed the system, and raised the number of people insured. But if we look at the situation in the Middle east, Obama’s presidency has been a failure. The situation now may even be worse than in the years of Bush. A key question is how much of the situation can be hold accountable to Obama. Personally, I think Obama has been a great president. I think we have to keep in mind that being a president is a very difficult job, and you can not do everything right. I think it is great that he has restored relationships with Cuba, and succeeded in a Climate Agreement. The downside though, is that all his work might be wiped out by the next president, Donald Trump.

What do you think of Obama’s presidency?



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