I know what Barack Obama hopes his legacy is…but I don’t think any of that is actually going to come to fruition, and I can honestly tell you why. It seems that history has a backward view of presidents leaving office. When a president is popular leaving office, more often than not, but not all of the time, they are viewed unpopular and unsuccessful by history. When they are unpopular leaving office they are usually viewed as having accomplished great things.
Look at Harry Truman, or Richard Nixon, or Bill Clinton. They left office unpopular, or in disgrace in Nixon’s case. But history treated all three of them kinder than the public did. Want to take a look at the other side? Kennedy, Eisenhower, and George HW Bush, were generally viewed as decent to good presidents in office (at least Bush was until the “read my lips” promise proved false!), and all three have received less than stellar reviews from history.
So, what’s Barack Obama really going to be remembered for? Several things that I can think of. For instance, he increased the federal debt 68% (that would be 8 TRILLION dollars) in just eight years with absolutely nothing to show for it. That is going to be huge. Yes, he’s going to be remembered for Obamacare, but not in the way he hoped. It will be remembered that he tried and failed to fixed healthcare. He is going to be remembered for terrible leadership in fixing an economy that was decimated by a banking crisis brought on by Democrats, which also led to a need to fix the auto industry, which he did by getting way too involved. He’s going to be remembered for an economy which was the one of the slowest recoveries in history (only one worse was the great depression!). People on food stamps rose 32% under Obama, and blacks saw the worst increase in their standard of living in almost 50 years! That doesn’t sound like a president looking after “his people”, now does it?
His foreign policy stunts have led to total mocking of his leadership abilities on the world stage. Where America was looked at as a leader eight years ago, we are now viewed as a feckless joke overseas. Friends question whether we can be depended on to be by their side, and enemies are emboldened to test our mettle. Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Russia, Crimea are all either stronger when they shouldn’t be, or weaker when they shouldn’t be because of Obama’s policies (or lack thereof). His negotiation skills have led to two incredibly flawed agreements; the Trans Pacific Partnership, which even his former Secretary of State, and Democrat nominee for president, Hillary Clinton said was a bad deal, and the Iran Nuclear Deal, which showed the utter contempt for not putting the United States first, and more importance placed on his “legacy”. It will be part of his legacy, for sure…but not in the way he wants.
Politically, you can hardly call what happened under Obama a “legacy” item. He lost the House of Representatives specifically due to Obamacare. He lost the Senate because of the economy and terrible leadership. He lost governors’ mansions all over the country, now only holding 18 top state posts. And overall, he lost over 1,000 seats in government, in both federal seats and state houses. That is not what I could consider a positive legacy item…however, that IS what I consider a legacy!
If Obama wanted a great legacy as president, it’s another of his failures in office. If he was so successful, why did the consumer sentiment index jump to its highest level in 15 years AFTER the election? If he was so great as president, why did the stock market make 2016 a very profitable year AFTER Donald Trump was elected? The answer is simple. Obama has been a terrible president, a weak and ineffective leader, and a pock mark on the face of American politics. That will be his legacy forever and a day.
And he deserves it.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!