Obama’s presidency is no longer historic just because of his race, but also because this president has accomplished 100% of his domestic agenda.
Jonathan Chait summed it up, “On January 20, 2009, when Obama delivered his inaugural address as president, he outlined his coming domestic agenda in two sentences summarizing the challenges he identified: “Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.” Those were the four major areas of domestic reform: economic recovery measures, health-care reform, a response to climate change, and education reform. (To the justifiable dismay of immigration advocates, Obama did not call for immigration reform at the time, and immigration reform is now the only possible remaining area for significant domestic reform.) With the announcement of the largest piece of his environmental program last Monday, Obama has now accomplished major policy responses on all these things.”
The fact that Obama has accomplished everything that he has while confronting unprecedented Republican obstruction makes what he has done all the more incredible. Republicans set out to block the entire Obama agenda, and make him a one term president. They failed on both points. In the face of such day to day frustration over the Republican refusal to govern, it is easy to forget how much that this president has achieved. He has ended two wars, been bold on education reform, put the economy back on track, and most importantly has delivered a healthcare reform that has helped hundreds of millions of Americans beyond the newly insured.
Republicans love to label this president, and his presidency a failure, but nothing could be further removed from the truth. All presidents leave something undone in their domestic agenda. This isn’t the case with President Barack Obama. There is definitely more to do, but it would be a disservice to view the Obama administration as the post-Bush reboot of America.
President Obama has built a lasting legacy, and his leadership has transformed America for the better. The next president is going to have a tough act to follow trying fill the shoes of Obama.