The Obama administration

A final look on a historic 8 years

By Pete Souza, The Obama-Biden Transition Project [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Pete Souza

By Pete Souza, The Obama-Biden Transition Project [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Billie Firmin, Editor

On January 20th, 2017, after serving two terms as the nation’s 44th president, Barack Obama was succeeded by Donald J. Trump after serving two terms as the nation’s 44th president.

These past eight years have been historic; not only because Obama was the first African American to lead the United States, but because of the accomplishments he made while serving.

Barack Obama was sworn into office during the ‘Great Recession’ the worst economic crisis the United States has faced since the Great Depression in the 1930s. He ended the recession less than a year after taking office. “In February 2009, Congress approved Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package. It cut taxes, extended unemployment benefits and funded public works projects. The recession ended in July when GDP growth turned positive. In just seven months, ARRA pumped $241.9 billion into the economy, stirring growth to a robust 3.9 percent by early 2010. By March 30, 2011, nearly all ($633.5 billion) of the funds were spent” according to a report by The  Balance, a financial empowerment website.

Throughout his presidency, the unemployment rate has decreased to 5%, job openings have increased by 97%, and nearly ten million jobs have been added to the workforce, as reported by Amenberg’s Fact Check website.

Obama has also achieved what presidents before him have been trying to accomplish for seventy-five years: implement national health care reform. With the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in March 2010, approximately 20 million Americans now have health insurance than before Obamacare was created.

The 44th President was very successful when it came to social justice as well. Under his leadership, the Supreme Court ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutional. This was a landmark decision concerning LGBT+ rights, and CBS news reports that as of June 2016 gay marriages have increased by 33% since the ruling.

Obama also took measures to support and protect women’s health facilities, especially Planned Parenthood. “The Obama administration issued a final rule… to bar states from withholding federal family-planning funds from Planned Parenthood affiliates and other health clinics that provide abortions”, as reported by the New York Times.

Obama was also an iconic president because of his presence in pop culture. He has invited artists like Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar and Lin Manuel Miranda to the White House, made visits to restaurants throughout the country and surprised everyday citizens, and frequently appeared on talk shows to sing and joke with hosts. At his final White House Correspondents Dinner, Obama ended his speech by saying “Obama out” and quite literally dropping the microphone.

There has never been a president who has cared more about his country, his people, or his responsibilities than Barack Obama. He faced extreme opposition from right wing politicians and still managed to leave office with a 60% approval rating, leave a significant mark on the country while fixing problems left by his predecessor, and remaining classy the entire time.

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