One Year Later

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Today is the one year anniversary of the first Black man sworn in as president of the United States. To be truthful, it doesn’t feel like 365 days have passed, but the calendar says 2010 so I will have to accept it. For Barack Obama, the first year of his presidency could be one for the history books. The first year of a new president is a year of transition because policies need to be changed, orders reversed, appointments to be filled and so on. There are so many things to do that a president must have a honeymoon period to get things in order. President Obama wanted to show that he was a different kind of leader and that he could juggle many hot issues right out of the gate and keep the support of voters who elected him president. In a time span of 365 days, President Obama found out that his support base isn’t so supportive because of his actions and his approval numbers are not what they were last year. Crisis of leadership, I suppose.

Supporters of Obama basically wanted one thing: for him to succeed. Opponents of Obama basically wanted one thing: for him to fail as Rush Limbaugh had suggested. So what did Obama do? He would compromise himself and try to play the role of a moderate which made him look not so prolific but dithering on issues that he wanted responsibility for. President Obama knew once the sun had reached its highest point on January 20th, 2009, he inherited the leftovers from Bush’s plate and once he received that plate, Bush’s problems was now his problems. One year later, unemployment is at 10%, foreclosures are still at high numbers and the wars that were started by Bush are continuing under Obama. Understand that I am not attempted to degrade Obama, but the President and his men placed him so high on the pedestal that he started getting unfavorable ratings because he did not deliver the goods as he had promised.

To be fair, President Obama has had a bizarre unusual first year as Chief Executive. He appeared on television more times than his predecessor, his administration was attacked from the right, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in his first year during a time of war and we cannot forget the controversies. President Obama was attacked so many times for questionable actions that I have lost count. Here are some of the controversies that he had to deal with in just his first year:

Not wearing his jacket in the Oval Office.

Bailing out General Motors and Chrysler.

Placing caps on compensation for executives of banks receiving TARP money.

Mocking the disabled on the Tonight Show.

Decided that a teachable moment was needed after using the word stupidly.

The Tea Party movement.

Campaigning for the Olympics.

I could list many more but there are way too many controversies to speak of, but the point is that the President was in the news for things that he said or did and it was not positive. We can’t forgot major issues like the stimulus package that passed to inject new blood in states that were bleeding out and provide jobs to those who were hanging on by a thread. The stimulus package would be Obama’s appetizer. A test to see if the Obama political machine can get legislation passed and it did so now it was time to ring the bell for the main course: health care. Since health care started in his first year, it is worth mentioning but it’s a topic that is still in flux. To classify it as a success or failure in his first year would be premature.

So what did year one produced? It produced a president with expectations so high that Barack Obama could talk to God directly for advice. Any disappointment is viewed as a failure, any accomplishment will be deemed historic. President Obama’s year one was a year of unusual circumstances in which race, ideology, faith and class was called into question about his qualifications to govern. The first year excuse is over. There can’t be anymore, “I inherited this or the economy was worse than we thought or the G.O.P. is the party of NO.” The rest of his term is now “all about Obama.” His supporters will expect a successful term as president, but his opponents will wait for him to fail and label him a charlatan. As a voter who voted for Obama, I pray that he can live up to what he promised for the American people. I know it was over the top but I’m still waiting for that one politician to prove me wrong. I wanted to live long enough to see a politician actually serving the people and not interests. President Obama, you are still on the clock. You have time.

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~ by R8RBOB on January 20, 2010.

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