As of today if one were to evaluate the performance of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America, one might find it difficult to give it an exact grade. Not difficult to imagine given that no process seems to be in completion as of now, whether you are talking about the economy, the job situation, the war on terror or Afghanistan or the healthcare. So, why is it so difficult to have a binary assessment of President Barack Obama’s tenure so difficult? Let us try and figure it out step wise.
In recent history, no American President has acquired such a difficult legacy from a previous administration as Barack Obama did. And I am not blaming the bush administration for all the problems. The problems were acquired or to state otherwise were ‘accumulating’ over a period of time and waiting to happen. Just a summary of them would make any President squirm. The United States of America still fighting a devastating war on terror, economic wastage of decades finally coming to roost, simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, eruption of racial and ethicist divisions in the homeland and much more.
On the top of it, the ascendency of Barack Obama as President seemed like a panacea for all evils that besieged America. No doubt, his 2008 election campaign of, “Yes We Can” and the subsequent environment of ‘change’ and ‘hope’ enveloping America contributed even further to extraordinary expectations. But as he realized (or perhaps even knew) that mere slogans or expectations do not change things on the ground. Even before he could settle in the majestic confines of the White house, he knew he had his hands full. The Wall Street and the global markets were tumbling. Savings of millions of American households were dwindling; jobs were disappearing, war casualties increasing and the big American Hope crumbling. He knew more than anyone else that he would have to forget his own agenda of healthcare, economic and administrative reform that he promised America as a candidate for now and deal with issues at hand first.
And deal he did: The Tenure-
To Their credit Barack Obama and his team kept their sanity in these mad times. Knowing fully well that the problems besieging America would not solve on their own, he and his team set off to the task. The first task was to end the immediate economic woes. Not the economy on the whole, but parts of it. His stern message and legislations for the Wall Street were the first. The revival of American automotive industry came next, followed by tax cuts and investment initiatives, including a major infrastructure revival programme. To some relief, some of these initiatives started bearing fruit early. The automotive industry revived, the mortgage mayhem stopped and the Wall Street stabilized.
Next on the agenda was the ongoing conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. True to his word, Barack Obama ensured that governance in Iraq was safely handed to the people of Iraq and troops were finally back home. Another feather in his cap remains the destruction of Al Qaeda, including the killing of its top leadership - Bin Laden included. A well thought plan was laid for the war on terror. Far from the “You are with us or them” rhetoric of the previous administration, Obama focused on a more inclusive and accommodative foreign policy in which countries across the world were involved in the decision making process on this front. From his path breaking speech in Cairo in 2009 to American support for democracy in the ‘Arab Spring’, the world has seen America regaining a lot of goodwill, which was seen to be lost in the Bush-Cheney era.
Another milestone has been the passing of the Patient protection and Affordable Health Care Pact (PPACA) also referred to as Obamacare. A major personal initiative of the President, this act vastly divided the political atmosphere in Washington for a while, but is gradually gaining acceptance, aided by the United States Supreme Court ruling terming it fair and constitutional. It is pertinent to mention here that this is one of the most significant changes to American Health Care system since the introduction of Medicare in 1965.
Another Four Years? Why?
With all the good work mentioned above, it would seem even remotely unfair to ask why, instead of why not, for another four years for Obama to be the President of the United States of America. And the answer to that is not simple. The problem is, though the balls have set rolling and problems are getting fixed, the work isn’t completed yet. What is even more worrisome is that many American’s don’t understand the work in progress. For they will only be satisfied, not only when the problems are fully fixed, but also evidently seem to be fixed. And any political commentator worth his salt can tell you that’s never possible. The task of solving a problem is one just one aspect, convincing others that you are solving them is an entirely different political endgame. And that is the flux Obama finds himself in. He is solving problems and seemingly that’s not enough, and that’s the message the Republican’s want you to have.
For me, as espoused above, Barack Obama deserves another term at the office beyond doubt. People should understand that work is in progress and in the right direction, but its fruits will come to bear in time. Any change in the team at the White House now will be disastrous, and I am not saying this because I am a Democrat or else. People have to look beyond party lines and see the crux of the problem or problems America has been facing. One has to see it as a team fixing a problem, not a Democratic or Republican team fixing a problem. America has had enough, it is dealing with its problems finally now, let it finish. I would let it. What about you?