On January 21, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. America had elected its first African American president who went on to serve two terms. His presidency was marked by some significant accomplishments, as well as some difficult challenges.
There is no doubt that historians have remembered Obama as a groundbreaking president but what exactly did he do and how have his changes affected the United States?
Obama’s Early Years and Education.
Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was a white American from Kansas. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was a black Kenyan studying at the University of Hawaii. The couple married in February 2nd 1961 and had their first child, Barack II six months later.
After his mother discovered that her new husband was already married they got divorced and she was left to raise her son alone. Her family were supportive and later that same year Dunham married an Indonesian student named Lolo Soetoro.
The couple then had one daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng. In 1967, the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia where Dunham enrolled her two young children in local schools.
Obama attended Catholic and Muslim schools during his time in Indonesia before eventually returning to Hawaii to live with his grandparents at the age of 10. He was eventually to go on and study at the Occidental College (LA), Columbia University (New York), and Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The President’s Wife: Michelle Obama’s Impact.
As the President of the United States, it is important to have a qualified and skilled ambassador by your side at all times. But just how skilled was she as an ambassador?
One of her more popular quotes was;
“Plenty of folks—including me and my husband—started out with very little. But with a good education and a lot of hard work, anything is possible.”
During her time as the Presidents wife, she was responsible for representing him and the United States at various events and functions. She was also responsible for hosting foreign dignitaries and officials at the White House. In addition, she often gave speeches on behalf of her husband and the Administration.
Overall, she was widely considered to be a very successful and skilled ambassador. She was always well-prepared and represented her husband and country in a positive light. She was also able to build strong relationships with many world leaders, which proved to be beneficial for the United States.
Political Career: Where did it all Start and was His Road to Power Smooth?
It all started back in 2004 when then-Senator Barack Obama gave the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. His career seemed to be on an upward trajectory from there, as he was elected President of the United States just four years later.
However, Obama’s road to power wasn’t always smooth. He faced challenges from within his own party during his first term, as well as intense opposition from Republicans. Nevertheless, Obama was able to weather the storms and ultimately finish out his two terms in office.
Looking back on his political career, it’s clear that Obama made a lasting impact on American politics. He will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most consequential presidents of our time.
First Term as President: What were his Major Achievement.
During his first term, President Obama faced a struggling economy which he addressed by implementing a series of economic stimulus measures that helped to stabilize the economy. He helped revive the economy after the Great Recession and presided over a period of steady job growth. His changes did help avoid the negative things that occured.
The Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, was another major achievement of the Obama administration. The law helped millions of Americans get health insurance who were otherwise unlikely to afford it.
President Obama presided over the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He worked to wind down both of these conflicts, while still keeping America safe from terrorist threats.
In 2011, he passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ended combat operations in Iraq, and signed the New START arms control treaty.
On the domestic front, President Obama worked to reduce gun violence and increase access to education for all Americans.
Second Term as President: What Were his Major Achievements?
When Barack Obama was first elected as President of the United States, many people were hopeful that he would be able to bring about major changes in the country. During his first term, Obama was able to accomplish a lot, but there were still many challenges that he faced.
In his second term, Obama was able to build on his previous successes and make even more progress.
Some of the major accomplishments of Obama’s second term include reaching an agreement with Iran that prevented them from developing nuclear weapons. He also worked hard to combat climate change and made progress on equal rights for all Americans regardless of race or gender.
Throughout his time in office, Obama faced significant opposition from Republicans in Congress, but he was still able to get a lot done.
Positive Things that Occurred During Obama’s Presidency.
During his two terms in office, President Barack Obama made significant strides in a number of important areas.
One of his most notable accomplishments was passing the Affordable Care Act, which helped millions of Americans get health insurance and has provided many benefits, including free preventive care, lower prescription drug costs, and protection for people with pre-existing conditions.
The law was initially very success in providing affordable health care for all Americans though over time the healthcare costs have risen sharply.
While Obama was not without his share of controversies, he remained popular throughout his time in office. His average approval rating was around 55%, which is higher than that of many other recent presidents. A Gallup poll taken shortly before he left office showed that 60% of Americans approved of the job he was doing.
Negative things that Occurred During Obama’s Presidency.
When Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States, many Americans were hopeful that he would bring about positive change. However, during his eight years in office, several negative things occurred.
Here are just a few of the lowlights from Obama’s presidency:
One of the biggest problems during Obama’s tenure was the increasing national debt. When he took office, the national debt was $10.6 trillion. By the time he left, it had increased to $19.5 trillion. This is one area where Obama truly failed to deliver on his promises.
When Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States, many people had high hopes for his presidency. Unfortunately, Obama’s time in office was not without its share of problems.
One of the biggest issues during his presidency was the economy. The recession that started in 2008 continued during Obama’s first term, and it wasn’t until 2012 that things began to improve.
The unemployment rate remained high throughout his presidency, which caused financial hardship for many families.
Another issue during Obama’s presidency was the rise of ISIS. This terrorist group emerged in 2014 and quickly became a major threat to global security. Obama responded by increasing military action in the Middle East, but this didn’t stop ISIS from carrying out terrorist attacks in various parts of the world.
Finally, Obama also faced criticism from both sides of the political aisle for his handling of various issues.
Controversial Things that Occurred During Obama’s Presidency.
As the first black president of the United States, Obama faced a lot of criticism from those who thought he was unqualified for the job.
- The Affordable Care Act, which was nicknamed “Obamacare” by critics, was passed into law in 2010. The law required all Americans to have health insurance or face a penalty. While it helped many people get access to affordable health care, it also resulted in higher premiums for some people.
- In 2012, Obama issued an executive order that allowed young undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the U.S. as children to stay in the country and work legally. This program, known as DACA, was rescinded by Trump in 2017.
- Another controversial order from Obama was the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA. This would have allowed parents of U.S.-born children to stay in the country, but a Texas judge blocked it.
- His most controversial executive order was likely the one that expanded access to stem-cell research. This was largely seen as a way to get around the restrictions of the Bush-era ban on federal funding for such research, but it drew much criticism from those who were opposed to any kind of abortion.
How will History Remember Obama’s Presidency?
When Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, he inherited a country that was reeling from two wars and an economic crisis. He would go on to serve two terms, weathering challenges at home and abroad. How will history ultimately remember Obama’s presidency?
As the first African American president, Obama made history simply by being elected. He also took office during one of the most difficult periods in recent memory and navigated it with relative success. While many criticize his policies and decisions, there is no doubt that Obama left his mark on both America and the world.
When future generations look back on Obama’s presidency, they will see a man who faced immense challenges and rose to meet them. They will see a leader who made history simply by being himself, and who inspired hope in millions both here and abroad.
Sources: THX News, Wikipedia & The Whitehouse.