Bye Bye Barack

Bye Bye Barack

A List of 8 Key Moments In Obama’s Presidency   From his inauguration in January 2009, Barack Obama has been a surprisingly divisive figure among the American people, despite being loved by many around the world. But, while some motivations were more personal, others disagreed with his policies or had little faith in his big … Continue reading Bye Bye Barack

23 January 2017  //  Richard Flint


A List of 8 Key Moments In Obama’s Presidency

A tense scene in the Situation Room during the operation to kill Bin Laden

 

From his inauguration in January 2009, Barack Obama has been a surprisingly divisive figure among the American people, despite being loved by many around the world. But, while some motivations were more personal, others disagreed with his policies or had little faith in his big promises against McCain. 

Obama's policies, however well-intentioned, divided the country
Obama’s policies, however well-intentioned, divided the country

 

During Obama’s time as president, a common complaint was the failure to deliver several promises made during his campaign, such as closing Guantanamo Bay. Many of these issues were down to Obama’s poor relationship with the Congress Republicans disagreeing on countless occasions, such as on the Plans To Take Action On Gun Control. Historic in innumerable ways, Obama’s two terms as the first black president of the United States are the foundation of some of the most significant moments in modern history; so we’ve made a list of the most important ones.

Top 8 moments:

1. A Rocky Start: to show how serious he was about the role Obama retook the presidential oath the day after being accepted into office

After a slight fumble on the part of the Supreme Court chief justice, John Roberts, on the first attempt, Obama decided to do it again. Instead of reading “I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States” John Roberts read: “I will execute the office of president of the United States faithfully.” This technically means the US was without a president for several hours.

2. Progress For The People: supporting gay marriage

During Obama’s second term as president, the US finally legalised same-sex marriage in 14 states. Obama himself claimed this was a “victory for America” and the official white house social media accounts even sported rainbow avatars in celebration.

3. Obama Cares: the rise and fall of affordable health care

Yet another controversial topic was the introduction of Obamacare and subsequently the Affordable Care Act following the former’s disbandment. Created with good intentions, Obama set out to provide an NHS-esque free healthcare system for those less fortunate. The downside to this was the current recession the US was facing meaning the country simply didn’t have the funding. Congress is currently already taking the initial steps to repeal the Act in the wake of Trumps presidency.

situation-roo
A tense scene in the Situation Room as Obama and his team watch the operation to kill Bin Laden unfold

 

4. War on Terror: the death of Osama Bin Laden

2003 saw the official invasion of Iraq by America after the devastating events of 9/11 in 2001. After 8 years of conflict, Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was pronounced dead on May 2 2011. After discovering the terrorist’s stronghold, the US sent in Seal Team 6 to carry out the execution. President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat in the situation room watching as the 23 man seal team approached the compound, completing what is widely regarded as one of the most significant moments in the War On Terror.

5. Money from Motors: recovering from a recession

Despite public opinion it was actually the banks who saved the American economy in the long run, alongside several motorist companies such as Chrysler and General Motors. Back in 2008 TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) was set up and provided loans to bail out several banks and motoring companies. Fast forward to 2014 and the loans sent out all those years ago were finally fully repaid (with interest) giving the American Treasury a whopping $15.3 dollar profit.

6. His Trump Card: the last acts of freedom

In his final few acts as president, Obama was set on preventing a certain questionably tanned individual from ending funding towards Planned Parenthood. The organisation is non-profit based and provides emergency contraceptives as well as sexual health and cancer checks to low-income citizens. Obama also permanently banned further oil drilling in areas owned by the US in the Artic and Antarctica in an attempt to preserve the environment. This could be a huge step towards dealing with climate change related issues as long as the next president doesn’t believe it’s just a myth made up by the Chinese… oh, wait.

Michelle & Barack Obama, photographed in Feb 2013
Michelle & Barack Obama, photographed in Feb 2013

 

7. Putting the Lady First: the Obamas in office

One of the most heartwarming things we can take away from Obama’s run as president is the inspiring relationship he shares with his wife Michelle. An extraordinary woman in her own right: standing up for equal rights, education and countless other causes. Watching their journey in the white house set a shining example for not just the US but the world as they celebrated 24 years of marriage in 2016.

resident Barack Obama presents Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a tribute to the Vice President in the State Dining Room of the White House, Jan. 12, 2017.
President Barack Obama presents Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a tribute to the Vice President in the State Dining Room of the White House, Jan. 12, 2017.

 

8. Family Farewell: Joe Biden’s Medal of Freedom

They say blood is thicker than water but over the last 8 years there has arguably never been a stronger bromance in the Oval Office, culminating in a sincere and heartfelt act. During Obama’s final speech he surprised everyone, including vice president Joe Biden, by bestowing Biden with the honorary Medal of Freedom (the highest civilian honour there is). Obama went on to say:

For your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, I’d like to ask the military aide to join us on stage… For my final time as President, I am pleased to award our nation’s highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Whether you agree or not with Obama’s policies or methods, it’s hard to argue that he is not a man of the people; he forever changed our attitudes towards political candidates and ushered in a more progressive mindset for many Americans. Let’s hope it stays that way, good luck America!

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