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Was Barack Obama's Presidency Actually a Failure?

I am a freelance writer with a BA in Communications from the University of Toledo.

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s presidency was far from a failure, but there were failures within it. His biggest failure was his reluctance or his inability to see the need to tout his own successes during his time in office.

Contrary to the Republican Party’s spin, Obama accomplished many things that benefited this country, and he retrieved it from the depths of a recession that teetered as close to a depression as it could without falling into one.

Those on the right would have you to believe that the bailout of the auto industry was an unnecessary waste of money. In actuality, if the automakers had been left to their own devices, they would have collapsed into bankruptcy, plunging the country down a deep financial spiral with them while crushing the economy in the process.

Obama did not tell his success story. Instead, he allowed the Republican spin machine to define the perimeters of his biography, and that was a big mistake.

Dow Jones Industrial chart from 2007-2016

Dow Jones Industrial chart from 2007-2016

The Economy

The old saying that “if you tell a lie long enough people start believing it is the truth” is very true in this instance. Republicans have been saying for eight-plus years that Obama's policies made the economy worse. But that's not true.

When Obama took office America was losing more than 700,000 jobs each month from the job market. For almost seven years we have been adding an average of nearly 250,000 jobs each month. Does that sound worse to you?

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Although there is a need to add closer to 300,000 jobs each month, adding jobs is certainly better than losing jobs. To listen to Republicans, you would think we were still losing them.

However, Obama did not do a good job of reminding Americans what the actual job numbers were. That was a failure on his part. Americans have short-term memories, as was evidenced by the 2010 midterm elections in which Republicans were put back in charge of the House of Representatives. And we have seen how that has turned out: obstructionism ruled the day and the government has been in gridlock for the last seven years.

Killing of Osama bin Laden

Another major accomplishment of Obama’s presidency was the killing of Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden had been on the run from the U.S. military forces since the 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. He had eluded America’s search for him for nearly a decade until his death at the hands of special forces units assigned to capture or kill him. This feat was achieved on Obama’s watch—but with little mention of it even in the light of the Republican Party’s attacks on his foreign policy decisions.

Republicans were again allowed to shape the discussion around their own talking points while leaving out the facts of the Obama administration’s foreign policy success.

Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden

Is He too Humble?

Obama ran a good presidential campaign in 2008 and again in 2012, but his public relations campaign during his presidency was lacking. Obama needed to realize that telling the story of his accomplishments would not have been bragging or boasting, but simply relating the facts in an effort to dispel the lies.

The big mistake made by the president was that he assumed that the American public would notice what he had done. He didn't realize, sorry to say, that a large segment of the population wasn’t even paying attention to what was going on.

In an interview on one of the major networks shortly after the 2010 midterm elections, Obama himself admitted that he took some things for granted when he assumed the office of president. He admitted that he did not promote his health care reform as he should have and that leaving that task to his fellow Democrats was a mistake. But still, his realization did not translate to other areas where he could have done a better job of publishing his policies.

Obama’s problem was that he was a humble man who was not about self-promotion. But what he needed to understand was if he did not shape the story of his deeds, then others would do so, and not in a positive fashion.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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