In the shadow of Obama’ exiting the Oval Office and returning to the life of a former president/ private citizen, it is appropriate to take a look at his presidency through different prisms to gauge the success (or failure) of his presidency.
After spending all their energy and dedicating all their time and resources to make certain that Obama first term presidency was a disaster, – in the words of Rush Limbaugh, an outspoken Republican broadcaster, “I hope the president fails” – the Republicans (leaders, powerbrokers, constituents alike) rallied very early behind their 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney and began to strategize how to kick Obama out of the Oval Office. Republican donors “rained” money – literally – on the GOP political machine to ascertain victory for the former Massachusetts Governor. According to a December 2015 article on politico.com, Mitt Romney’s fundraising topped $1 billion dollars, mostly from large donation. To put it in perspective, 60% of donors to the Obama campaign gave less than $200 in contrast to just 24% for Mitt Romney.
Despite the huge sum raised by the GOP presidential campaign, the unlimited cash poured into SuperPacs for the GOP presidential nominee – Las Vegas casino owner alone Sheldon Adelson and his wife gave $39.7 million to GOP-allied super PACs in the campaign’s final weeks bringing their total disclosed contributions to $90 million – and an incumbent president who had struggled to have a single bill passed under Republican controlled Houses, it was almost a sure bet that the GOP candidate would occupy the Oval Office come January 2013 and Mitch McConnell would get his wish (to make Obama a one-term president).
But Barack Obama is no ordinary individual.
Some analysts are inclined to refer to Barack Obama as a political Houdini. Harry Houdini, an early 20th century magician, is believed to have performed sensational escape acts which defy logic. Most of his magic acts consisted having both his hands and feet cuffed and chained (sometimes also in straight jacket) and dropped under water; he would manage to free himself and emerge above water unscathed. His most daring act was to be buried alive, leaving just enough room for him to claw himself out from the grave should he survive; well, he did. Without the entertainment aspect of the escape acts, Barack Obama has managed to put Harry Houdini to shame. While the magician’s acts were believed to be fake (which most likely were), Obama has never had the luxury of performing illusory acts on his audience a) the recession was not fake when he took office b) the Wall Street fallout was not fake when he took office c) the auto industry in shambles was not fake when he took office d) the mounting deficit was not fake when he took office e) the mounting debt was not fake when he took office f) the million dollar daily cost of the ongoing wars in Iraq & Afghanistan was not fake when he took office g) the high unemployment rate was not fake when he took office.
But the modern day political Houdini Barack Obama, with both hands and feet chained by the Republican run House and Senate, managed to free himself and accomplished what was perceived as impossible to do even without the restrictions.
Put differently, Barack Obama performed the greatest magic act never attempted by any politician on the planet after a daring escape not even Houdini could achieve.
Get my book “The Obama Legacy” (on Kindle, Android or iOS) at Amazon.com for a more comprehensive analysis of the success (or failure) of Obama Presidency. The book will also become available at Barnes & Noble as well as on Apple iTunesConnect very soon.