President Obama’s first term as the 44th president of USA started on January 20, 2009 and the second on January 20 2013. His immense popularity can be judged from the brightening fact that President Obama was elected twice. One can have no doubt in believing that had there been a third term in the constitution, he would have still returned victorious in the elections.
President Obama leaves behind him a glorious legacy of far-reaching achievements and landmark attainments in diverse fields both domestically and internationally. Those brilliant hallmarks might not be outshined by the future presidents of the United States for a long time to come. In the backdrop of the sharp ethnic divided between the white and the so called African American communities, his reelection in 2013 speaks for his immense popularity and love among the diversity of the American people.
His “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA}” saved and created jobs after an unpresented economic meltdown. This Act provided immediate investment and relief to those projects those were most affected by the recession. It helped sustained investment in infrastructure, education, health, renewable energy, industries mostly notably in automobile manufacturing industries such as General Motors and Chrysler.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare was enacted was in March 2010. This act brought about many fruitful changes in the then prevailing medical and insurance malpractices. For instance, it facilitated “expansion of health insurance coverage to the uninsured, to cap premium increases, and to allow people to retain their coverage when they leave or change jobs.
Also, known as the public option, to compete with the corporate insurance sector as a main component to lowering costs and improving quality of health care. It also made it illegal for insurers to drop sick people or deny them coverage for pre-existing conditions, it require every American to carry health coverage. The plan also includes medical spending cuts and taxes on insurance companies that offer expensive plans”.
The first priority of the president elect Donald Trump and the Republican party now in majority in both houses of congress, is to undo this act which in fact is going to restore the previous system benefitting huge health conglomerates at the cost of those Americans who cannot pay huge premiums.
In another landmark development initiated by president Obama in the domain of foreign relations was the normalization of relations between United States and Cuba. As a result of that the interest sections in both countries were upgraded to the level of full embassies in July 2015.
The negotiations spawned over a period of two years Between Iran and United States during the Obama tenure as the president resulted in signing of the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” that prevented Iran from manufacturing Nuclear weapons or material. In return the stifling sanctions imposed on Iran were lifted.
There might be a difference of opinion in assessing the Libyan civil war in which the American embassy was attacked resulting in the death of the ambassador along with two other members. But the fact is that the attack on the embassy was an offshoot of the chaos and no one could have stopped it. Even Muammar Qaddafi the besieged ruler was also killed. But the American military action did end the civil war speedily. It was a kind of timely help by the Obama administration that saved further bloodshed.
A "surgical raid" authorized by Obama administration conducted by United States Navy Seals on May 1, 2011, resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden and the seizure of important information from his compound. He was the most wanted target of the United States for many years.
President Obama terminated the American combat operations in Iraq and recalled the American soldiers stationed in Iraq by August 2010. In Afghanistan although there is American military presence, but it is not engaged in active fighting but to sustain the democratic system that is now in place against the Taliban and other radical militants.
From the foregoing, it is evident that president Obama has been focused on reducing the international conflicts either political or military in which United States has been either directly or indirectly involved.
As a person, he is a decent family man with two young daughters and a loving wife. Interestingly his name contains two words that are purely Islamic. Those were derived from his father whose name was Barack Hussein Obama Sr. Barack in Arabic means the blessed one. Hussain is the most coveted and sacred name for the Muslims especially for Shia sect in Islam. Hussain was the grandson of prophet Muhammad and was martyred by one of the Ommyad caliphs in the desert of Karbala near Baghdad.
Obama is a recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”. In a poll conducted by “Harris Interactive” in May 2009, president Obama was rated as the most popular world leader. President Obama is among the top ten most popular and successful presidents of the United States.
The two latest decisions made by president Obama have been very crucial and which demonstrate his trait of fearless decision making. Lately in a clear departure from the past blind support for Israel, United States abstained from vetoing a resolution against its ally Israel. That facilitated passing of the Un Security council resolution on December 22 by 14-0 condemning the construction of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and West bank. This was for the first time that America with Obama as president has adopted a just and legitimate stance.
The second decision taken on December 30 is the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from America in retaliation to the hacking of the 2016 American presidential elections. President Obama has also imposed sanctions on nine Russian entities and individuals involved in cyber hacking to manipulate the results in favor of president elect Donald Trump and against the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
His popularity among all sections of the populace was strident and perhaps can be rated among the leading presidential luminaries. He has been consistent and endowed with a level of confidence and courage that enabled him to take momentous decisions at a time when the USA was steeped in one of the deepest economic chaos fomented by his Republican predecessor George W. Bush.
A Gallup poll declared Barack Obama as the 7th great president after Ronald Reagan (19%),
Abraham Lincoln (14%), Bill Clinton (13%), John F. Kennedy (11%), George Washington (10%), Franklin Roosevelt (8%), Barack Obama (5%)
A Quinnipiac University poll showed Barack Obama as the fourth best president since World War II, after Ronald Reagan (35%), Bill Clinton (18%), John F. Kennedy (15%), Barack Obama (8%), Dwight Eisenhower (5%).