Passing the torch: President Obama’s legacy


Oliver Douliery Tribune News Service

Obama waves goodbye to his presidency.

President Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th political chieftain of the United States, is now preparing to take leave of his position in office this January to make room for the new president.  

After serving two terms in office, many adults and students alike are beginning to reflect on the country’s past eight years and the legacy that Mr. Obama has made, including his achievements and even downfalls as president.  Whether they may be shrouded in controversy or support, President Obama’s new policies and affairs in larger situations changed the life of many Americans and others over the past eight years – but which one specifically defines him as president?

“The greatest legacy that Obama will have is the capturing/killing of Osama Bin Laden, as this decision he made certainly brought some type of feeling in terms of showing our strong leadership in the world and our resiliency to go against people leaving destruction on our country,”  social studies teacher Mr. Michael Lisa said.  

President Obama has been welcome to much support in his actions on the approval of the mission which would eventually lead to the death of Osama Bin Laden, a major turning point in the War on Terrorism and in the president’s career.  Although ending the war in Iraq by withdrawing troops in 2011, many believe that there is still much that Mr. Obama has left behind in terms of terrorism nationwide for the next presidential candidate to deal with.  

“He faced issues of homegrown terrorism, like the Boston Marathon Bombing and the recent Manhattan bombings. He won many battles but not necessarily the war completely; this will fall on the shoulders of our next president, as he hasn’t won the war against terrorism,” Mr. Lisa said.

Besides addressing many aspects of the war on terrorism, Mr. Obama also dealt with other various foreign relations that aided in building his overall character.

This includes actions taken against climate change with the clean power plan, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and inspiring other nations to take action. Other situations include the beginning of a process to normalize relations with outside territories such as Cuba, also known as the “Cuban Thaw,” further show his means of change across the world.

“Obama was a good president and a good influence because he brought people to be open to the idea of having different ideas and has changed inequalities for many people,” sophomore Emily Fasulo said in response to Obama’s general manner.

Besides internationally, Obama has also left his mark nationally through the implementation of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a health care reform law that ultimately curbs healthcare spending and improves access to healthcare and insurance.

One of the more debated topics of his presidency, Obamacare applies to many local people in Massapequa and beyond, reaching to many adults and even students as well as the plans covers varying groups of people.

“Obama did a pretty good job throughout his two terms with changes like Obamacare,”  junior James Kiernan said. “He was able to connect more with the general media which helped him influence younger people, like teenagers who will be voting soon, to start thinking more about politics.”

The general consensus among students regarding President Obama and his legacies was positive with a common theme evident of being able to really “connect” with Obama through social media platforms.  

President Obama has been one of the first presidents to use social media to its full advantage to assist in making his voice clear among teens and many others across the nation. Through social media, he has been able to inspire others worldwide by encouraging people to not let their skin color hold them back from accomplishing their goals.

“In his two terms, Obama has shown his ability to be an effective leader with his diverse range of fields that he has addressed, leaving a big influence on our generation altogether” sophomore Hannah Coleman said.

What happens next? With the results of the of the next presidential election quickly approaching, either Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will inherit leadership over the nation, acquiring along with it the legacy of President Obama.

Leaving two terms and a wide list of policies and relations behind him, Mr. Obama is preparing for his retirement with a number of benefit plans and personal plans to follow as the next nominee is sworn into presidency on January 20, 2017.  

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