Obama report card: mixed grades but A for civility

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In high school I excelled in humanities subjects like English and history, but found math and science much more difficult.

I suspect President Obama was generally one of those humanities people, too. In the same vein, he has been a president with relative strengths and weaknesses — strong on domestic social and economic issues but lackluster in the foreign policy department.

After eight years of no scandal or major screwups (“No drama Obama” was a campaign mantra), he passes the torch soon to his antithesis — the 24-7 drama queen who is likely to undo much of Obama’s legacy.

Nonetheless, herewith is the final report card of President Barack Obama, a good man who indisputably restored intelligence and integrity to the White House.

The Economy: A-minus

Let’s rewind the tape to September 2008, just two months before Obama was elected: the U.S. economy was on the precipice of an epic meltdown.

Obama stepped into a tornado and calmly and confidently brought order. Through bailouts, stimulus spending and a rescue of the failing auto industry, Obama set the economy back on the right course. Since then a steadily improving job market with little inflation and historic low gas prices has allowed the United States to be the only developed economy to buffet the tempestuous global headwinds.

Social progress and civil rights: A-minus

Once again, the stellar student turned in an incredibly impressive performance. He was a little late to the party on gay marriage, but thanks to his VP buddy Joe Biden, the president finally did the right thing. He pursued progressive policies on family leave, overtime rules, the minimum wage and other socially responsible items and was largely successful. His signature social policy, Obamacare, was a good idea that wasn’t executed flawlessly and is now exposed to GOP repeal.

Foreign Policy: C-minus

This was the president’s toughest subject and his record is mixed, at best. On the positive side of the ledger, he did not plunge our country into reckless adventures overseas like his witless predecessor, and he largely wound down the interminable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And he impressively took down Osama bin Laden. But during his tenure, Russia once again became ascendant and is now punching way above its weight category. Obama did little to check Putin’s rise and his last-minute sanctions are a case of way too little, way too late. The president took a firm position with Iran, perhaps the most evil country on the planet, and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. In his zeal to negotiate a treaty before his tenure ended, Obama prematurely lifted economic sanctions that had just begun to cripple Iran and allowed leaders there to use that money to sow more chaos in Syria. Like so many presidents before him, the Middle East proved bedeviling to Obama, and in his final days he took a bold step and attempted to apply pressure on Israel to stop allowing new settlements in the West Bank. This was another misguided. last ditch effort that reeked of desperation. One wishes the president would have shown as much foreign policy backbone in his whole tenure that he tried to show in his last month in office.

Democratic Party Building: F

The president leaves behind a decimated Democratic Party and as the leader of the donkeys for eight years, all blame stops at his doorstep. Entrusting his legacy to a flawed candidate like Hillary Clinton was a huge mistake in hindsight. Letting Rahm Emanuel go to Chicago to ruin his political career proved calamitous on other fronts: since Rahm left his post as Obama’s chief of staff the Dems have been on a precipitous decline in winning legislative seats. And don’t look now, but less than one-third of the country’s state houses are led by Democrats. A political bloodbath of epic proportions.

In conclusion, President Obama’s Report Card, while a mixed one, does not give the president and his family their due in improving America’s standing both domestically and internationally — after eight years of civility and ethical behavior, we are going to miss their class and dignity.

Buckle your seat belts, here comes the incoming class of freshman and a new leader who will surely need to be graded very frequently.

Let’s hope he is a fast learner.

Tom Allon is president of City & State, NY, and a former candidate for mayor of New York City.

Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

Lou from Bayside says:
Civil Behavior? This freak has taken every opportunity to cause racial strife and divide in this country both by actions and words. This great stain on America is finally going to be vanquished to the dustbin of history. He is a monster,a hater of America, a mistake by the self hating white people who have been brainwashed through the media so badly that they could not see what a piece of crap this monster is!

Times ledger....the alt left , fake news!
Jan. 6, 2017, 6:47 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Again Lou from Bayside lives in some alternate reality. Explain in detail just how President Obama caused racial strife, something that has existed since the beginning of time. Maybe you can blame him for the Holocaust and the death of the Dinosaurs while you are at it.

Amazing how people are just getting dumber and dumber every year.

Now let's have some more idiot comments from the brain dead folks.
Jan. 6, 2017, 8:19 am
Lou from Bayside says:
Sure schmuck! just by giving any credence to a racial huckster like sharpy sharpton and always putting white America on the defensive. He is a global communist, a pawn of the global elites. He was presented as young and cool and hip but the reality is he is a fire breathing demon who hates this country particularly its white residents, you kn ow those bittler clingers who hang on to their religion and guns! Joe, you are a schmuck just like the wipe who writes this column. HUssein Obama is the biggest mistake, a colossal failurte to ever sit in the oval office. He and his street thug wife are total disgraces!
Jan. 6, 2017, 8:31 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
You still did not explain why Obama caused racial strife Louie. It is people like you white, black and in between who cause it with your idiotic thinking and living in a bubble.
Jan. 6, 2017, 5:16 pm
Lou from Bayside says:
His two hundred pound street thug wife told people they shouldn't be scared the only one to be scared of was her fat ass and her evil husband the Muslim sympathizer
Jan. 7, 2017, 10:41 am
Lou from Bayside says:
Times ledger the alt left fake news
Jan. 8, 2017, 10:25 am
Helton from Flushing says:

I think that Obama is more guilty of causing strife due to his anti-law enforcement beliefs, as well as his pro far left beliefs. Sometimes this spills over to racial implications.

Look at his list of friends...

Have people forgotten that candidate Obama sat in Rev. "God damn America" Wright's church for 20 years?

"Bombing Bill" Ayers is a close friend, as is Al Sharpton.

You ARE judged by the company you keep. Most Americans - Dems or Reps, are near the center in their beliefs. Obama is WAY to the left of most Americans.

As a result of Obama's anti-law enforcement beliefs, murders of law enforcement have skyrocketed as compared to pre-Obama times. That's because Obama has made it clear that he thinks that cops are racially biased against blacks and other minorities. NO RESPECT.

Look at Chicago with the highest murder rate in the country. Cops have backed off enforcing the law because they were being crucified for doing their jobs. Out of control murder rates are the result since criminals know the cops won't put pressure on them. NO RESPECT.

When those 5 officers were murdered in Dallas, Obama goes there and instead of just honoring those fallen officers, starts with his "minorities" are being picked on routine. He couldn't just pay his respects for the 5 cops who were assassinated for simply wearing the uniform. NO RESPECT.

DeBlasio has followed the Obama playbook. That ended up with the cops turning their backs on Mayor Moron. That also ended up with those 2 cops being assassinated in Dec 2014.

As far as racial strife, Obama had a unique opportunity as a biracial man to unite the country, but he dropped the ball.

Notice that he didn't say one word about those 4 black youngsters torturing that white disabled teen. If the situation was reversed, he would have commenting about "this horrible hate crime" from the moment it happened. That is a direct racial double standard.

I worked in law enforcement for 27 years. There are some bad apples out there, for sure. And every time one of them does something stupid/illegal, it tarnishes the name of the 90% of law enforcement personnel that just want to do their job and get home safely to their families each night.

But, there is no doubt that the progressive playbook says to demonize all cops, accuse them of being racist, and wake up each day with the intention of hunting down blacks.
Jan. 8, 2017, 4:10 pm
lou from bayside says:
timesledger /alt left/fake news!
Jan. 9, 2017, 9:06 pm

Comments closed.


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