Barack Obama's Place Among African-American Leaders and American Presidents is Secure

Barack Obama--Historical Perspective

Barack Obama has been called post-racial as a result of his inclination to reach out to people of all races, religions, and political persuasions. Some critics unsuccessfully tried to tag him with the fiery rhetoric of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the anti-Semitism of Louis Farrahkhan while others claimed he was "too white" and not a true African-American. But the mud didn't stick.

Since his decisive election, commentators are comparing Obama to Kennedy as a culture-changing icon, to Roosevelt and Lincoln as a leader in a time of crisis and even to Ronald Reagan, rather than to his African-American predecessors on the stage of American history. I will leave the comparisons to presidents Lincoln, Kennedy, Roosevelt and Reagan to the historians and attempt to put him in context among some of the African-American giants of our country's history.

Obama clearly is inclined to reach out to others including those with whom he disagrees. When he was criticized severely by liberals and gays for inviting the homophobic Reverend Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation, Obama responded by inviting gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson to do the invocation at the Lincoln Memorial and The Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery to pronounce the inaugural benediction. Obama gave his first formal television interview to Arab TV's Al-Arabya. Obama's personal views and conciliatory inclinations clearly are closer to those of Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Booker T. Washington than they are to those of Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhahn or The Rev. Wright. However, Obama defies being pigeon-holed by the left or the right.

Obama is a gifted lawyer whose views are more in the tradition of our first African-American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall than those of Justice Clarence Thomas, the current African-American on the high court.

Going back in history, Obama's eloquence matches that of fiery abolitionist Frederick Douglass, but in many respects his conciliatory political inclinations also resemble those of Booker T. Washington.

Barack Obama appears to have less in common with other notable but more militant African American leaders. Like Paul Robeson, Obama is a talented lawyer, but his athletic skills are no match for those of football All-American, Robeson, let alone Robeson's formidable talents as a singer and actor. Without doubt, Paul Robeson was among the most multi-talented individuals, white or black, in American history.

Robeson, like Malcolm X, was a much less conciliatory figure than Barack Obama. He was an indomitable, heroic world peace and civil rights activist who as a result of the Red Scare in the 1940s and 1950s was surveiled and persecuted by the FBI and CIA for more than 30 years until his death in 1976. His reputation has since been rehabilitated and a postage stamp issued commemorating his life. Robeson and Malcolm X had great intellectual capacity which is shared by Barack Obama. Malcolm X initially was a militant black separatist supporter of Elijah Muhammad, but he mellowed later in his life and was assassinated in Harlem by Muhammad disciples.

Barack Obama's place among African-American giants of our country's history is secure. Only history will determine his rank among American presidents and other historical figures. In my opinion, he has the potential to rank in history among the very greatest American presidents. Time will tell.

2012 Election Brings Obama Closer to Greatness

Barack Obama's re-election places him among 18 presidents who were elected to a second term (including Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson who were elected once after serving out the terms of presidents who were assassinated.)

Obama's Record as He Begins His Last Year in Office (According to Timothy Egan in the NYTimes 1-15-16)

"...By any objective measurement, his presidency has been perhaps the most consequential since Franklin Roosevelt’s time. Ronald Reagan certainly competes with Obama for that claim. But on the night of Reagan’s final State of the Union speech in 1988, when he boasted that “one of the best recoveries in decades” should “send away the hand-wringers and doubting Thomases,” the economic numbers were not as good as those on Obama’s watch.

"...At no time in Reagan’s eight years was the unemployment rate lower than it is today, at 5 percent — and this after Obama was handed the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. Reagan lauded a federal deficit at 3.4 percent of gross national product. By last fall, Obama had done better than that, posting a deficit of 2.5 percent of G.D.P...."




Barak Obama's Acceptance Speech 2012

President Obama Signs Historic Health Care Reform Bill
President Obama Signs Historic Health Care Reform Bill

President Barack Obama's Second Inaugural Address

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rosa Parks Forever Stamp Issued on her 100th Birthday, February 4, 2013
Rosa Parks Forever Stamp Issued on her 100th Birthday, February 4, 2013
Justice Clarence Thomas
Justice Clarence Thomas
Joseph Lowery
Joseph Lowery
Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass

Dr. George Washington Carver

W.E.B. Du Bois
W.E.B. Du Bois
Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington
Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson

Obama's First Inaugural Address

Paul Robeson "Old Man River"

Paul Robeson a Great American

Paul Robeson

 Paul Robeson (1898–1976) was perhaps the most all-around talented American of the twentieth century. He was an internationally renowned concert singer, actor, college football star and professional athlete, writer, linguist (he sang in twenty-five languages), scholar, orator, lawyer and activist in the civil rights, union and peace movements. Though he was one of the century's most famous figures, his name was virtually erased from memory by government persecution during the McCarthy era. The son of a runaway slave, Robeson won a four-year academic scholarship to Rutgers, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated as valedictorian. Despite violence and racism from teammates, he won fifteen varsity letters in sports (baseball, football, basketball and track) and was twice named to the All-American Football Team. He attended Columbia Law School, then took a job with a law firm but quit when a white secretary refused to take dictation from him. He never practiced law again. In London, Robeson earned international acclaim for his lead role in Othello (1944). He starred in many plays and musicals and made eleven films, many with political themes. He promoted African independence, labor unions, friendship between the United States and the Soviet Union, African-American culture, civil liberties and Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler's Germany. In 1945 he headed an organization that challenged Truman to support an antilynching law. Because of his political views, his performances were constantly harassed. In the late 1940s he was blacklisted. Most of his concerts were canceled, and his passport was revoked in 1950.


Peter Dreier in The Nation, October 3, 2010 "The Fifty Most Influential Progressives of the Twentieth Century"

Obama Meets With GOP Leaders Feb 2010

Photos from Barack Obama's Second Inauguration (deedsphotos)

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The Fifty Most Influential Progressives of the Twentieth Century by Peter Dreier in "The Nation" October 4, 2010

1. Eugene V. Debs

2. Jane Addams

3. Louis Brandeis

4. Florence Kelley

5. John Dewey

6. Lincoln Steffens

7. W.E.B. Dubois

8. Upton Sinclair

9. Margaret Sanger

10. Charlotte Perkins Gilman

11. Roger Baldwin

12. Francis Perkins

13. John L. Lewis

14. Eleanor Roosevelt

15. Norman Thomas

16. A.J. Muste

17. Sidney Hillman

18. Henry Wallace

19. A. Philip Randolph

20. Walter Reuther

21. Paul Robeson

22. Saul Ailinsky

23. Woody Guthrie

24. Earl Warren

25. Ella Baker

26. I.F. Stone

27. Jackie Robinson

28. Rachel Carson

29.Thurgood Marshall

30. Harry Hay

31. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

32. Bayard Rustin

33. C. Wright Mills

34. John Kenneth Galbraith

35. David Brower

36. Pete Seeger

37. Malcolm X

38. Betty Freidan

39. Michael Harrington

40. Cesar Chavez

41. Harvey Milk

42. Ralph Nader

43. Gloria Steinem'

44. Tom Hayden

45. The Rev. Jesse Jackson

46. Muhammad Ali

47. Billie Jean King

48. Bill Moyers

49. Barbara Ehrenreich

50. Michael Moore


Comments 74 comments

barranca profile image

barranca 7 years ago

Excellent hub. It is a good question, although a little early to say, no? Two other african-americans you might consider for your list are Richard Allen founder of the AME church and Toussaint Levourture, leader of the Haitian Rebellion. And if you are going to include musicians, the list is endless.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Thanks I considered including musicians and African-American athletes like Jessee Ownes, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Tiger Woods and, of course Serena and Venus Williams, not to mention Kareem Jabar, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. I could go on and on with musicians and actors. Hard to compare Louis Armstrong and Barack Obama. I could also have included Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright. However, Obama, Opra, Tiger Woods and Bill Cosby, like Obama, have achieved a sort of post-racial status in the minds of many white Americans. I probably should include Marcus Garvey and General Colin Powell.


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

You've become extremely prolific of late Ralph. Happily, the quantity has not diminished the quality.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Thanks for this one. I knew about Paul Robeson's singing and civil rights work but not all the rest. It's good to learn these things.


Kebennett1 profile image

Kebennett1 7 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

Very good. The Hub was interesting and the comparisons were indeed correct in my opinion as well. Time will tell as you say where he will fit into Presidential History's Best Presidents.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. Obama's mettle is being tested.


JAMESBIGDOGG5535 profile image

JAMESBIGDOGG5535 7 years ago

HEY RALPH, LOVE YOUR WRITINGS. I FIGURED IT'S GOING TO TAKE ME SOME TIME TO BUILD UP MY BASE. I'VE JUST STARTED 2 WEEKS AGO, AND LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, LOOKING TO GET RICH QUICK. SO, AFTER 3 YEARS,WHAT DO YOUR PAYCHECK LOOK LIKE? THANKS. KEEP WRITING.


A Texan 7 years ago

Ralph you said Obama is a "gifted lawyer" what is the basis for this praise? You also said that he wasn't a product of Jeremiah Wrights teachings not in those words of course but along those lines. What do you have to say about his comments on the Cambridge Police Department without knowing the facts? I think it shows a predisposition towards a militant behavior concerning race relations.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Obama taught Constitutional law at University of Chicago Law School which is one of the top five or ten law schools in the U.S. And he was editor in chief of the Law Review at Harvard Law School. As Obama acknowledged, it was a mistake to call the Cambridge police incident "stupid." He reacted instinctively on behalf of his friend and as a black who is conscious of the historic and current police abuse of minorities in this country. Anyone who reads the newspapers and watches TV news reports about Obama recognizes that he does not resemble Jeremiah Wright in the slightest. Obama is a conciliator, a uniter.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia

Excellent hub Ralph, thank you.


A Texan 7 years ago

You said he was a gifted lawyer, most people with that sort of praise would have a record that one could research and discover their many court battles and see how they won them. If your contention is he taught really good courses then that is what should be said!

"He reacted instinctively on behalf of his friend and as a black who is conscious of the historic and current police abuse of minorities in this country"

Thats a Uniter? Surely you jest!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

No. I'm dead serious.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Okay, he's a gifted legal scholar.


A Texan 7 years ago

That may very well be I do not know. He is splitting this country apart with his policies and losing a lot of votes that went to him in 2008, if he is a uniter then he better get on the ball and do some uniting dont you think?


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

Great orator..? hardly, when compared to MLK Jr, Lincoln, and Kennedy, who spoke without teleprompters...take away the teleprompters and he is a stumbling, mumbling, inept speaker with pregnant pauses and playbook answers.

African- American..? Why the hyphenation..? There are no African-British, no African-Canadians, no African-Cubans...so why are they defined as African-Americans only in the USA..? As long as we continue to perpetuate this division of race and nation, of a class of victims, we will never get past the issue of race being injected into every discussion concerning American culture...

I, for one, am getting a little tired of the hypocrisy of race in this nation... We are all Americans without being hyphenated...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

For the same reason as we refer to Irish-Americans Italian-American, Mexican-Americans, Polish-Americans who are also proud of their heritage. BTW, there are many who refer to themselves as Afro-Cubans. And have you ever heard someone refer to himself as Scots-Irish or Scotch-Irish?


A Texan 7 years ago

I'm a Texan-American, is that OK?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Whatever floats your boat!


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

That's a specious argument, lacking substance...When was the last time you heard of Irish-American Studies, Polish-American Scholarships, or a Chinese-American Professorship at ABC University..? Sure, I'm proud of my Irish heritage, but I don't proclaim it by hyphenating my American loyalty with some other nation, or religion, or race...

I have never heard of PHd's being awarded for Hungarian-American Urban Studies...What would be the uproar if Cal decided to have a White Students League...? I am not talking about personal references, but public pronouncements of group designations...keep 'em separate, keep 'em controlled, that is the liberal agenda...If you think using the term African-American makes you more culturally sensitive you are deeply mistaken,my friend...That is pure political correctness that most thinking black Americans do not ascribe to as a general appellation for all black Americans...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

It's a free country. There are all kinds of affinity groups.

I don't see anything improper or sinister about African-Americans so designating themselves. I had an uncle named Edward Francis Murphy. Born in Hartford, educated in Boston--Holy Cross and Harvard Law School. He was a rock-ribbed Republican. When I was a freshman he advised me to read Time Magazine (the Time of ultra-conservative Henry Luce and Helen Booth Luce) every week and pay my American Express card off in full every month. I've always followed the second part of his advice. But I've been reading the NY Times since then rather than Time, although it's much more moderate now. Anyway shortly after the 1960 election I got Uncle Ed to admit that he voted for Kennedy, not Nixon. He couldn't resist voting for the Irish Catholic Kennedy even though he'd always voted Republican. I have no doubt that a lot of African-Americans voted for Obama for the same reason.


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

I, too, voted for JFK..my first presidential vote...but not because he was Irish or catholic, but because he espoused conservative values that I agreed with...He would probably be considered a conservative were he to be in politics today...

I don't consider anything " sinister " about certain groups wanting to designate a particular race, belief, or political persuasion to whatever they are trying to promote...I do consider such designations as divisive and elitist when race is injected into the description...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Well, there are a lot of things I worry about more--health care, two wars, the deficit, the recession and very high unemployment, the lack of fairness in the tax system, the insecurity of my pension and so forth. Moreover, it strikes me as a bit unfair to criticize the blacks of divisiveness after we brought them over as slaves and marginalized them for a couple of hundred years thereafter.


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

So, your response is to cut them a little slack because, heck, they have travailed enough already..? I treat everyone I know the same, as equals until proven otherwise, regardless of social station, political persuasion, or racial heredity...illustrating their differences is to me a soft racism that I detest..


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

My comment re soft racism is directed at groups that use race for economic, political, or cultural advantage...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Well, not everybody "treats everyone the same as equals until proven otherwise." Far from it. When that day comes perhaps African-Americans will just refer to themselves as non-hyphenated Americans. (I don't doubt that you treat everyone as equals--you are a thoughtful, literate person who likes Dave Brubeck, a good sign.)


J D Murrah profile image

J D Murrah 7 years ago from Refugee from Shoreacres, Texas

An interesting hub, both in terms of who was included and who was not included. I would have included James Farmer who was a major figure in resisting the draft in World War 2, and later winner of the Presidential Freedom Award. He was also a figure mentioned in the Great Debaters. I would have also included Major James Kemp Holland who was the highest ranking black in the Confederate Army along with Scott Joplin. Joplin often found that he had to blaze his own way. Jack Johnson also had a major impact on blacks in America, inspiring them during a difficult time.

Of course each of them were from Texas, and as such may not be representative of all the views that are often presented in the media.

In terms of how history will treat Obama, much depends on how he handles the situation. History and people are often fickle. The people who are the heroes today are often the statues torn down in succeeding generations. In each case, the younger generation believes that they are smarter than the previous generation.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I'm not familiar with Holland or Farmer. Jack Johnson was an interesting and admirable figure in that he was a precursor of the Black Power/Black is Beautiful movement in that he didn't take any crap from anybody at a time when blacks were taking a lot of crap from lots of people. Thanks for your suggestions!


kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

This was very well done! When I read Dreams from my Father, it reminded me of some of the books I'd read years ago in African American lit when I discovered some of my favorite black authors - I really see Obama as deeply committed to justice, to bringing people together for the common good, and to healing the great divide in this country. But, despite the quality of this man, he's confronted with the same level of resistance and negativity any person who tries to change the status quo confronts - of course, in his case being biracial just adds racism to the mix.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

True.


must65gt profile image

must65gt 6 years ago

President Obama is an intelligent man. The Media was in control of the election from the beginning, and the election was tainted by misinformation and deception, furthered by airtime declined by the republican party in using only 23%and the democratic sides use of 73%; the balance used by independents and propagations of lobbying interest on both sides. Neither Party really wanted to be in power, but with their political positioning in congress and the house, the Democratic party took the opportunity to use a green president to push through policies that otherwise would have been held up in committees and remained blocked by opponents to the social demise by passing bills incomplete; that question moral principals. The ideals behind the legislation were sound but as with anything lawyers get involved with, individual agenda’s became leached to the bills removing validity from the intent and origin. This economic situation would be a monster for any president to overcome. Hopefully the President will be judged by how he handles it, instead as something as insignificant as skin color. . As with some of the reporters who openly showed their ignorance publically , the race card will only be played by the hands of the uneducated misinformed individuals with personal axes to grind; in search of something or someone to blame for their social or economic position. We are at the crucible of social change. The real question is, shall we rise above the pettiness of race and color, or allow ignorance and Sinicism to rule our future.

Personally as a registered democrat, I was appalled by directions the party took spearheaded by a separatist in Nancy Pelosi and consequently will be changing my political affiliation. I do have a couple of concerns with President Obama and his fore fronted policies, (1) his desire to "Spend us out of debt" In the history of the world, no civilization has spent their way out of debt. (2) There has never been a successful government sponsored healthcare program. (a) Implementation will eventually be manipulated by the system to show discernment as to who receives care and in the order the care is provided. And (b) it will ultimately remove interest in research and development, because the investments and hard efforts will not be rewarded due to implementation of government restrictions on monetary gain from returns on the research..


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Without commenting on all your points, you are off base wrong on the matter of "spend us out of debt." Obama is following the best available standard economic advice to spend us, not out of debt, but out of recession. This is standard, accepted economic policy throughout the western world. Secondly, you are incorrect that "there has never been a successful government sponsored healthcare program." Medicare is quite successful but needs to do a better job of controlling costs by curbing fraud and unnecessary and/or ineffective treatments. Moreover, EVERY other industrialized country in the world has successful government sponsored health care programs nearly all of which cost less than our current program and produce better results.

Thanks for your comments. It would be a mistake for you to switch from Dem to GOP!


Mortgagestar1 profile image

Mortgagestar1 6 years ago from Weirton,West Virginia

Barry Obama,as he was known prior to politics, was raised by his white upscale grandparents. He attended the best schools in Hawaii and like Tiger Woods, is not black but multiracial.

Chicago political mentors groomed him to be leftist and attenad a racially charged church as this would appeal to the political base. He was an attorney for ACORN and was programmed to appeal to socialist ideology.

Nearly a year after his inauguration, the nation is more polarized and disinfranchised. The promises on the campaign trial were what Nancy Pelosis said, " Yes, he was just campaigning".

Liberal backers from Rolling Stone Magazine to Hollyweird are rightfully angry at his " True Colors " as the polar opposite of what he appeared to have been. Harry Reid was correct in saying how the left used his ethnicy as a vehicle and the usage of the oratorial skills from a hillbilly to a Harvard elitist as suited to a particular situation.

I trust nobody and investigate anyone running for public office personally. In my youth, I was a liberal Democrat and evolved into a conservative Republican and now an Independent Conservative. We ARE the single largest voting block in America with no voice.

Research and have an open mind! As for Barry, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice... shame on me.

Read the liberal publication Rolling Stone on line about the REAL Obama.Obama's Big Sellout

The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway

MATT TAIBBI

Posted Dec 09, 2009

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/3123464...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Well, I'm not 100% happy with President Obama's performance to date. However, he has a lot on his plate, and my impression is that he's trying as hard as he can to improve our economy, our broken health care system and deal with two wars dumped on him by his predecessor. As I said in the Hub, it's still way too early to judge his presidency. I suspect that Mortgagestart would criticize Obama for trying to accomplish many of the things I would criticize him for failing to accomplish. He's taking fire from conservatives for various reasons and from liberals for other reasons.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

With few exceptions, history has not smiled upon one-term presidents. Only one such chief executive has managed with any consistency to get into the historians’ “near great” category.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

President Obama already has accomplished a great deal -- not the least of which is his election as the first black to attain this high office -- but right wingers will always find any way they can to discuss him in negative terms. That's not to say they are racist, necessarily, but I know many right wingers who insist that they harbor no prejudice while, at the same time, referring to the president and anyone associated with him in the most disparaging terms. All the great black leaders you've noted on this hub, Ralph, deserve high honors not picky little diversions.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Very true, William. Thanks. You're a gentleman and a scholar. If you ever get to Michigan, look us up.


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

Ralph,

Why not Google Barack Obama's Presidential accomplishments? You will be surprised to see there is barely anything there.

Being from Illinois, I know he did nothing as an Illinois State Senator. He also LOST a Congressional Race 3-1 to a community organizer, Bobby Rush. In the Illinois Senate he was know for not voting on issues unless they were race related. He also won his seat because the Republican incumbant was caught up in a monetary scandal.

He won the U.S. Senate seat when the Republican was involved in a sex scandal. In the U.S. Senate he was known for voting present, his accomplishments were basically nil. Name all the bills of importance he wrote.

You do know at Harvard he was the editor of the law review. He also never wrote an article, which is quite unusual.

If he is so intelligent; why has he blocked all his school records? Besides the Ivy League, he began at Occidental Jr. College. Maybe his grades weren't good enough to get into a better school! Isn't it also possible that being a minority got him o Columbia and Harvard. They don't like to fail students because the loss of a seat means losing revenue.

He has done nothing in law, except teaching Saul Alinsky's, Rulees For Radicals.You know getting a teaching position at good school's is based on who you know.

He will be a one term Progressive President that goes down as the WORST President in history.

In the U.S. Senate he voted with his Party over 96% of the same. So much said for bi-partisanship. His Party controls everything, and he can't pass legislation. He is doing worse than Kennedy did. Johnson pushed through JFK's programs, you know that.

It is an insult that you compare him to those that have bettered things.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

How do you know he has blocked his school records? Why would he need to block them. In my experience schools won't release them? I don't recall seeing George W. Bush's school records. I doubt they would be anything to write home about. Your superstar Sarah dropped out of four different colleges before she finally eked out a degree.

Actually Obama has accomplished quite a lot, considering the Party of NO's decision to block everything they can. "His party controls everything." You gotta be kidding! The Dems control the House, but not the Senate where they've hardly gotten a single GOP vote on anything significant.

I don't like to use the word "dishonest," but it's hardly fair to blame Obama for the lack of progress on health care reform and other issues.


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

Ralph,

With the Bush-Gore fiasco the schools revealed that Bush had higher grades. It's not the schools blocking his grades, he asked them not to. Harvard let Gore's GPA be known.

You don't like the word, dishonest. Why do you write about me and Sarah Palin? I never said I would support her. Isn't that being, dishonest?


danielthorne profile image

danielthorne 6 years ago

So what nationality is Obama's mother?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Harvey, I don't recall saying that you and Sarah are an item. I said it's not fair for you or the GOP to criticize Obama for not accomplishing anything after doing everything possible to block his every initiative and appointment (as did Senator Shelby in order to get some pork for his state.)

daniel, have you heard of Wikipedia? Look it up.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

I think you are way too confident in his abilities, but that said, I also hope in my assertion that I do NOT have confidence in his abilities that I am wrong. I don't want to see the guy fail, even though I'm a republican. I don't want to see any American president fail. I also don't want to view Barack Obama's successes or failures strictly through the eyes of a republican. I'll take him at his word and judge him on his results is the basic thought there. Right now he terrifies me. Like whether some people's belief that Sara Palin can be a viable candidate for president one day, only time will tell whether or not Obama's presidency, and the policies it has laid out over the course of his term will prove to be good.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Fair enough. Time will tell.


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

Ralph,

This is a quote from you up above. "Your superstar Sarah dropped out of four different colleges before she finally eked out a degree."

I never said Palin and I are an item, that would be a lie! Did you Google Obama's accomplishments?

Did Obama even graduate? I ask this because a good friend doesn't has a degree, but has an MBA from the University of Chicago. I think Obama taught there.

They let my friend in because he took a state-wide test, and scored #1. He later taught there.

Spring,

Nice job.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Harvey, I'm familiar with President Obama's background, and I know more than I care to know about Sarah. She doesn't strike me as a nice person, an honest person or a well informed person, to put it politely.


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

Ralph,

Don't you get it; Im NOT pushing Palin.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Harvey, I'm glad you're not pushing Palin. Why don't you do a Hub entitled "Why I'm not Pushing Palin?"


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

Ralph,

That's like me telling you to write about any Democratic possibility. Either of us may sway thousands of voters, ha.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

"Everything helps, quoth the wren when she pissed in the sea." (Spoken when we make a little addition to a great heap.)

Old English Proverb from "The Dictonary of the Proverbs of England, Morris Palmer Tilley


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

Ralph,

That's why I don't go in the ocean!

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

Thomas Jefferson


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

I learnt a bit of History here too. Thanks.

Obama is a good leader and has a good background. When he became president of US, I think he had to deal with the effect of what Bush left behind and then move the country forward - which can't be done in a year.

As you wrote - Time will tell.....

Best Wishes.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

President Obama achieved two important landmarks in his administration in a single week--signing a landmark health care reform bill and finalizing a nuclear arms reduction agreement with Russia.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 6 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

Oh Ralph--you touched my heart! Love that first picture of Obama. He has such a great and infectious smile!


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK

As you say, "time will tell", or as Harold Macmillan (UK PM) once said when he was asked about the vagaries of his job: "Events dear boy, events". Ignoring those who are biased either way, I think Obama's legacy will be defined mainly by "events" which he will probably have no way of predicting or avoiding. Personally, I wish him luck.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Me, too! He was dealt a pretty bad hand by his predecessor--two wars and a world recession. As you say, "events."


megadeth profile image

megadeth 6 years ago from trolen

he is president first and formost the fact that he is black should not matter


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

I agree that "it should not matter." But it apparently does matter to quite a few people for better or worse.


Mark Monroe profile image

Mark Monroe 6 years ago from Dover De

Ralph

Great Hub


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Historian Gary Wills Compares Obama's Tucson speech and other speeches to those of Abraham Lincoln.

In preparing his speech, Obama had called and talked to the families of those slain and to the survivors. He could tell their personal stories. Michelle Obama invited the family of the murdered nine-year-old to visit her in the White House. Obama came to the speech from the bedsides of those who had been wounded. Their message to him was one of dedication: “They believed, and I believe, that we can be better.” This rang a bell with me. It reminded me of the lesson of the fallen that Lincoln took from Gettysburg—”that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” At Gettysburg Lincoln might have been expected to defend the North and blame the South—which is what Edward Everett did in the speech preceding his. Rather, the bulk of Lincoln’s speech was given to praising the dead and urging others to learn from them.

Lincoln might have been expected in his Second Inaugural Address to trumpet the gains of the North and the setbacks to the South. Instead, he invited all Americans to grieve for the tragic war and to share blame for the historical crime of slavery. God “gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came.” Death should forge a bond among the living. “The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better,” Obama said, stepping around the obvious and divisive sifting of wrongs done, to urge the doing of right.

The sharing of praise for all who suffered and aided the suffering made me think of another speech, Henry V’s at Agincourt. That is a kind of proleptic memorial for all who fought with their brother the king, looking forward to the future celebration of such heroes. The prologue to the Agincourt act describes how visits from the king cheered his men, giving them “a little touch of Harry in the night.” Shakespeare makes oblique reference here to “the king’s touch,” which was supposed to heal people. In a more superstitious age that is how people might have seen the fact that the wounded congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, first opened her eyes right after Obama visited her. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, her friend who was in the hospital room when she opened her eyes, says that the moment seemed as miraculous as when her children were born.

The loudest cheers at the Tucson speech were for the news that “Gabby,” as she was known to all her many friends, was recovering. Perhaps there was the sound, there, of a nation recovering.

—January 13, 2011

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/feb/...


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

i campaigned for obama in '08. he's reached out to the republicans more than i'd like. i'm still prepared to vote for him again and have contributed to his 2012 campaign. i guess he's more pragmatic than i am. can't hold that against him. nice to hear a good word for him. thanks for the hub.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

That's about where I am. Thanks for your comment.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

10-28-12NYTimes "The Price of a Black President" Professor Frederick C. Harris, Columbia University

The Price of a Black President - NYTimes.com

The Obama presidency has marked the decline, rather than the pinnacle, of a political vision centered on challenging racial inequality.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Barak Obama's re-election solidifies his position among African-American leaders, and it moves him a step closer to a position among leading American presidents. His second term will determine where he stands among our presidents.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

11-11-12NYTimes "Political Racism in the Age of Obama" by Frank Bruni

Political Racism in the Age of Obama - NYTimes.com

The attitude of political racism has died hard. It is not, in fact, dead.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

11-11-12NYTimes Books "Keeping Hope Alive" by Charlayne Hunter-Gault

‘Hand in Hand,’ by Andrea Davis Pinkney, and More - NYTimes.com

Three books highlight the struggle for racial equality in America: "Hand in Hand-10 Black Men Who Changed America" by Andrew Davis Pinkney. "Unspoken--A Story From the Underground Railroad" by Henry Cole. "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King, Jr


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

1-21-12NYTimes OPINION--Obama's first term "The Big Deal" by Paul Krugman

Obama’s Big Deal - NYTimes.com

Yes, progressives have some real victories. I’d suggest using this phrase to describe the Obama administration as a whole. F.D.R. had his New Deal; well, Mr. Obama has his Big Deal.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

12-6-13NYTimes OP-ED "Obama Gets Real" by Paul Krugman

Obama Gets Real - NYTimes.com

With a big inequality speech, the president is finally sounding like the progressive many of his supporters thought they were backing in 2008.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 2 years ago Author

Best 2013 Photos from the White House

2013: A Year in Photos The White House

Best Photos from Obama White House 2013

http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/2013-ph...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 17 months ago Author

Barak Obama's Place in History Secured by U.S. Supreme Court's ACA Decision

Log In - The New York Times

The Supreme Court decision to uphold nsurance subsidies in President Obama’s health care law is a validation of an effort to fulfill the promise of expanding health care that has been the aspiration of every Democratic president since Harry Truman.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 10 months ago Author

"By any objective measurement, his presidency has been perhaps the most consequential since Franklin Roosevelt’s time. Ronald Reagan certainly competes with Obama for that claim. But on the night of Reagan’s final State of the Union speech in 1988, when he boasted that “one of the best recoveries in decades” should “send away the hand-wringers and doubting Thomases,” the economic numbers were not as good as those on Obama’s watch.

"At no time in Reagan’s eight years was the unemployment rate lower than it is today, at 5 percent — and this after Obama was handed the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. Reagan lauded a federal deficit at 3.4 percent of gross national product. By last fall, Obama had done better than that, posting a deficit of 2.5 percent of G.D.P."


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 months ago Author

5-1-16 NYTimesMagazine "President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy"

"Eight years after the financial crisis, unemployment is at 5 percent, deficits are down and G.D.P. is growing. Why do so many voters feel left behind? The president has a theory."


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 months ago Author

The New Yorker 5-23-16 "Liberal-In-Chief" by Adam Gopnik

President Obama makes the case for liberalism: radical change through practical measures. - The New Yorker

Adam Gopnik considers the President’s liberalism: radical change through practical measures.


junko profile image

junko 6 months ago

Well Ralph, This hub is one of many hubs you wrote here on hubpages that express your humanity foresight and wisdom and time has answered a 6 year old questioned asked. You were right in all you thought of The President's last six years. All lies will die when the truth is told.


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Ralph Deeds 6 months ago Author

Thanks for your kind comment.

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