Letter: Looking At What Obama's Accomplished Instead of Debate Performance

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By Genevieve Wilson

Prior to last week’s presidential debate, I felt tired of hearing complaints about President Obama’s poor performance in the first. I frequently heard that he lost that debate, that he missed the mark entirely, even that “he sucked.”

But I didn’t see someone losing or underperforming. I saw someone sobered by four years in office, speaking from his own experience in his present and anticipated role as head of state.

To me he seemed tired — I’m sure both candidates were by then — and perhaps simply unwilling, all things considered, to alter his own manner of speaking even for one evening in order to match someone with far less experience and please the status quo. To have done so would have amounted to pandering and sadly, the public is fickle.

The reality is that we are turning an incredible corner as a country. There are deep-level systemic changes taking place, and they take time and patience. But we are quick to criticize and have incredible difficulty delaying gratification.

I hate to sound cliché, but where is the depth of character needed to weather such changes together? Was it really lost altogether with the Greatest Generation?

At a time like this, I think it is far better to look carefully at what has been accomplished in the last four years of Obama’s presidency and acknowledge that he cannot be the lightening rod for our discontent as a people.

He works with an immense team of people from administration and appointees to elected officials in Washington. What has been created at present has been created by many, and many of those have been elected into office by us.

With that in mind I’ll submit that Obama and his friends have passed health care reform, they’ve passed the stimulus, they’ve passed Wall Street reform, and they’ve ended the war in Iraq.  Add to all of this that they eliminated Osama Bin Laden, and it actually sounds like quite a bit for four years’ time without even beginning to look at the many other accomplishments afoot.

I think another term is in order.

Dee October 23, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Mr. Goodeman, Please give me an example of how Mr. Obama was "too good" to me so that I didn't feel enough pain?
Dee October 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Mr. Stapleton-Gray, Please give me an example of Mr. Obama's strong leadership in foreign policy.
Ross Stapleton-Gray October 23, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Dee, I'm not planning on spending much time debating you, as I suspect it'll devolve pretty quickly into Fox News talking points. But, speaking as a six-year intelligence analyst (at the CIA under Bush I and Clinton), I might offer, say, his prosecution of the so-called "war on terror," with Bin Laden dead, and the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. I suspect that you might equate "strong" with "throws US power around;" would you call the invasion of Iraq under Bush II "strong leadership?" As a former intelligence analyst, it was the worst of abuses of intelligence (there were no WMDs, that was clear, and pretext was manufactured) and world goodwill, and America has been working out of a deep hole ever since (including $1T+ in war-related debt). I credit Obama with not doing anything near as stupid; not getting us mired in either Libya or Syria is a fine (and by me, "strong") strategy. In the big picture, he's repositioning U.S. forces to address China in the Pacific, and he's presiding over the dismantling of Clinton's rather un-American "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." I wouldn't trust Romney with a .22 rifle, let along the decisions on how to direct a military costing as much as all the other national armies on the planet. (I was a big fan of Robert Gates in his tenure as DCI... he did a fine job at coping with the need to cut Intelligence Community budgets as part of Clinton's eventual surplus.)
Stewart Gooderman October 23, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Back in 2009 when Obama got into office, the GDP was actually free falling at about -4% or more. That was far worse than what even happened in The Great Depression. There was a point back then when you might not have be able to even withdraw money from *any* bank even to buy groceries as the after hours markets were completely locked up. Obama was told by the Fed that if he didn't do something *the next day* there would be no economy at all. Obama's emergency measures and the stimulus stopped that free fall. All this in spite of total opposition from the Republicans, not because they didn't agree with what he was doing, but because that would have meant giving him credit for doing the right thing. I strongly urge you to read Mr Grunwald's book. He's an independent journalist.
Jo-Anna Pippen October 25, 2012 at 07:31 PM
My taxes are down, my investments are up and bin Laden is dead. How anyone can consider that "poison" is beyond me.


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