The First black President of the US, Barack Obama ushered in a new era in American politics and society. Many saw his election as a turning point in America’s long turbulent troubles regarding race. From a society that defended slavary of Africans, to a black man leading the country it was more than just a symbolic victory. It was proof America has changed. Barack Obama is a visible role model for all his fellow Americans from ethnic minorities.
Barack’s presidential election was also important for offering a decisive change from the divisive years of George Bush.
George Bush left office with the lowest presidential approval ratings in history. – with many commentators saying that he was the worst President ever.
The failings of Bush included
- An unpopular war in Iraq which at the time Barack Obama was one of the few to oppose.
- A deep recession caused by a credit boom and bust
- A large budget deficit caused by reckless fiscal policies of tax cuts and spending increases.
Social division on the rise.
- Health care costs spiralling whilst many struggle to get access
- A tarnished image of America abroad following torture / human rights abuses at Abu Grahib and Guantanamo bay.
Barack Obama comes to office with a powerful message of change and hope. The contast between the outgoing President and incoming President has never been greater.
Throughout his long primary and presidential campaigns he has presented a very polished and professional image. He has rarely made a slip up and gives the impression of a statesman. On winning the presidency he was magnaminous to his former opponents, he appealed to the middle ground by appointing his former opponents such as Hilary Clinton for secretary of state.
His speeches galvanised a nation with a positive message of hope combined with powerful criticism of the failings of the Bush years. Although Barack Obama gained solid support amongst black Americans, his appeal was universal and he was able to attract support from even southern blue collar constituencies.
The problem is he comes to power in a difficult situation with the economy struggling and difficult decision on health care / budget to be made. It will be a challenging next 8 years