The following is my humble offering to the lovely tradition you have launched to encourage TODers to reflect on key moments of the Presidency of Barack Obama’s second term:
“President Obama said he wouldn’t negotiate with Republicans over raising the debt limit and funding the government, and he never really needed to pick up the phone. The deal that passed both houses of Congress Wednesday achieves both goals, with minuscule concessions from the president’s side. In the crude analogy of two cars playing chicken, the president’s opponents pulled over. After 16 days of a government shutdown, the Republican Party has achieved its lowest approval ratings in recorded history, the president’s health care plan is unscathed, and the GOP’s civil war still roars. Proof was on the cable television split-screens. As Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was announcing the bipartisan deal that ended the standoff, Sen. Ted Cruz was holding his own press conference denouncing the Senate establishment that had caved.” (Slate)
Without any doubt, had Senator Reid and Congresswoman Pelosi not stood steadfastly with President Obama the Office of the President of the United States would have been severely damaged and a MINORITY of radicals would have set the precedent of being able to control the Executive Branch of our Government.
Meta, College Kay, amk, and SmartyPants have shared many of the 2013 heart-wrenching, powerful, and transformational acts of President Obama.
For me, the act that may well be among the most important of his two-terms, if not the most important historically, is that he courageously blocked a Minority Coup that would have undermined the Office of the President – 224 years into the great American experiment in Democracy.
So, I’ll limit my contribution to 1 instead of 10 memorable moments, for the reasons stated above and because our colleagues have already beautifully summarized many of President Obama’s actions throughout 2013 that I would have selected.
Yes We Can
by Carol Duhart
President Obama’s second inauguration:
While the first inauguration was magical, the second was more than magic. The American people chose to re-elect him. Before 2012, even though Obama was doing a good job, there was always the saying by some that Obama was a fluke-a flirtation with diversity that would end as soon as an “adequate” candidate showed up. Or that he benefited by having McCain/Palin as opponents. But Obama has proven that diversity and change were not just flavors of the week by winning comfortably and later having a good and inspirational re-inauguration
The Obamacare website fizzle:
Really, after all of the fuss, that is what things have come down to? A website with glitches? I mean, no website runs perfectly on the first day ever. No matter how many tests, there are some things that you just don’t know are a problem until a real person actually uses it. And even then, all of the fuss didn’t stop millions from trying and retrying until they got enrolled. And it looks like it’s on its way to meet the numbers hoped for in enrollments
The Iran agreement:
For just about as long as I can remember, the shadow of a war that first engulfed the Middle East and brought in the rest of the world has hung over everything. To see Obama bring Russia and China into a peace-making agreement with Iran is huge. And do the same with Syria-all without firing a shot. Add the ending of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars mean that that Middle East war is further away than ever. Syria is terrible, but by itself won’t make it World War III or even a whole region conflagration.
In so many ways, Obama is the big cleanup of so many outmoded ideas. The end of the “war on terror” replaced by a nearly won war on al-Qaeda. The friendly rapprochement to Cuba and Iran. His support of alternative energy instead of pandering for votes by “drill, drill, drill” for cheaper gas. And so much more.
Eve chose 10 of President Obama’s speeches from 2013
January 21: The second inauguration
February 12: State of the Union
March 21: Speech in Israel
April 18: Speech in Boston
May 23: Perpetual War speech
June 5: Appointments of Susan Rice and Samantha Power
July 19: Remarks on Trayon Martin
August 28: The 50th Anniversary of Dr King’s speech
It was one of the most spectacular days of my life, the day was indescribable! Because of my disability, I was allowed to sit in a great section. Hence, I was able to scoot around and take pictures of some great folk: Oprah, John Lewis, Elijah Cummings, Jaime Foxx, Al Sharpton, Bill Russell…..I couldn’t believe it, all these folk passed right near us, and they were gracious to a fault.
I thought all the presidents’ speeches were great, but President Obama’s was simply elegant.
What a blessed day.
September 10: Address to the nation on Syria
October 17: Speech on the budget deal
President Obama was sworn in twice for the second time. Only one other president was sworn in four times, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The President can have a new career as a comedian. His time at the podium during the WHCD was great this year, as it has been in other years. How did you like his new entrance music?
Rush warned you, Second Term Baby! Republicans, if you want to reach out to minorities, reach out to me!
We also enjoyed FLOTUS in BANGS – and Mom Dancing!
Carole King is the First Woman to receive the Gershwin Award. This is the first musical presentation I watched. I never knew it was possible. I missed so much before I found TOD.
It’s one of our nation’s highest arts honors, given to recognize contribution to pop music and culture — and in 2013, the President awarded it to Carole King, legendary singer and songwriter responsible for hits like “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
Two people received the Medal of Honor from our President this year. Poignant moments for all involved.
Former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha Receives the Medal of Honor
“With gunfire impacting all around him, Clint raced to one of the barracks and grabbed a machine gun. He took aim at one of the enemy machine teams and took it out. A rocket-propelled grenade exploded, sending shrapnel into his hip, his arm, and his neck. But he kept fighting, disregarding his own wounds, and tending to an injured comrade instead.” – President Obama, February 11, 2013
U.S. Army Captain William Swenson Receives the Medal of Honor
Swenson received the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as an Embedded Trainer and Mentor of the Afghan National Security Forces with Afghan Border Police Mentor Team, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, during a lengthy battle with the Taliban in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on September 8, 2009.
A New Dog at the White House
Sunny, a sweet and friendly 1-year-old girl pup, arrived at the White House to keep Bo and the Obama family company. We all know how special a new dog is.
President Obama continues to be a great judge in character. Let’s not forget Ambassador Susan Rice is now his National Security Adviser and we have Ambassador Powell at the U.N.
Also Senators confirmed Vice Adm. Michelle Howard for the service’s No. 2 post on Dec. 20, making her the first female four-star admiral in the Navy’s 238-year history.
Her promotion to vice chief of naval operations, expected for early 2014, will also make her the first African-American woman to attain four-star rank in Pentagon history.
We enjoyed celebrating President Obama’s 52nd Birthday with many photos of his life here on TOD and Twitter.
During President Obama and the First Lady’s trip to Africa many commented on Michele being a descendent of slaves.
Thought you’d be interested in this story:
President Obama Ancestry
Obama Has Ties to Slavery Not by His Father but His Mother, Research Suggests
Mark Bunch, who directs his family’s online lineage project, said of President Obama, “I’m his fifth cousin twice removed.”
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
President Obama’s biography — son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas — has long suggested that unlike most African-Americans, his roots did not include slavery.
One tool used by a team of genealogists over the course of two years was an online database maintained by the Bunch family.
Now a team of genealogists is upending that thinking, saying that Mr. Obama’s mother had, in addition to her European ancestors, at least one African forebear and that the president is most likely descended from one of the first documented African slaves in the United States.
More information can be found at Wikipedia. It’s a complicated story.
So much more to do and enjoy in 2014! FORWARD! TRUST BARACK!