Obama’s Legacy: Make Up Your Own Mind

Obama is on his way out.

Scott SchamberAs I write, we’ve got roughly 10 days left of the Obama presidency – and it appears he’s quite happy with his achievements. I’ve watched a few of his recent “farewell speeches”. They certainly don’t lack self-praise: one could conclude from his speeches that Barack Obama will go down in history as one of the most effective and successful presidents ever.

Obama has certainly been effective at winning the hearts (and the minds) of a lot of people all around the world. As an American living overseas, it was certainly easier to do during Obama’s presidency than during George Bush Jr.’s. I remember all too well when President Bush got off the plane in Brussels and opened his speech there by welcoming his “Dutch friends”…as Homer Simpson would say, DOH! The Bush jokes and mockery did hurt my American pride at times – one’s skin does get thicker over time – but under Obama, that no longer happened.

In Europe, Obama is seen generally as a charming and intelligent gentleman with a statesman’s demeanor. It seems he can do no wrong in western media. Therefore, it is no surprise that the media generally doesn’t mind his positive, if not even somewhat narcistic, self-praise of late.

However, in my view, it’s all a very shallow and superficial view of his performance as US Commander- in-Chief and president of the American people. I have lots of questions and doubts regarding US activities and policies in the Middle East under Obama. And, I am not sure the expansive monetary policies and the astronomical growth of US debt is such a blessing.

It is for that reason that I appreciated one of our clients sending the following collection of graphs –  all coming from the Federal Reserve – summing up Obama’s presidency on a more factual basis. It shows America’s decline in just 9 charts!


These charts tell a very different story from the Swan Song we are hearing. This just proves once again that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Quite a legacy indeed… 

We don’t know what the Trump presidency will bring. But, I sure hope he’ll do better than this!

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