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Thanks, Obama–Seriously.

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Thanks, Obama–Seriously.

Protesters in DC placed their signs on a fence in front of the capitol building

Protesters in DC placed their signs on a fence in front of the capitol building

Lottie Gidal

Protesters in DC placed their signs on a fence in front of the capitol building

Lottie Gidal

Lottie Gidal

Protesters in DC placed their signs on a fence in front of the capitol building

Lottie Gidal, Reporter

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Barack Hussein Obama, how to sum up your time in office.

A lot happened. Let’s see — right off the bat you won the Nobel Prize for reasons no one is still quite sure about. You nominated two of the four women to ever serve on the Supreme Court, and waved your approval as they legalized same sex marriage. You signed a landmark climate change agreement in Paris and opened relations with Cuba for the first time in over fifty years. You oversaw the strike that killed Bin Laden and repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell”. America watched you push through tough wall street reforms and scale back Iran’s nuclear program. Your signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, provided health insurance for twenty million Americans. You cut the deficit from 9.8% of the GDP to 3.2% and helped rebound the economy from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

No one can deny that you were an active president. No matter their political views, at least everyone can say that you got s–t done. Not that you were perfect, no, you were not that. I could most likely list off a number of failures or promises never carried through, but I’m not going to.

Me, I’m a high school student whose main concerns are grades and whether my cat, or my friends, like me. So I don’t get to judge how effective your policies were, how well you fixed the economy, or whether ObamaCare is or is not working. I’ll leave that to the experts or whoever is judging these days, and besides, you’ve spent the past eight years being told how terrible or wonderful your actions were.

My point is that people are going to remember you for the things you accomplished. I’ve no doubt that future AP US History test takers will find a multiple choice test question or two concerning your time in office. You’re not William Henry Harrison, who died three months into office, and you’re not Millard Fillmore–who I confess I had no idea even was a president until writing this letter. You made a difference, if not simply because you were the first black man to sit behind the desk of the oval office.

But I wanted to say something else, something not about policy or politics for a minute. You became president when I was eight years old. I honestly don’t remember having any other. You set the tone, you set my understanding of what it means to be the president. My definition of that is set in stone, and it will never wear away.

To me, the president of the United States is someone who strives to represent best example of what our country has to offer the world; someone who expresses all of the citizens inside. They are a charismatic speaker capable of inspiring millions of people, someone who brings optimism to difficult situations and always bears words of hope and of love.

Whatever, shall we say, interesting things the future has in store, you were a leader for me, and for the country when we needed you to be.

Thank you.

About the Contributor
Lottie Gidal, News and Sports Editor

Lottie occasionally takes time away from settling the Isle of Catan to run way too much around Iowa City. Lottie and her team will one day win the French...

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Thanks, Obama–Seriously.