Barak Obama, like most American males, loves sports. Deep down he is a frustrated jock…wishing he could “ball like Michael” or “grind like Tiger.” He loves his hometown Bulls and White Socks…shooting hoops with friends or playing 18 on the weekends. He is fond of sports metaphors. He been heard of late to proclaim that he is “in the fourth quarter of his presidency.” That’s jock speak for “lame duck”.
Truth be told…when voters handed Republicans control of both chambers of congress in the mid-terms…it looked more like he was down two scores with less than a minute to go. When the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act it looked like “game over” for Team Obama.
But something happened after that mid-tem beat down. The grizzled old veteran President Obama was summoned to the sidelines. His replacement…the energetic and inspirational Candidate Obama… who had been languishing on the bench for the last 4+ years.
Candidate Obama sparked new life into an administration that had been sleep walking since the passage of Obamacare. Frustrated by the obstructionist tactics of his opponents, Candidate Obama took the ball into his own hands.
He gave temporary amnesty to 5 million immigrants. Gays were allowed to serve openly in the military as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was pushed aside. He formed a coalition to engage Iran in a formal discussions about its nuclear development programs and he resumed diplomatic relations with the Cuban government. He took the fight to ISIS even though a cowardly congress shirked its responsibilities to authorize his actions. He chastised congress for slow walking his abundantly qualified nominee for Attorney General.
Candidate Obama has been on a roll and last week things got even better.
He worked with Republicans and was awarded fast track authority on his important trade deal with the Pacific Rim. On Thursday the Supreme Court ruled in his favor on ACA subsidies thereby guaranteeing that Obamacare would remain the law of the land at least until a Republican sat in the White House. On Friday the Court ruled that gays have the right to marry…another win for Team Obama.
Then, with a nation mourning the loss of nine innocents, he gave an impassioned speech that not only buoyed the country but laid bare the depths of his empathy and the strength of his character. He challenged the country to make the hard choices and not be distracted by the hate and distrust that keeps the country from moving forward.
His resume’ includes saving the banking industry, saving the auto industry, health care reform, pulling the country back from next Great Depression, taking an economy that was hemorrhaging 700,000 jobs per month and turning it into an economy that is producing 200,000+ jobs per month, record corporate profits, record highs on Wall Street, raising the wages for all federal employees, equal pay for equal work, ending formal military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and getting bin laden.
Just a few short months ago we began what appeared to be the fourth quarter of a lame duck presidency effectively stymied by an intransigent opponent. But Candidate Obama came off the bench and returned “Hope” and “Change” to the White House and to the country.
You can hate the policies...but you cannot question the effort.
There is still a little time left on the clock. It will be interesting to see what transpires as time winds down on this Hall of Fame career.