Lame duck presidents are not supposed to act like this.
Historically second term presidents are more about securing their legacy and planning their presidential libraries than getting much done. This is particularly true after the mid-terms when lame duck status officially kicks into gear. It’s hard to stay relevant when those who covet your office are measuring for new drapes.
Such is not the case with the second term of President Barak Obama.
Yesterday senate Democrats handed the president the 42 votes he needed to assure that his nuclear deal with Iran would go through. A few short weeks ago President Obama unlocked a door that had been closed for 50 years by resuming diplomatic relations with Cuba.
These two historic foreign policy achievements alone would make for a pretty historic second term. But there is more.
During his second term President Obama won major Supreme Court rulings securing access to affordable health care for all Americans and marriage equality for the LGBT community. He used his executive powers enact substantive standards for greenhouse gas emissions and protect 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. He raised the wages for federal workers and federal contractors and made it easier for women and minorities to get legal relief from wage discrimination. He ended the ban on gays serving in the military and increased the tax rate on the top wage earners. Congress has granted him fast track authority to pursue a trade deal with the Pacific Rim.
By many accounts Barak Obama’s second term is has been even more transformative than his first.
One may disagree with the policies but there is no denying the historic substance of Obama’s second term.
A sequel nonpareil.