Obamas First Year In Office Term Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Political Science / Politics Type: Term Paper Paper: #74209909
Excerpt from Term Paper :


With the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s swearing-in as President of the United States, comparisons between his first year and office and his predecessor’s first year in office are bound to be made. Therefore, it is a useful exercise to re-examine the first year in office of Barack Obama following his swearing-in as President of the United States in 2009. This paper will examine Obama’s inaugural year in order to answer the question: Did Obama have a successful first year in office? As the evidence shows, Obama’s first year in the White House was indeed very successful.


The methodology used for this study consisted primarily of Internet searches, using Google and Google Scholar. The primary key words used to drive the searches were: “Obama’s first year in office,” “Obama 2009,” “Obama first year success,” “Obama 2009 accomplishments,” and “Obama first year successful or not.” These searches led to numerous articles from online newspapers, blogs, and journals with a variety of authors describing where and how and why Obama succeeded in the first year of his term and where and how and why he failed. Some items, like Peter Dale Scott’s The American Deep State were already familiar to the researcher and thus could be used as references to support the overall direction of the study.


If one were to judge from the numbers alone, Obama’s approval rating after one year at the helm of the U.S. indicates that his initial 12 months in the Oval Office were a resounding hit with the American public. As Jeffrey Jones of Gallup reported in January, 2010, Obama averaged a stellar 57% approval rating in his first year as the United States’ 44th President. While this rating did not put him among the top-tier first-year approval ratings of the immediate post-War presidents, such as Eisenhower (69% first year approval rating), Kennedy (76%), and Nixon (61%), it did match Ronald Reagan’s first year approval rating and exceeded Clinton’s by 8 points (Jones). Considering that in the 21st century, the U.S. is more divided than ever before (Shepard), Obama’s numbers indicated that he was able to reach across party lines in his first year in office and establish a positive rapport with the majority of Americans—which is more than his Democratic predecessor could say after one year in office.

What made Obama’s first year different? Obama had inherited a war on terror, an increasing budget deficit, a nation that was turning into a police state in many Orwellian ways, and a country that was fed up with establishment politics. He had his work cut out for him right out of the gate—and his first year in office was by no means bound to be easy. It can certainly be said that Year One had its ups and downs—but overall Obama managed to demonstrate the kind...

Thus, while it could be argued that Obama’s average approval rating was so high for the first year because of the exceedingly high hope that the public invested in him (as Jones notes, “his initial approval ratings were among the highest Gallup has measured for a new president”), Obama did provide some confidence that the nation was on the right track following the dismal two-term presidency of George W. Bush, which left many Americans skeptical about the U.S.’s social, economical and political future.

It is true that Obama did not magically turn things around immediately upon entering office. He entered right when America was entering a recession: the housing bubble that had grown under Bush II popped in 2007-08 and caused GDP to crash deep into negative territory in 2009 (Amadeo). This was certainly not Obama’s fault, but the perception among some was that Obama was at least partly responsible for the state of things—especially since he voted for TARP, the bailout that allowed the big banks to put the burden of their mistakes on the backs of tax payers to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars (Hoven). However, and as Randall Hoven points out, the TARP bailout was quickly paid back to the U.S. government—with interest. The only entities that did not repay their debts were those who went bankrupt: companies like General Motors and Chrysler. Taxpayers lost about $30 billion there, but Obama argued that there really was no other option—and he provided American voters with a choice: they could embrace the stimulus plan that he was promoting, they could see things get worse, much worse. The American public chose and by February 2009—just one month into Obama’s first year in office—Congress had signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. This stimulus package was designed to help get companies producing again, help get them hiring again, and help American consumers to start consuming again. Whether one opposed the stimulus plan or embraced it, the fact is that Obama got the stimulus signed and into effect in relatively short order. This was, therefore, a major and early success for Obama.

Obama continued his run of success by signing into law within his first 100 days in office the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Play Act, which lengthened the time in which individuals could file suits in equal-pay cases; the expanded State Children’s Health Insurance Program; and obtained from Congress a resolution to address what would eventually become Obama’s signature piece of reform while in office: health care. And while some of…

Cite this Document:

"Obamas First Year In Office" (2017, December 11) Retrieved July 31, 2021, from

"Obamas First Year In Office" 11 December 2017. Web.31 July. 2021. <

"Obamas First Year In Office", 11 December 2017, Accessed.31 July. 2021,

Related Documents
Obama and the Media
Words: 735 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Education - Computers Paper #: 50437153

Media/Obama The Media and Obama Since the day President Barack Obama took office, the media interest in him has been intense. As the first African-American president, he was already an anomaly, and then he got involved in things like social media, which is not traditionally the realm of the leader of the free world (Maraniss, 25). Currently, Obama makes use of both traditional (mainstream) and alternative media and news sources. With a

Obama S Life and Legacy What It Means
Words: 1358 Length: 5 Pages Topic: History Paper #: 23188744

President Obama Project Who is President Obama and what is his Legacy? The 44th U.S. President's second term in office has come to a close and the first Africa-American President is now out of office. As President Trump takes over with a Republican House and Senate behind him, there is much talk of upending Obama's legacy starting with Obamacare. This paper will examine the life of President Obama, his time in

Obama and Reagan Ronald Reagan and Barack
Words: 1648 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Economics Paper #: 65994923

Obama and Reagan Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama Point-by-Point There are parallels between the presidency of Ronald Reagan and Barak Obama. The similarities between the leaders make for an uncomplicated comparison; however, the differences provide greater explanatory power. Barak Obama has been credited with some of the stellar qualities of Ronald Reagan. There oratory skills are comparable and they were both popular at the beginning of their terms. Reagan became a republican icon.

Obama Care Plan Health Care Is Undergoing
Words: 3278 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Healthcare Paper #: 83520865

Obama Care Plan Health care is undergoing a dramatic transformation and needless to say it is one of our largest industries that contribute handsomely to the Gross Domestic Product, greater demands are placed for the value of dollars that are being spent to provide for healthcare services to patients. Now-a-days, in this ever demanding environment marketing as a discipline is being practiced (Berkowitz, October 2010) In early days it was a great

Obama's Election and How Racism Is Affected Theories From a Classical...
Words: 3098 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Race Paper #: 88791019

Obama N. Racism Obama and Racism Throughout history, several factors have always helped decide who was entitled to even run for the esteemed office of the President of the United States of America. Military service, a prominent Governorship, family connections, the number of slaves owned and of course having a boat load of money clearly helped. Of course, this list offered no guarantees of making the short list. The nations' power brokers

Obama and Election History Was
Words: 3598 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Black Studies Paper #: 28259608

In the course of his campaign, Obama inspired millions of Americans - young and old, rich and poor, rural and urban, and from every racial and ethnic background. When Obama walked into the room. . The crowd was transfixed (Tufankjuan, 2008). The goal, of course, is that in politics, as well as society, race plays no part in the decision process. Thanks to previous Civil Rights advocates, and people