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Assessing President Obama’s First Two Years in Office

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 27 Nov 2010 09:52am | comments

President Obama has been in office for nearly two years. MPB’s Phoebe Judge has this report on how historians think he is doing.

President Obama’s legislative accomplishments in his first two years in office stand quite high in comparison to other presidents says Doug Bradabow, director of the Center for Engaged Ethics at Hiram University,

“The guy has produced to put it simply, but the mood of the country is such that unless there comes to be soon another 5 or 7 or ten million jobs, people aren’t going to be terribly interested in those legislative accomplishments, or give him
credit for those legislative accomplishments because their daily lives have not improved.”

Bradabow was one of dozens of professors who came together at a conference held by the University of Southern Mississippi to discuss and assess President Obama’s first two years in office. Dr. Tom Lansford professor of political science at USM says even though many of Obama’s legislative accomplishments like the healthcare overhaul have been aimed at helping the poor and middle classes, Mississippi will not necessarily benefit,

“ One of the ironies about Mississippi is because the population that the state is so poor is that Medicaid coverage is actually fairly extensive throughout the state. The portion of the population that is uninsured, which typically is the lower middle class, Mississippi is a state where the middle class is relatively small.”

The Obama presidency will always hold added weight given the fact that he was the first African American president says Robert Watson, professor of American Studies at Lynn University,

“I think that his conduct not only as the first African American president but then to around and behave as he has has been something that has helped us in a little way beyond the expectations and ugly stereotypes, the expectations good and bad.”

The mood of the country lately, and big Republican gains in the midterm election may suggest that President Obama has some work to do winning over the American public. But historians say assessing how Mr. Obama stacks up against his predecessors will likely take decades.

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