FHS Perspective: President’s Obama’s Past and Future

FHS Perspective: President's Obama's Past and Future

AP

Caroline Cafasso, Writer

On January 21st, 2013, President Barack Obama was inaugurated in Washington D.C, marking his 2nd term holding the office. After winning reelection in November 2012 in a close race against Republican Mitt Romney, the Democrat is now facing the so-called “second term curse,” where a U.S President is less successful in his second term than the previous first term: an occurrence that many of our country’s leaders have notably faced. Despite this, the inauguration ceremony’s theme was “Faith in America’s Future,” showcasing how positive President Obama about is the next four years. How do FHS Students feel about the his first term and the days ahead?

“I feel that he’s been criticized much too heavily and has done a pretty good job,” says Steve Hayes, a sophomore. “He hasn’t been the best President ever, but he’s certainly tried to fix things.” Steve cites the “gridlock in Congress” as the predominant reason that Obama has been unable to accomplish as much as he wanted to.

Andrew Samson, also a sophomore, is both happy with the past and hopeful for the future. “I feel like a lot more was accomplished than people think. He seems a lot more moderate than people make him out as,” he says. Some of his personal first term highlights? “I feel that the official ending of the Iraq War is a great thing. Economically speaking, he’s started to get us on track again by reducing the unemployment rate.”

Sophomore Lauren Smith says that she is proud of President Obama’s social accomplishments: “I think that [he] will be able to work out some of the social issues, like gay marriage.. allow marriage equality.” But Lauren is skeptical of how much the economy will improve in the his second term, saying, “The economy can’t be fixed in 4 years. It’s going to take a while for it to become well again. Maybe he can create some jobs. But, I honestly can’t be sure of that.”

The country is split in half in terms of the President’s approval rating. According to a CNN poll on January 16th, Barack Obama has 55% approval among Americans, with 43% disapproval and %2 having no opinion.

FHS is, as we all know, located in Massachusetts, a consistently “blue” state, but Franklin is part of a more conservative vicinity of the state. This allows us to see this political divide in our own backyard.

For example, some students are more pessimistic about the four years ahead. “Honestly, I expect this term to be just like the last,” says Jess Ward, sophomore. “I don’t think the economy will get any better, I don’t think a ton of more jobs will be created, etc. I really don’t expect a huge change.”

“With a 2nd term, I feel that [Obama will] have more time to solve long term issues like the country’s debt and the recession,” an optimistic Andrew went on to say. “I hope he’ll continue to keep being diligent.”

Polarizing partisanship aside, President Barack Obama has had his share of pros and cons, just like every leader in our nation’s history. Significant moments include:

  • killing Osama bin Laden
  • the slow economic recovery
  • repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
  • the Benghazi attack
  • the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
  • the Fiscal Cliff’
  • Obama receiving the Nobel Prize
  • health care reform
  • the debt ceiling
  • the end of the war in Iraq
  • the Arab Spring
  • the decline of the NASA program
  • the reducing unemployment rate
  • Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign
  • the Election of 2012

The list above is just a snippet of the vast amount of successes and downturns of Barack Obama’s first term. Of course, there is no telling what his second term will bring, but most Americans can at least agree that the country ia all hoping for the best. This nation has made its way out of economic peril, and if it can do that under President Obama, then is is strong enough to reach even greater heights.