After Obama’s incredible speech at the Democratic National Convention, I found my passion for the United States’ 44th president rekindled. I am forever impressed by the poise, intellect and composure that he displays when he speaks publicly. Throughout his tenure as leader of the free world, Barack and Michelle Obama have proven countless times that they are two of the classiest people in the public eye. Last week's speech was a prime example of this.
I remember the satisfaction I felt in 2008 when Obama was elected the first time, and the relief I felt in 2012 when he was reelected for a second term. Growing up in Obama’s presidency has instilled optimism and hope for the future for myself, but more importantly a pride in where I come from, and an unmatched interest in politics. And for that, I thank him.
Barack Obama is a product of the American dream. The child of a multicultural upbringing, his father an immigrant who traveled to the United States for incredible educational opportunities and his mother an intellectual. President Obama understood that hard work is the key to success. He worked as a community organizer, and dedicated his life to serving the people. He became an Illinois state senator in 1996, showcasing his analytical skills with bipartisan support for many bills. He is a personal role model to me because of his hard work and action in his earlier career.
Becoming the first black president of the United States is an incredible accomplishment, but Obama’s accomplishments do not stop there. His haters will endlessly preach that he is an unsuccessful president, but the hard facts remain that he is one of the most successful. When considering the train wreck of a state the country was in when Obama took office, he did not shy away from hard work; he rolled up his sleeves and got working. To name a few accomplishments during his tenure: health care reform, ended the war in Iraq, apprehended and eliminated Osama Bin Laden, created 13 million jobs, reduced the deficit by 1 trillion, avoided an economic depression, record breaking stock market rebound, reduced unemployment, gay marriage legalized, improved benefits for veterans, created a climate agreement, saved the auto industry, and won a Nobel Peace Prize. And that is just scratching the surface. Barack Obama is not just a historical president, he is a successful one.
Going beyond the accomplishments of the commander in chief, even after eight years in office Obama remains human — the way he addresses crowds and makes time for others makes him truly a president of the people. Obama’s incredible charisma and charm is a gift to the United States. All of the White House Correspondents’ Dinners during Obama’s presidency have been gems, leaving the country genuinely giggling at the “comedian in chief.” He’s embraced all of the Internet memes about him, and has solidified himself at the top of the “coolest presidents” list (right under Bill Clinton, of course.) Despite the fact that he is a successful politician, he is relaxed, humorous and honest — qualities that many people in such high positions of power do not maintain.
More importantly to me, Barack Obama is grateful. In the closing of his speech, he said “Because you're who I was talking about 12 years ago, when I talked about hope. It's been you who've fueled my dogged faith in our future, even when the odds were great, even when the road is long. Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope! America, you have vindicated that hope these past eight years.” Obama is not afraid to thank the public for support, and knows that without every person who campaigned, supported, donated and worked hard for him that he would be in the position he is today.
I am incredibly thankful that I got to experience Barack Obama’s presidency in such formative years of my life. I would gladly vote for a third term, if I could. Although I am sad that this incredible president’s time in charge is drawing to a close, I take comfort in knowing that Obama will always be my president, and as his presidency taught me, I am hopeful and optimistic for the future of my great country.