Presidents know they must hit the ground running, working hard to secure success as early and often as possible.
It’s a simple reality – they have 100 days to jump start their presidency and they can only count on four years in office to work with Congressional lawmakers. Beyond that, it’s a new ball game.
Barack Obama has enjoyed eight years seated in the highest office in the nation with plenty of time to accomplish real successes for the American people. Unfortunately, he failed to remember he works for the people and the nation isn’t his ideological playground.
He also failed to work with lawmakers on either side of the aisle. His precious legacy plans and policies face dismantling under President-elect Donald Trump, and Obama will be recorded as the least effective legislative leader in American history.
The Washington Times Legislative Index captured Obama’s struggles to find ways to work with a Congress that ranged from lukewarm to openly hostile toward him.
Over the course of his eight years, he has signed just 1,227 bills into law – less, even, than one-term Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. Digging deeper into the numbers, Congress spent less time in session, handled fewer business on the chamber floors and generally sputtered for much of Obama’s tenure, according to The Times’ index.
Obama acted as if he were king, flitting about hither and yonder with his grandiose liberal ideals while ignoring the nation’s needs.
“The president was never good at reaching across the aisle. So when the composition of Congress changed relative to what it was in his first two years, he wasn’t able to accommodate that very well,” said Andrew Busch, a presidential scholar at Claremont McKenna College in California. “He never accustomed himself to operating in a system where he was not the sole player.”
There’s no excuse for Obama’s inability to work with Congress. He was a student of the legislature himself, The Times reported, having served first in the Illinois Statehouse and then in the US Senate. There he spent two years in a Republican-controlled Congress and two years in a Democrat-run Congress.
Unfortunately, his work ethic dictated a mostly hands-off approach. He left former colleagues twisting in the wind to pound out details of bills while he played the part of president.
Obama is frantically working, even as his days in office end, to salvage anything he can of his legacy. Truth is, much of his “legacy” is nothing more than a self-centered imagination of how the world should view him and his work.
When he’s alone next week with no more presidential power, no congressional lawmakers groveling at his feet and a new president ripping apart all he built, reality will sink in quickly.
His legacy is rampant failure.
Source: The Washington Times