Barack Obama's Finest Hour

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President Barack Obama, who made history four years ago when he was elected as the nation's first African-American president, accomplished a remrakable re-election victory despite stubbornly the highest unemployment rate of any president in the United States. No sitting president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 has won re-election with a higher unemployment rate.

It is also the first time since 1816 the U.S. has had three consecutive two-term presidents.

Obama told the rapturous crowd of supporters: "Tonight in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back. And we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come."

By winning re-election, Obama can also reshape how he is defined in the history. He will always be remembered first for breaking the nation’s color barrier at its highest level. But Obama can now seek to broaden his legacy from race to his achievements: the killing of Osama Bid Laden, the health care law, the rescue of the auto companies. In particular, 'Obamacare', which Mitt Romney would have tried to eliminate or gut, now has the chance to become like Social Security or Medicare, a broad social program that most Americans support and is essentially impossible to get rid of, writes Perry Bacon Jr, a veteran political journalist and commentator.

Barack Obama was transformed from an unknown Illinois state senator, to a U.S. senator, and then into a president. Obama's rise to power might have been dismissed as a fluke had he not secured a second term. As a mother and as a grandmother who raises boy children, I think that the symbolism of having a black man occupy the highest office is something that can make my children very aspirational to know that this is possible, you know, in their lifetime, said Zindzi Mandela, daughter of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

After graduating from Columbia University, he attended Harvard Law School, and became the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. He eventually moved to Chicago, where he became a community organizer. His first term included passage of the health-care law, the financial regulation bill and a series of dramatic interventions to save the banking system from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

President Barack Obama has shown an unshakable commitment to diplomacy, mutual respect and dialogue as the best means of resolving conflicts. President Shimon Peres of Israel, in praise of Obama said: "Very few leaders if at all were able to change the mood of the entire world in such a short while with such a profound impact. You provided the entire humanity with fresh hope, with intellectual determination, and a feeling that there is a lord in heaven and believers on earth."

Barack Obama, at his best, in some ways is an even better orator than FDR or JFK and more accomplished than "The Great Communicator" Ronald Reagan, a trained actor and Bill Clinton, by far the greatest one-on-one communicator in politics, if not the history of mankind , says Richard Greene, author of "Words That Shook The World: 100 Years of Unforgettable Speeches and Events". The New York Times has rightly noted that Barack Obama's oratory conforms to the tripartite ideal laid down by Aristotle, who stated that good rhetoric should consist of pathos, logos and ethos - emotion, argument and character. It is in the projection of ethos that Obama particularly excels. A statement from the Indian ministry of external affairs said the "government and people of India" congratulated Obama on "winning a second mandate from the people of the USA, who have expressed their will in the great tradition of democracy in their country, and looked forward to continuing to deepen and widen the engagement between India and the US in the years ahead."

Within two years of taking office, Obama helped to transform the G-8 into the G-20, secured the re-weighting of votes on the International Monetary Fund’s board away from Europe and toward new economic powers, and committed to supporting the candidacies of India and Japan for membership of a reformed UN Security Council, says Anne-Marie Slaughter professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

About the Author: WARIS SHERE was educated at the Aligarh Muslim University, University of London and Technische Hochschule, Aachen Germany. He has authored eight books in the field of Applied Mathematics, International Affairs and Academic Futures: Prospects for Post-Secondary institution. He has taught Applied Mathematics at the University of Manitoba, Canada and Red River College, Canada for several years. His work on critical issues of International Affairs has been published globally. His main interests are Emerging International Order, Security and the Prospects for East-West relations and Dilemmas in Policy-Making for Education. Shere is a former resident of Patna.


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