The election of Barack Obama as the 44th President was a triumph for progressive Americans who had elected the most progressive/liberal president since LBJ in 1964.
The fact that many of us have experienced some disappointment in the President during the first 2.5 years of his tenure does not mean that he hasn't been a very good president.
As this great week for the President comes to a close, I have begun to think not just about 2012 but also about our expectations of him. Yes, we want him to be tougher with Republicans and tougher with Wall St. but he is not our local Congressman. For me he is not Rep. Jerrold Nadler whom I agree with 99.5% of the time. How could a President ever be like your Mayor, Governor or any other elected official. We can only judge Presidents by comparing them to other Presidents.
On that score I can comfortably say for myself that Barack Obama is the best president we have had in the White House in my lifetime (LBJ onwards). Obama has certainly been better than the Bushes, Reagan, Ford, and Nixon. As far as the Democrats go, LBJ lost it big time after 1965 with Vietnam, Carter was ineffective which leaves us with Bill Clinton.
If Bill Clinton had been either a great President or a good progressive president then his wife would have been handed the nomination in 2008. But he was neither. Obama gave us health care reform, while Clinton failed. Clinton gave us DADT while Obama repealed it. Clinton had Mogadishu while Obama got Bin Laden. And Bill Clinton got himself humiliated and impeached through his own personal conduct--something that I doubt Barack Obama is inclined to do. Perhaps in the 1990s we couldn't have done better than Bill Clinton as the politics of that time were much more conservative. Obama has had much more room coming on the heels of the catastrophic conservatism of Bush.
So for me, with all the tension and agony and triumph of the past 2.5 years, Barack Obama is the best president (so far) in my lifetime. If we judge him by the standards of other presidents than it becomes clear just how good he is and hopefully after 8 years we can say how great he was.
What do you think?