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A lot of people, including myself, are writing about why Mitt Romney is not fit to be president but it struck me that very few people are actually writing about why Barack Obama deserves a second term. Is it because the Obama Administration's track record is so poor that it is hard to defend? Hardly. On the contrary, I think it is just easier to criticize than to defend, and easier to sit on the sidelines than to fight back against misinformation.

But time is running out, so let me set the record straight.

Let's start with the fact that President Obama has presided over one of the toughest periods in American history and inherited a financial crisis that was of catastrophic proportions. To make things even more difficult, today's landscape of instant communication and mass media escalates every problem to crisis proportions within hours -- a timeframe that is too short for any adequate response, even from the American government.

Yet, despite the massive storm that hit the US at the end of 2008, the president has managed to keep the ship from sinking and steered it, as fast as anyone reasonably could, into calmer waters. But to appreciate the true extent of his achievement, it is necessary to view it through a non-ideological prism.

The starting point, of course, is the Wall Street bailout. Few actions of the Obama Administration have been as reviled as this one, and on both sides of the political aisle. However, the reality is that the bailout was not aimed at rescuing greedy bankers but at saving our entire financial system. What most people refuse to understand (or perhaps accept) is just how close we came to complete collapse as an economic system and as a nation. I was at a leading hedge fund during those tumultuous days and I can tell you firsthand that the situation was every bit as dire as the hype surrounding it. The bailout was not only necessary but, under those circumstances, the only viable option. It is also worth remembering that the original decision to bail out the major banks had actually been made under the Bush Administration and was simply ratified by Obama.

In hindsight, the bailout was a success. It did cost the government money but most of it is being recovered with interest. Indeed, while the US economy might still be struggling, it is definitely on the road to a recovery, just at a slower pace than we would like. Unemployment is still high but investments are being made, infrastructure is being built, the real estate market is uneven but active, and major corporations are making record profits. Whatever the noise in the political arena, does this sound like a failure to you? The fact is that the president's decision to rescue the banking industry and the liberal monetary policy of the Federal Reserve averted a meltdown of our system; but as with all major crises, getting back on track takes time. To blame Obama for the slow pace of our economic recovery is both disingenuous and ridiculous.

The next big achievement of the Obama White House, now ratified by the Supreme Court, is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- affectionately dubbed "Obamacare." The public's hatred for the law mystifies me even more than their objection to the bailout. The American health system is hopelessly broken, with healthcare costs spiraling out of control, insurance premiums skyrocketing and accountability at all levels breaking down. My 80-year-old father spends an inordinate amount of time every week dealing with myriad healthcare providers and insurance companies in order to get the most basic care that any citizen of the United States deserves. Millions of people in our country cannot get adequate medical attention due to the prohibitive costs of healthcare and the mercenary practices of insurance companies, and prior to Obamacare there was no hope on the horizon for them.

There is no denying that certain provisions of the law are problematic and that Obamacare cannot ensure medical nirvana for everyone. However, it is still a crucial step in the right direction and one that is needed urgently. The Republican solution to the healthcare problem, which basically involves leaving it all up to the private sector to figure out, is a non-starter since the opportunism of the private sector is largely responsible for the mess our healthcare system is in today. It is a bit like suggesting that the wolf should walk Red Riding Hood home...

Obamacare may not be the perfect answer, but it is a lot better than the alternative of doing nothing and a substantial improvement over our existing system. Moreover, the difficulty and political heat that the president overcame to get it passed is a testament to his commitment to the welfare of the American people. In my opinion, it is a definite win.

Last but not least are the many international challenges that Obama has tackled, including the intractable situation in Afghanistan. Once more, the president has acted with pragmatism but also with resolve. It is important to remember that there is no playbook that instructs presidents on how to handle crises -- the reality is messy, unpredictable and most decisions have to be based on imperfect information and a gamble on the future. That is what Obama has done time and again and like any other president before him, some of his policies will succeed while others will fail. What is important is that nowhere in the process has he failed to rise to the challenge or make tough decisions, including taking stands which could carry a political cost - like his support for gay marriage.

It is easy to get caught up in the hope that a new president will bring with them magical solutions to all our problems, but that is a fantasy. No president, Democrat or Republican, can give us utopia. History will judge President Obama on the effectiveness of his policies, but if you examine his track record objectively, it is clear that he has been a dynamic, committed and effective leader during a time of extreme challenge. Contrary to Republican propaganda, Barack Obama is a strong president who has done a good job for us and we should not hesitate to acknowledge that.

Poll

What is the Number One Reason to Re-Elect Obama?

23%8 votes
0%0 votes
5%2 votes
8%3 votes
23%8 votes
35%12 votes

| 34 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  my choice isn't there (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, aliasalias

    WTF else are you gonna vote for?

    Voting for this president is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.  Which is exactly what Romney's presidency would be.

    Obama is getting all populist lately. Better late than never, but I have no faith that the populism will last beyond November.

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:20:05 PM PDT

    •  another selection in the poll could be 'Who do you (0+ / 0-)

      want to operate a Kill List', one free from all judicial oversight and unrestrained by that pesky Constitution (or International Law), Obama or Romney?

      I personally don't know one person that intends to vote for Romney (but they don't want him winning, so Obama gets votes), but I certainly wish at least they'd pay at least as much attention to Senate and House races so that things like Cat Food Commissions, the NAFTA to end all NAFTA's (which is being negotiated with over 600 lobbyists but blocked to members of Congress),the efforts to 'reform' Social Security, the prosecution of whistle blowers (while war criminals are protected), the non prosecution of the Banksters, Indefinite Detention...and more, are not so likely to happen.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 02:23:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why Obama Deserves a Second Term (0+ / 0-)

    Until recently I would have said just Two Words:

    Mitt Romney

    Poll Note: I chose personnel courage, but that is because he showed it for another issue and as such feel he deserves credit on both fronts

    Now I will say it is because:

    LGBT Rights.

    President Obama IS this generations Civil Rights Leader!

    I know others have done more work than him, but he is in the position to get it done!

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:22:38 PM PDT

  •  Still need clarity on entitlement austerity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias

    I would really like to know if they're going to do catfood in December.  None of these austerity candidates are getting my vote.

  •  supreme court #1 (0+ / 0-)

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:38:19 PM PDT

  •  Yes because I don't expect to ever have everything (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, SherwoodB

    my way, EVER. He is adecent man who may have knowledge or a different opinion of how to accomplish things. He may be wrong  when I think he is and then again I amy be wrong. You work with what you have and at the end of the day what you accomplished is good. I think LGBT, Indians, Hispanics and women as well as those uninsured, those  denied payments by thier insurance companies as pre-existing conditions, those millions who would have lost jobs if we lost the car industry, the green energy efforts, the efforts to help small businesses get going, the innate decency & forbearance in the face of an opposition that increasingly is outrageously cavalier about people & showing thier racism & elitism clearly, the calm touch in international affairs that is trying to get us out of the wars he inherited without leaving a time bomb for the world in the future, his class act, his humanity, ...

    He is robbing the Repubs of the claim to being able to handle foreign affairs best, he is robbing them of the claim to being the frugal ones (simply by showing them up he breaks that chain of claim forever), he is showing them to be the party of the wealthy and the racist whites... To judge anyone without the hindsight of history is always difficult but though history will remember him as the first black president I think it will also see him as a transformational and inherently kind and decent man. Give him a true Dem (not blue dog majority) in the Senate and the house  and watch him fly.

    I would vote for a Dem against any republican in a second but I am not holding my nose because I see President Obama as the best choice available for this time in history. No I go further he is the best choice....

    That said Rmoney is the epitomy of what the Bush administration did wrong that nearly wrecked us. Bush senior took a stab at destroying us with S&L debacle  and was not as bad as his son. But Rmoney is worse then both put together because he has no skills except lying and stealing and laughing at his victims.

    How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:42:55 PM PDT

  •  I think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SherwoodB

    That Obama will be remembered as a great President, along the lines of FDR and LBJ. What makes him different from them, though, is the fact that he has not had consistent supermajorities in Congress, but he's still accomplished great things. Yes, his foreign policy record might be discomforting to some liberals, but the same in  undeniably true with Roosevelt and Johnson. In all, he'll be remembered as less than perfect, but overcoming the challenges of his time.

    Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

    by MrAnon on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:55:36 PM PDT

  •  Big Money Lobbies are against Pres Obama (0+ / 0-)

    Big Corporations who have the REAL power in America are almost all aligned against President Obama, and are giving lots of $$$ to Romney.

    That ALONE is a good reason to vote for President Obama.

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