How important was the November, 2012 election? Well, if things had turned out differently we would now be anguishing about how long it would take to dismantle the new Health Care law. What could be salvaged of Gay rights? Would the immigrant 'Dreamers' have to put their dreams aside? The middle class would have the possibility of turning into a permanent melding with the poor. Meanwhile the rich could continue to rule and oppress by the sheer magnitude of their control of the world's wealth. And importantly, the breakthrough in race relations that Obama's election served would have been tainted by rejection.
But instead, what we have is this from political scientist and historian Ross K. Baker of Rutgers University:
Ross Baker, a politics professor at Rutgers who has served on the staffs of both Democratic and Republican senators, sees Obama as having done enough to achieve inclusion on the list of great presidents – if not up with the great greats, such as Lincoln or FDR, then high in the second tier, better than Kennedy or Clinton.After watching his Inaugural speech yesterday the path to cementing his inclusion with the greats becomes clear. President Obama must tackle climate change. He clearly understands the challenge and urgency.
The challenge facing Obama in a second term? "He will strive to rekindle the excitement of the first term which is a difficult objective to achieve," Baker said. "His first term is a difficult act to follow. I could not imagine anything of the magnitude of Obamacare or Dodd-Frank [the legislation on financial regulation]. He would do well to get over the debt [and] spending obstacles with his dignity intact."
Let's take a moment to savor what we have accomplished. After all, President Obama didn't reelect himself we all had a hand in his reelection. And we all must have a hand in climate change action. So let's get to work to support our president to cement a great legacy and to insure a safe future for our children.