9 Major Achievements of Barack Obama, the 44th U.S. President
Born August 4, 1961, Barack Hussein Obama is most famous for being America’s 44th president. Obama’s time in the White House lasted for two consecutive terms of 4 years each, from 2009 to 2017.
Barack Obama, the first African American to be elected into office, went on to win admiration of millions of Americans, and the world in general, due to some of his remarkable achievements.
As commander in chief, Obama helped alleviate the dire unemployment situation the nation was grappling with during the 2007/08 global financial crisis. On the international front, his historic Iran Nuclear Deal helped calm tension between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic of Iran, averting a possible war in the Gulf region.
Quick Facts about Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States
Birth Day and Place: August 4, 1961; Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Born: Barack Hussein Obama II
Father: Barack Hussein Obama Sr.
Mother: Ann Dunham
Siblings: Auma Obama, Abongo Roy Obama, Maya Soetoro-Ng, Abo Obama, and Bernard Obama
Wife: Michelle Obama (married 1992)
Children: Malia and Sasha
Elected Offices: Illinois Senate for the 13th District (1997-2004); U.S. Senate (2005 – 2007); President of the United States (2009- 2017)
Most famous for: 44th POTUS; First African American to become president of the Harvard Law Review; the Iran Nuclear Deal of 2015; and ObamaCARE; Nobel Peace Prize in 2009
Nickname: Barry O’Bomber; No Drama Obama
Achievements of Barack Obama
Here are the 9 outstanding accomplishments of President Barack Obama.
The first African American to be elected POTUS
In November 2008, Democratic Senator Barack Obama defeated Republican candidate Senator John McCain to claim the highest elected job of the nation. By so doing, the Honolulu born lawyer became the first African American to be elected into the position. Regardless of one’s political affiliation, the day Obama was elected is one that will live in the minds of Americans for generations to come. Thus, it took the United States of America a whopping 43 presidents, over the span of 209, to finally elect a non-white president. That’s how outstanding Obama’s election in 2008 was.
Following on his impressive 2008 election results, Obama eased himself into victory again in 2012, defeating Mitt Romney. The two terms that he spent in the White House had enormous importance for African American communities across the nation.
Lifted America out of the 2007/08 Global Financial Crisis
Considering the amount of havoc the financial crisis of 2007-2008 caused, it not surprising when reporters and business experts rightly touted it as second only to the Great Depression of the 1930s. The crisis called on every bit of strength of the President Obama. Mind you, the president took office just as the crisis had fully engulfed the country. Businesses across the country were folding up on a daily basis. A month prior to his election, Lehman Brothers, a titan in the investment banking sector, folded up. The US automotive industry was in a very bad state. Several millions of Americans were either laid off or on the brink of getting laid off. The number of homeless Americans had spiked up to a decade high.
In his bid to avert the collapse of not just America’s financial system, but he world in general, President Obama and his advisers passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly called the ARRA stimulus package. Close to a trillion dollars of stimulus packages were made available to businesses all across America in order to stabilize the market. America’s prized jewel, the automotive sector, received the bulk of those stimulus packages. By so doing Obama was able to prevent millions of Americans from getting laid off.
He cracked the whip on rogue Wall Street bankers
The Obama administration also a passed host of measures and laws that were aimed at preventing a similar crisis of that sort from ever occurring. Notable mention can be made of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and the Consumer Protection Act. Many of these regulations were targeted at protecting the American consumer; eliminating executive pay that rewarded reckless executives; and arming the US Federal Reserve with enough tools to go after recalcitrant banks and institutions. All of these measures were installed in Obama’s first year in office. Officially, the crisis is said to have ended in June 2009, according to the US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Massive Military pull out from Iraq
The Iraq War, which started in 2003 two years after the September 11 attacks, had become a thorn in the flesh of many Americans. After about 8 years of senseless chaos and intervention, many Americans believed quite frankly that America had overstayed in Iraq.
During Obama’s latter stages of his first term, the president order a sizable pull out of American troops from Iraq. When news of this broke out in 2011, the American public welcomed it with open arms.
President Obama believed that excessive amounts of U.S. troops in the region in one way or the other was counterproductive. Hence, the Obama administration focused solely on keeping only a few specialized US force in Iraq. The goal was to build the Iraqi security agencies so that they themselves can meet their security needs.
Read More: Major Achievements of Abraham Lincoln
Unemployment and Poverty fell during his administration
Related to earlier point of Obama installing regulations to arrest the 2007/-08 financial crisis is the issue of unemployment and poverty. The records show that as at the time Obama was sworn into his first term, the US unemployment rate hovered at around 9%. However, by the time the president bid farewell to America (in February 2017), the US unemployment rate stood at slightly below 5%. Similarly, impressive feats were accomplished by Obama with regard to reducing poverty and homelessness across the nation.
Obama Healthcare Reforms
The healthcare reforms, famously called the ObamaCare, began by Obama came to the aid of several millions of Americans that could not afford a decent health care. For a very long time in America’s history a large chunk of the have-nots in the society lived in a nightmare because they simply had no health care.
In 2010, this all a changed as Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. What Obamacare did was to add an additional 32 million Americans to the nation’s healthcare. Not many presidents in U.S. history can boast of such impressive accomplishment.
Barack Obama invested heavily in Green and renewable energy
During Obama’s presidency, the United States of America saw its commitment to green and sustainable energy increase in leaps and bounds. The president did not just talk the talk and issue speeches about how the U.S. was committed to green energy; he walked the walk by committing $90 billion dollars into the green energy sector.
The Obama administration believed that fossil fuels had outlived their relevance. Hence in order to tackle the myriad of harm that fossil fuel accrues to the earth, Obama rolled out tax cuts to clean energy companies and producers of solar panels and wind turbines. These tax cuts helped bring down the production cost in those sectors by about 50%. Thus, the share of clean energy in America’s energy grid increased owing to Obama’s clean energy policies.
Obama also worked very hard to make sure that the United States took its energy needs into her own hands. The president reduced the nation’s dependency on imported crude oil by about 30%. Compared to the figures in 2008, the US produced about 77% more crude oil in 2016. What this did was that it helped to improve the nation’s trade deficit situation.
Neutralized the founder and leader of Al-Qaeda
Throughout the 2000s, the Saudi-born terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, was on the most wanted list of virtually every nation in the West.
When Obama took office in 2009, the U.S. commander in chief vowed to bring to justice every single person that threatened the peace and security of the United States. In view of this, Obama tasked his military aides to comb the surface of the earth and apprehend Bin Laden, the man linked to several bombings both in America as well as other parts of the world. Bin Laden was the founder and head of the radical Islamic group, Al-Qaeda. And in 2011, the criminal masterminder and veteran terrorist’s time was up.
Under the instruction of the president, American special ops conducted a stealth operation in Pakistan and took out Osama Bin Laden. The death of Bin Laden was welcomed all across the world. World leaders and organizations such as the United Nations praised the work of Barack Obama in seeing to it that Bin Laden’s reign of terror was brought to an end. It was a crucial victory against the axis of evil whose only goal in life is to cause mayhem and destruction.
Won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009
Throughout the course of his illustrious professional and political career, Barack Obama has received a great number of accolades from several institutions in America and the globe. His most distinguished honor came on the global stage in 2009. Swedish learned societies and organizations honored President Barack Obama with one of the most distinguished prizes in the world – the Nobel Peace Prize.
Obama was praised for his unwavering commitment to promotion of peace across the globe. The highlight of Obama presidency was his unique ability to give reconciliatory messages to the Middle East and other war-torn areas in the world. The president became a beacon of hope to a world that was recovering from close to a decade worth of political, financial and cultural turbulence. Obama’s administration was characterized by strong efforts to pursue international cooperation and peace in the world.
Here are a few more honorable achievements of President Barack Obama:
- Re-established diplomatic relations with the Cuba. Prior to the Obama administration, no US president had ever stepped foot on the shores of Cuba since 1928. Well, Obama was nothing like your typical US president. In December 2014, the POTUS made a historic visit Caribbean country. Obama met up with key Cuban officials that included long-time leader Raul Castro, the brother of Fidel Castro.
- Obama secured a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. After years and years of political and economic sanctions, the deal – the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2015 – was applauded by several nations across the world. Obama and leaders from China, the UK, Germany, Russia and the European Union helped iron out an amicable agreement with Iran over its use of nuclear weapons/energy.
- He signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on January 20, 2009. The act came as a huge boost to the efforts of women rights activist in America. It aimed at bridging the staggering gap in terms of pay and benefits between men and women who occupy the similar positions at work. Owing to the act, Americans could finally say goodbye to gender and other forms of discrimination at work.
- Barack Obama showed a lot of support to the nation’s veterans by increasing the budget allocations to the Department of Veterans Affairs in two successive years – 2010 and 2011. These monies were spent improving the services that US veterans received. So many of those veterans had the opportunity to build capacities (under the post-9/11 GI Bill) in a wide range of economic disciplines. Obama’s goal was to meticulously re-assimilate these heroes of ours back into the society so that they can have the confidence to go about their daily lives.
- He backed several initiatives and social programs rolled out by First Lady Michelle Obama. A common example of such initiatives was the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was passed in 2010. The goal of the act was to improve the nutritional intake of school children across America.