Looking at Obama’s lost legacy

Published 4:32 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Obamas have said their goodbyes to America.

The president and first lady have made their rounds on the late-night shows.

President Obama delivered his farewell speech the other night on national TV.

Email newsletter signup

It was one of his best. The man knows how to write and deliver a speech. No one can ever deny that he’s good with words.

Unfortunately, what President Obama actually accomplished as president is another story.

For the past few weeks his liberal friends in the media have been desperately trying to come up with a list of his lasting accomplishments.

Obamacare, “saving” the economy from the Great Recession by spending trillions of federal dollars and issuing executive orders to please liberal voting blocs top the list of his domestic legacy.

But if Donald Trump and the Republicans keep their word, Obama’s domestic “triumphs” won’t last more than a few months.

Obamacare will soon go the way of HillaryCare, President Trump will trump Obama’s executive orders and a semblance of fiscal sanity will return to Washington.

President Obama’s real legacy is the bloody mess his foreign policy left us in the Middle East.

His teary-eyed friends don’t like to bring up the civil wars, the Syrian bloodbath, the rise of Isis, the global threat of radical Islamic terrorism or the shabby treatment of Israel when they review his record.

No wonder. The Middle East — a mess Obama inherited but made much worse — will cause the United States and future presidents trouble for decades.

No one can deny that President Obama and the First Family have been tremendous role models for the entire country.

The president has shown what it means to be a good father and husband.

First Lady Michelle Obama has charmed the pants off everyone with her grace and strength and she and her husband have raised their two daughters into fine young women.

But during the last eight years, one of the things that has been most disappointing to me was that President Obama didn’t use his own life and his family as examples to be emulated by blacks in the inner cities.

For more than half a century the federal government’s harmful social welfare policies have done serious damage to the black family, allowing fatherless “families” to exist and making drug gangs places where many black boys find their male role models.

As the president, as a respected hero to every black person in America, as a good father and family man, President Obama was in a unique position.

He should have constantly sent the message of the importance of strong families to the inner cities.

He should have worked tirelessly and publicly to end the deadly black-on-black gang violence in Chicago and other cities.

But our first black president said and did virtually nothing to address the serious social, economic and law enforcement troubles of the inner cities.

It’s a shame he didn’t spend more of his spare time working to solve the problems of the cities and less time screwing up the Middle East and playing golf.

I remember the night he was elected in 2008. I was watching the celebration on TV when a reporter asked a young black teenager what he had learned from Obama’s victory.

The kid — who was dressed almost like a gang member — said, “what I learned tonight is that if I put on a suit and tie and get an education I can grow up to be anything I want to be.”

That kid got the message. But eight years later thousands of black kids are still shooting each other in Chicago, St. Louis and Baltimore and elsewhere.

If President Obama had paid more attention to the inner cities, things might be better today — and he’d have a lasting legacy to be proud of.


Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant and author. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.