Whether or not you love him or hate him, one thing that you have to give President Barack Obama is that he presided over a mostly scandal free presidency. For the better part of eight years, Obama and his administration waded through some of the most turbulent and divisive issues in American history. Not all of the choices made were popular ones, and not everything was handled in such a way that was satisfactory to the populace. These might seem like understatements to some, and that is a completely fair opinion. The point that this article is attempting to make however, is not that forty fourth President of the United States was any good, but that he at least kept things relatively classy.
In the closeout to this last election, the rise of Donald Trump as our new President has meant a massive political shakeup. One of the most obvious people affected has been Obama himself. Never has an active Commander in Chief campaigned so vigorously against a candidate they themselves were not running against. Indeed Obama drew a lot of ire from his detractors by spending so much time on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton. Didn’t the President have more important things to do?
Obama’s Peaceful Transition of Power
After the election of Donald Trump, Obama ensured that the transition of power was as peaceful as it could possibly be under the circumstances. Credit should be given to our former President that he did in fact stand with Trump after the election results were in, even when so many on the left seemed to go crazy.
Everyone from celebrities and politicians to educational institutions seemed to forget that democracy does in fact work both ways. The entertainment media has continued to be almost one hundred percent hostile, between Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech bashing Trump to the way our new President is the source for seemingly ninety nine percent of the “comedy” on all of the late night talk shows.
Even with Jill Stein calling for a recount of the perfectly fair election results, an event that many have suggested Hillary Clinton had something to do with, President Obama was hard at work ensuring that Trump could come into the White House as simply and peacefully as possible. The holding of a meeting with Trump just a day after he was elected showed that Obama was in fact willing to honor the constitution and that he was willing to work with the man that he had previously campaigned against so viciously.
In speeches given by Obama since the election, his main points of message have remained pretty much the same. Despite obviously being unhappy with the outcome, Obama saw the whole election process as something that had gotten out of hand. He wanted to remind the American people that division makes us weak and that in order for us to move forward we need to come together.
It is easy for conservatives to pick on Obama. After all, the man has enacted so many unpopular policies from the view of this side of the political aisle. He did however, honor his duty as President in how he handled the transition of power. Trump might have never even made it into the White House if Obama acted in the frankly immature and self centered way that so many Democratic supporters did after the election.
People will always look to things like Benghazi as scandals within Obama’s administration. Were they actual scandals or was just poor handling of an extreme situations on the part of Obama? Hillary shouldered most of the blame for the politicalization and handling of Benghazi fallout. After all, he has been seemingly the only fair one from his side of the political spectrum since the surprising election results. You don’t have to like him or his policies to at least respect what he did right.
Contrary to popular conservative opinion, Obama did do a few things right, and being fair when it was time to be was one of them. Obama’s legacy may be largely destroyed in the coming years under Donald Trump, and for many that is a good thing. We can at least remember, however, his scandal free presidential run.