Will Obama Be Remembered as Great?

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“Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” As playwright and poet William Shakespeare states, greatness is something that comes naturally to some, while others must put much effort in to achieve it, and others are forced into it. When examining the United States presidency, much effort must be put into identifying if a president was great and how the president rates compared to previous presidents. For example, political scientist Fred Greenstein (2005) describes six qualities that shape a president’s performance, such as emotional intelligence and political skill, and Joseph A. Pika and John Maltese (2004) add other elements, such as personal character and career, that shape a president’s performance. Besides examining the president on his personal strengths and weaknesses, Stephen Skowroneck (2003) states that it is also vital to evaluate what time period the president held office in, if the country was resilient or not at that time, and if the president supported the previous presidency. When evaluating if our current president, Barack Obama, will be remembered as a great president, using the above criteria and observation methods as well as comparing him to past presidents is vital. President Obama’s approval rating is currently 42% (Gallup.com), with citizens mostly angry about the country’s economic situation. However, with his use of new media and strong interpersonal skills, President Obama’s 2008 campaign and subsequent presidency has given Americans the most personal experience of any campaign and presidency to date. In addition, as the first African American president to hold the office, the historical significance of his presidency is enormous. Ultimately, despite the failures president Obama has experienced thus far in his presidency, President Obama’s campaign and presidency was so revolutionary that it will be remembered as great. Barack Obama’s campaign for the 2008...
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