Week in Review: President Obama’s Second Term

Claire Martin ‘17

The New York Times printed an article this week entitled “As Budget Fight Looms, Obama Sees Defiance in His Own Party” , The article discusses how President Obama is losing the support of his own party in many ways.  The authors describe the criticism he faces, including that he is not strong enough as a leader; he takes on too much, his inability to pass gun control laws or immigration reform, and his possible choice of choosing a controversial Lawrence H. Summers as head of the Federal Reserve.  The article explains how lack of support within one’s own party is detrimental to the President as a leader.  It shows weakness and could lead to him being able to get less done in Congress.  Obama’s support within his party has gone from 90% in 2009 to 77% in 2012.  These figures do not include more recent controversies, including Syria and suggesting Mr. Summers for the Federal Reserve.  The article concludes that no matter the opposition, people want their president to be strong.

The power of a President is a topic that the American public is constantly discussing.  Obama’s control of the nation has been brought to light.  Everything that the President does, whether it a political move or not, is under intense scrutiny.  Now that Obama is in his second term, his party is scrutinizing him more as they can look to control of the next term without his help.  The issue of Obama’s support impacts us all.  We need a strong President during a time of so many international and domestic conflicts.  It is important not only that Obama gains back the support of his party, but also finds ways to do what he feels is best for our nation.  Obama still has three more years as President.  During that time, he will make many decisions the public may or may not agree with.  President Obama must find a way to make others agree with him and make his policies appealing.  If he does not, our nation will be in even more turmoil than it is now. 

ABC News posted an article about President Obama’s upcoming visit to the United Nations, titled “High Stakes for Obama Diplomacy at UN Meeting”, .  The article outlines President Obamas goals and objectives for the trip.  He must try to make an agreement to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, mediate talks between Israel and Palestine, deal with outrage over NSA spying in Brazil, and open talks with Iran.  Iran has a new leader, President Hassan Rouhani, who is a less extreme leader.  He and President Obama have displayed signs of having a meeting, the first between the leaders of the United States and Iran since 1977.  These encounters may be important in eventually leading to agreements on Iran’s nuclear program and trade sanctions the U.S. has on Iran.  Obama also plans to deal with the Syrian crisis and the relationship tied in with Russia’s involvement.

The ABC News article again, highlights responsibilities of the President.  This article describes how important a few days can be for the President.  It also proves that just a few conversations and public appearances can have affects worldwide.  If Obama is not successful in his appearances and meetings this week, the United States will suffer major setbacks.  We need to make a decision on Syria soon, as the violence there worsens and people in the United States are growing in their support of either entering the conflict or not.  To reach an agreement allowing the chemical weapons in Syria to be under international command and destroyed would be a great step not just for our country, but worldwide.  Similarly, to continue talks between Israel and Palestine is extremely critical.  If the peace can be kept between these nations, things will be easier for the United States and for the other nations involved.  After Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff found out the U.S. had spied on phone calls made by the President and Brazilian embassies, she cancelled her diplomacy trip   to the U.S.  Obama must solve the conflict between the U.S. and Brazil on this visit to the U.N to prevent creating larger problems that could end up losing Brazil as an ally.  President Obama’s last goal, to build a relationship with Iran, would be extremely remarkable.  As many issues that have transpired with Iran in the past, the United States would benefit from another ally in the Middle East, or at least a country disliking us less.  All of the issues Obama will make can potentially increase the safety of the American people.  Any moves the President makes in the world political arena have implications for the entire nation.

President Obama is clearly at an important time in his presidency.  With so many issues to be dealt with, it is interesting that he has the potential to solve so many problems in a few days’ visit at the United Nations.  If he can make significant progress now, he might gain back the support of those within his party whom he has lost.  If President Obama is successful in these regards, he will be seen as a stronger leader.  This will help him make even more progress on international issues, as other leaders will respect him more.  Domestically, the citizens of the country and Congress will trust and believe in him more as well, helping him to do more on his agenda to better the nation.