Remember all the talk about the Republican Senate victory in the midterm elections and how it would shut President Obama down, negative.
Remember all of the lame duck talk about President Obama on the morning of November 5; the duck is quacking louder than ever.
We can surely apply the words of the immortal Mark Twain to Mr. Obama, “The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.” President Obama was supposed to have been on political life support but his pulse is beating stronger than ever. His political vital signs were supposed to fading fast. Yet, they are more vibrant than ever.
Let’s look at the President’s vital signs. First, there was the daring climate deal that he struck with China thus bringing that country into environmental reform.
Second, there was his daring presidential executive order on immigration which granted legal protection to an estimated 5 million people living in the United States of America. Republicans have been “crying me a river” over this move but it was the horrible House of Representatives that refused to hold a vote on the bi-partisan Senate passed bill thereby leaving Obama to go it alone.
Third, the Immigration E. O. led to an unforeseen gift from Santa to Obama courtesy of an inadvertent act by the “all wise and all knowing” Senator Ted Cruz when he fatally filibustered and derailed a plan by party leaders to go home for the weekend and return on Monday to force a meaningless “show vote” on the president’s Immigration E. O.
This gave outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the opening that he needed to confirm 12 District Court Nominees who President Obama had nominated earlier in the year. This mix of judges included Robert Pittman who will be the first openly gay judge to serve in the Fifth Circuit, which includes Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Loretta Briggs will also make history as the first African-American female to serve as a district judge in North Carolina.
The senatorial ignorance of Ted Cruz has helped to cement Obama’s judicial legacy. Because of that final act, the president now has a whopping 89 district court and circuit court confirmations for 2014 which gives him a total of 305 judicial confirmations as he ends his 6th year as president. To put this in perspective, Bill Clinton had 302, Ronald Regan 295 and George W 256 at their six year mark.
Why is this so important? Because these democratically appointed judges are appointed for life and hold great sway over what becomes law and they can also protect laws that President Obama signs.
Obama’s judges run the gamut for diversity: 42% are women, 19% are African-American, and 11% are Hispanic.
There is a fourth vital sign/gift from Santa to Mr. Obama. The ECONOMY! As reported by the Huffington Post, word came today that “the U.S. economy grew at a sizzling 5 percent annual rate in the July-September period, the fastest in more than a decade, boosted by strength in consumer spending and business investment.”
Santa had a final year end gift in his bag for Mr. Barack Obama. You can simply call it Cuba. This may have been Obama’s move of the year. Unknown to anyone with the exception of the negotiators, the president had been secretly working on normalizing relations with Cuba! Guess who was one of the chief negotiators? Yes, Pope Francis himself. Who saw this coming? No one.
Cuban President Raul Castro who shook Obama’s hand at Nelson Mandela’s funeral said, “I salute the proposal of President Obama to open a new chapter in the relations between our two nations and to introduce the most significant change in policies of the United States in the past 50 years.” “We are not unaware of the virulent criticism that President Obama has had to endure from the forces opposed to the normalization of relations with Cuba because of this announcement. They will do all they can to sabotage this process.”
Obama has pulled off what no U. S. President has been able to do in 50 years. Not, Kennedy, not Johnson, not Nixon, not Ford, not Carter, not Reagan, not Daddy Bush, not “Dubya” and not my boy “Big Bill” Clinton. This is the right and a bright move by Obama because isolating Cuba hasn’t worked well at all.
The President has ended the year on a great note and it is a portend to the success that he will have in his final two years as our nation’s leader.
The Emperor Marcus Aurelius said in the movie Gladiator that when a man comes to his end, he wants to know that his life mattered. Barack Obama’s presidential life is coming to an end and boy is he making it matter.
“My presidency is entering the fourth quarter; interesting stuff happens in the fourth quarter,” Mr. Obama said. “And I’m looking forward to it.”
Timothy Eagan of the New York Times rightfully writes, “He’s been liberated by defeat, becoming the president that many of his supporters hoped he would be.”
Obama is so at peace that he jumped on Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, I mean Air Force One and headed to Hawaii for a well-deserved vacation with his family and friends.