You may not have seen this, since 60 Minutes didn’t even show it on the air. But in an interview with the CBS show recently, President Obama said, “I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln ...”
He humbly puts himself in some rarefied, Mount Rushmore-style company. Let’s take a look at that before beginning his sculpture.
Mr. Obama’s greatest foreign policy “achievements” may be the killing of bin Laden and the end of Gadhafi’s regime in Libya. But of course, he “led from behind” in Libya, letting Europe take the lead, and as syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer noted recently, going after bin Laden was not unprecedented or fraught with considerable angst.
Meanwhile, his entreaties to our enemies have met with derision overseas, and the infamous pushing of the “reset” button on U.S.-Russia relations – despite his having thrown Poland under the bus in the defense missile deal – seems only to have reset the Cold War.
Domestically, Mr. Obama’s signature achievement is the health-care reform law – which he let others frame and write, the American public still opposes in polls and the courts may ultimately strike down next year. Even if it is upheld, his signature achievement will have been to use a Congress controlled by his own party to force Americans to swallow a health-care prescription they clearly don’t want, and which stretches if not breaks the bounds of the Constitution and may do the same to the health-care system.
Would you want that plaque on your wall?
Next in a short line of achievements might be his “stimulus” package, which others framed and wrote and which put the nation another $1 trillion in debt without any appreciable improvement in the economy.
In the meantime, unemployment has settled in at record levels while the national debt breaks them every day.
Where might all that put him in the pantheon of presidents? Looking up at Jimmy Carter?