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“There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America – there’s the United States of America”
— Barack Obama
With January 20th drawing near, another presidency will be coming to an end. Barack Obama, the first African-American President the nation saw, will be handing over the reins to Donald J. Trump. A racist sexist businessman, who has declared bankruptcy four to six times, has been appointed President of a strong, yet already debt-ridden nation. This isn’t exactly a very optimistic or pleasant discussion for many.
However, we aren’t here to discuss the infamies of Trump, or to congratulate him on being one of the few men in history to win an argument against a woman. We are here to commemorate or rather summarize Obama’s run.
November 4th, 2008 – Elected The 44th President Of United States Of America.
January 20th, 2009 – Starts his presidency with promises of ‘hope and change’.
January 22nd, 2009 – Sanctions an executive order to shut down Guantánamo detention camp within a year.
January 29th, 2009 – Signs his first legislation, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to diminish pay discrimination.
February 17th, 2009 – Signs a stimulus bill worth $787 billion, designed to create jobs in the troubled US economy, despite fervent opposition from the Republicans.
February 27th, 2009 – Promises to end US’s combat mission in Iraq by 31/08/2010.
March 9th, 2009 – Reverses the ban on federal spending, on stem-cell research, imposed by Bush.
June 17th, 2009 – Senator Chris Dodd and Representative Barney Frank unveil Obama’s Wall Street regulation plan to the Congress.
July 10th, 2009 – GM emerges from bankruptcy as government acquires 61% stake and gives the firm a $50 billion loan. This bailout was supposedly to create 250,000 manufacturing jobs in the economy.
September 9th, 2009 – Republican representative Joe Wilson, gives a “You lie!” shout-out, during Obama’s health care address to the Congress.
September 13th, 2009 – Obama declares Kanye West to be “a jackass”, after the latter interrupts Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, at the MTV Video Music Awards. (Obama calls West ‘jackass’ a second time in 2012).
October 9th, 2009 – Wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
October 28th, 2009 – Signs the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to prevent attacks over gender, sexual orientation and disability.
November 6th, 2009 – Unemployment surpasses 10%, reaching highest point of recession.
March 23rd, 2010 – Passes $940 billion health reform bill, called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.
March 28th 2010 – Makes surprise visit to Afghanistan to improve diplomatic relations and address troops deployed there.
July 21st, 2010 – The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is made effective.
August 1st, 2010 – Declares Iraq War to be over.
September 1st, 2010 – Holds peace talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington. Others in attendance were Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
December 22nd, 2010 – Signs the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act which allows LGBT people, serving in the US armed forces, to be open about their sexual orientation.
March 19th, 2011 – US, UK and France attack Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya.
May 2nd, 2011 – US Special Forces kill Osama bin Laden during a night raid on his safe house in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
May 16th, 2011 – Debt-ceiling is reached for the first time since the 1995 government shutdown.
May 25th, 2011 – Obama becomes the first US resident to address the UK Parliament.
September 6th, 2011 – Nominated for the 2012 Presidential Race at a Democratic Party Convention held in Charlotte.
October 21st, 2011 – Fulfils a 2008 campaign pledge, by announcing the withdrawal of all US troops stationed in Iraq; thereby ending the war.
May 9th, 2012 – Shows support for LGBT marriages, changing his earlier stance against same-sex marriages.
June 15th, 2012 – Announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy for undocumented immigrants.
August 20th, 2012 – Obama issues a ‘red line’ warning to the Assad regime in Syria, over the use of chemical weapons.
November 6th, 2012 – Wins re-election, trouncing Republican candidate, Mitt Romney.
December 19th, 2012 – Named Tim Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ for a second time.
January 2nd, 2013 – Signed compromise bill into the law, to prevent the US from falling off the ‘fiscal cliff’.
January 16th, 2013 – Suggests overhaul of gun laws, after Newtown shooting, to avert further cases of gun violence.
January 20th, 2013 – Begins his second term as President.
February 4th, 2013 – Adds the No Budget, No Pay Act into the law.
March 7th, 2013 – Issued the Violence Against Women Act.
June 25th, 2013 – Presents US’s first ever green-strategy to curb climate change.
October 1st, 2013 – Government shuts down after Congress fails to pass legislation raising the debt ceiling.
October 17th, 2013 – Signs legislation to lift the debt ceiling, bringing the government shut-down to an end.
November 24th, 2013 – Finally reaches a compromise with Iran; a 6-month deal lifting sanctions, if they peg their nuclear program.
February 28th, 2014 – Accuses Russia of a military invasion in Crimea, southern Ukraine, and warns Kremlin of the costs.
August 7th, 2014 – Authorizes targeted airstrikes to be administered in Iraq.
November 4th 2014 – Republicans take control of the Congress, which might poses a headache for Obama.
November 20th, 2014 – Allows 5 million undocumented immigrants to solicit for work permits, bypassing the Congress and angering the Republicans.
December 17th, 2014 – Orders restoration and normalization of all diplomatic relations with Cuba.
December 28th, 2014 – Declares end of US troops’ combat mission in Afghanistan.
July 14th, 2015 – Finalizes deal with Iran in making drastic cuts to their nuclear program.
November 30th, 2015 – Attends UN Climate Change Conference, taking place in Paris, and backs the climate change agreement. Also, Obama gives a speech at the conference, along with 151 world leaders, including David Cameron and Vladimir Putin.
April 22nd, 2016 – Makes a 3 day visit to the UK. There in a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, advises UK against leaving the EU. Enlightening the public about the supposed repercussions of such an action like being put in the ‘back of the queue’ during trade deals and negotiations with the US.
May 27th, 2016 – Becomes the first US President in office, to visit Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.
July 28th, 2014 – Wills Hillary Clinton to win the elections and triumph over Donald Trump, whom he calls a “home-grown demagogue”, during an address at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.
September 28th, 2016 – Congress overrides Obama’s veto on the ‘Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism’ (JASTA) legislation, giving families of the 9/11 victims right to sue the Saudi government.
November 8th, 2016 – Donald Trump bests Hillary Clinton, in what is considered one of the Brobdingnagian upsets in US’s political history. Trump becomes the 45th President of the country, leaving both the House and Senate under Republican control.
November 15th, 2016 – Embarks on his last international trip as the President of the United States, making Athens his first stop.
December 23rd, 2016 – Eschews from voting in US Security Council’s bill, which declares all Israeli settlements in Palestine illegal; unlike prior times when the US would veto any such resolutions going against Israel.
December 28th, 2016 – Decrees two new national monuments, thereby protecting more than 150 million acres of land in Utah and Nevada which hosts some sacred Native American sites.
December 30th, 2016 – Expels 35 Russian diplomats and places several sanctions on Russia, on charges of executing a cyber-attack in the 2016 elections against the Democratic National Committee, which according to US intelligence was supposedly to help Trump gain victory.