Thanks, Obama

When Obama won his first election in 2008, I was in 6th grade.  I can still remember my entire school shutting down during his inauguration to watch it in classrooms.  Even at that young age, I could feel the historical significance of those moments.  One thing that can never be said about President Obama is that he isn’t a great speaker. Sitting in that desk chair I had chills as I listened to his inaugural address, and there is one quote that has stayed with me these last eight years, reminding me of how much things have changed.  In his 2009 inaugural address, Obama said the following: “This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”

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President Obama is a trailblazer.  He is a proud feminist, an amazing speaker, a kind man, and a strong one.  In his eight years in office he has created universal health care, a system that is flawed, but helps millions of people.  He helped heal our economy, pass Wall Street reforms, ended the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, killed Osama Bin Laden, helped the U.S. auto industry, repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, supported gay marriage, got rid of torture practices, increased fuel economy, increased support for veterans, helped with pay equality, expanded the wilderness protection.  He helped people in the face of tragedy, especially when it seemed that he was standing at the podium every week to mourn with the country the loss of lives in another mass shooting.

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Obama did all of the above and so much more.  He lead with grace and dignity even as people constantly questioned him and protested his every move.  Even as Congress blocked his every move and tried to stop his progress.  When people asked for his birth certificate, accused him of wanting to be a dictator, and threw racism at him, Obama continued to lead and be an amazing president.

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Obama has shown me that it is possible to have good leaders in Washington.  He has shown us all that it is possible to go through a presidency without a big scandal, something that many of us would not have assumed seeing as we haven’t seen it in a while.  Most of all, Obama has shown me what it is like to have a leader who actually cares for us.  In his farewell address Obama said “Yes we can, yes we did”, and he was right.  Yes they did, so with complete sincerity: Thanks, Obama.

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