Real Clear Politics has President Obama’s average approval rating at 54 percent, a very impressive number for a President at the end of his second term — especially given that democrats do not control either house of Congress.
Maybe this is why people are already starting to miss President Obama, especially as they anticipate what is to come once he leaves office. I get that.
For me, I approve of the job President Obama because I’m proud of him, not because I’m afraid of what the his successor will do.
2008 was my first foray into political activism. I had never felt like a Democrat in my own right, but I was certainly feeling less like a Republican as I started to realize that I was gay and found out for myself that I was in favor of the things the Republican Party fights against.
One fateful August day, I was walking past the Campaign for Change office next to the Albertson’s in Aurora and wandered in. I walked out with a commitment to electing Senator Barack Obama into the Oval Office. I was 14 then, and spent the next few months calling people and knocking on doors, and volunteering around the office. For inspiring a campaign that could find relevance in a community like mine in Arapahoe County, thank you, President Obama.
It was thrilling, and I’ll never forget where I was when he won the election. At an events center in Aurora, the packed room was huddled around a campaign volunteer with a phone. We heard California had gone to the Democrats as expected, and then heard Barack Obama had won Pennsylvania.
It was apparent that he had won, and the headline the next day proclaimed, “Red States Turn Blue as Racial Barrier Tumbles.”
As we cleaned up the office after the election, an older black man came in. He just looked around the room before approaching anyone. We talked to him for a minute before he said, “Thank you.” We were all emotional, and he told us what I had heard every other person of color in my entire life say. He quietly remarked, “I never thought I’d see a black president in my life.”
For the richness of campaign experiences I was able to have, thank you, President Obama.
I tried my hand at staying active after the election, attempting to mobilize my community in support of the Affordable Care Act, which eventually became law. Coincidentally, insurance that covered me as a result of that law covered the lion’s share of costs related to a procedure I would have two years later.
For staking your political legacy on health care reform that ended up covering myself and 20 million other Americans according to the Department of Health and Human Services, thank you, President Obama.
In Summer 2013, I was blessed with the humbling opportunity to serve as the only intern from the state of Colorado in President and Mrs. Obama’s White House.
There, I worked with a remarkable group of leaders and young professionals who shaped my future path in life. Here I was, the grandson of a black political activist who did not have the equal right to vote and the great-grandson of sweatshop workers, working with young leaders from across the country at the White House. I felt unworthy, but took advantage of my time there and remain grateful and humbled by it.
For running a White House that was inclusive to who I was as a human being, thank you, President and Mrs. Obama.
We did not accomplish everything President Obama set out to. Even with what was done in the Administration, I was not always a fan. Yet, were it not for President Obama empowering us to action, I don’t know if I would have thought it possible for a student like me to demand change and work towards it. I am a better person because of President Obama’s time in office, and it seems that we are a better country because of it, too.
For everything, thank you, President Obama.