Lest we forget that Obama inherited huge problems



It was only eight months ago today that Barack Obama’s two-term stint as president came to an end, but most folks probably sense that much more time has passed since that change-of-the guard took place.

The principal reason that Obama seems to have been gone from office a longer time is that his successor, Donald Trump, is such a colorful and unpredictable man and has thus become a huge media attraction.

I haven’t researched the statistics, but I would bet the farm that Trump’s campaign and the early months of his presidency have attracted an unprecedented amount of media coverage. The guy is so unpredictable — and undisciplined — that the media dare not run the risk of missing even one of his gaffes or outrageous statements.

The net effect of this situation is that Obama has faded from public consciousness more quickly than would have otherwise been the case. These days, the story almost always is about Trump.

That’s unfortunate in several respects, principal among which is that many Americans seem to have forgotten that Obama inherited an unholy economic mess when he became president in 2009. The world was in a financial crisis, and people everywhere were afraid. It was by far the worst economic situation since the Great Depression of the 1930s — and thus was dubbed “The Great Recession.”

Of course, Donald Trump campaigned in part on his bogus implication that Obama somehow created, rather than inherited, the big economic problems that prevailed when he took office. But Trump never has mentioned the steps his predecessor took to right the ship and to restore public confidence in the financial system. Indeed, the subsequent rebound was sufficient to make it fairly easy for Obama to win election to a second term in 2012.

If The Donald has said anything about Obama’s bold steps to restore the ailing economy, I somehow missed the story. If he  has ever mentioned, for example, how Obama saved the auto industry from total ruin, it’s escaped my memory.

The most attention Trump has ever paid to his predecessor has been in connection with his racist claim that Obama was born in a foreign country and was thus ineligible to become president. The truth eventually exonerated Obama, but Trump conceded the point only grudgingly and in the most terse of terms. He didn’t exactly admit that he had been wrong, but it obviously pained him greatly to face the fact that his trademark Birtherism was a dead issue.

The subject of history apparently is not Donald Trump’s long suit. He’s probably not aware that a panel of historians recently ranked Barack Obama among the 12 best presidents in American history.  But I would love to engage Trump in a discussion of the matter. It would be great fun to hear more of his predictably twisted opinions on Obama’s legacy.