Historians Drop A Truth Bomb On CNN: Obama Has Already Built His Legacy

obama accomplishments and legacy

CNN’s Candy Crowley tried to spin Obama as an unpopular president coming down the homestretch of his second term, but she was quickly straightened out by a panel of historians who discussed the fact that the president still has plenty of juice left.



CROWLEY: So, he said in jest, sort of. Here is a man who, for six years, has made no secret about the fact that he doesn’t like either the rhythms or the rituals of Washington, D.C. So, he has two years left. Can a man who doesn’t like the rituals or the rhythms of Washington, D.C., make good on those last two years? Put it first – put it into history for me. Who has made good?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: A lot of presidents made good on their second term when you think about. Look at Ronald Reagan had the Iran-contra problem, but then he was able to do some incredible diplomacy with Mikhail Gorbachev, helping to end the cold war in its last years. I mean, Bill Clinton, his second term I was able to keep driving

on that idea of getting a budget surplus, getting rid of our deficit and by the end of his term, he wasn’t (ph) very popular, Al Gore wanted to be seen with him but nevertheless he had an accomplishment there.

So, in foreign affairs, it’s wide open and then you always have executive power, and you’ve seen a president now using the Clean Air Act of 1970, the provisions in it, to lay down executive orders on climate change, on stopping coal emissions or reducing them. So, there’s an environmental legacy and they all sign these big national monuments on their way out. Greater (ph) (INAUDIBLE) –

CROWLEY: Like post offices on a much higher level, right?

BRINKLEY: Yes. I mean, it’s still (INAUDIBLE) we just saw with the executive order on immigration, he still has a lot of juice left in him.


And Karen, what does he care whether — this is a man in his, percentage wise, in the 43, 44, 45 percent. Does he care about that or just take the executive order route and moving on?

KAREN TUMULTY, WASHINGTON POST, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think he is very much looking toward his legacy at this point.

He came to Washington to sort of change the way it worked. I think he’s given up on that idea. So yes, he’s going to use his executive power. It’s a – it’s going to be a gigantic job just to implement the laws that passed in the first couple years of his term.

And finally you talk to people at the White House and they say that it is very important to the president before he leaves office to use the bully pulpit to sort of change the terms of engagement, so that no future presidential candidate could ever run as opposing gay marriage or as opposed immigration reform. Essentially he wants to leave behind a national conversation that has changed because he was here.

CROWLEY: Richard Norton Smith?

RICHARD NORTON SMITH, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: That’s a lot harder to do. I would agree with Karen. In effect, he created his legacy early. He created his legacy with the Health Care Act, and now he’s going to make sure that it is defended, well-defended and almost invulnerable to the next president, whoever it might be.

That said, you know, we’re not talking about our fathers, let alone our grandfather’s presidency. This is a dynamic office. This is not T.R.’s bully pulpit or FDR’s fireside chats. In many ways a president’s — Harry Truman was the first president to pardon a White House turkey and I guarantee — and he went out of office with a whole lot lower popular approval ratings than this president has at the moment, but in the end it doesn’t matter what the popular approval rating is on the last day in office because guess what? We are the folks who are going to be the ultimate electoral jury…


SMITH: …the historians who decided that Harry Truman wasn’t near (ph) a (ph) great president.

CROWLEY: (INAUDIBLE) George H. W. Bush about that, too, out of office with that.

Candy Crowley’s comments were another example of Beltway media running down President Obama because he doesn’t like Washington. Chuck Todd wrote a book that is based around the premise that Obama is not a good president because he never played the games that the press that cover the president require in order to have their egos properly soothed.

It isn’t that Obama hasn’t done anything. If anything, the president has been a victim of his own early successes in office. As Rachel Maddow pointed out nearly four years ago, President Obama accomplished 85% of his entire first-term agenda in two years.

In 2010, Maddow listed what the president had done in his first two years, “The fair pay act for women, expanding children’s health insurance, new hate crimes legislation they said could not be done, tobacco regulation, credit card reform, student loan reform, the stimulus — which in addition to helping pull this country back from the brink of a great depression, was also the largest tax cut ever, the largest investment in clean energy ever, the largest investment in education in our country ever. There was also a little thing you may have heard of called health reform. Also, Wall Street reform, the improvements to the new G.I. Bill, the most expansive food SAFETY BILL SINCE THE 1930s. And tomorrow, President Obama will officially sign a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The idea that Barack Obama has not been a successful president is myth that was created by his Republican opponents, and embraced by a bitter mainstream media.

This president has been very successful, and history will regard his accomplishments kindly even if the media will never give him his fair due.

30 Replies to “Historians Drop A Truth Bomb On CNN: Obama Has Already Built His Legacy”

  1. I’m only sorry that the President or some politician would get a set of balls and introduce legislation against the freedom of the press. They are the biggest threat to this country next to the GOP. Both can do whatever they want and don’t have to answer for it. And we worry about ISIS?

  2. That the words “Chuck Todd wrote a book” can be juxtaposed in a sentence is just wrong.

    Chuckles Toddler organized what he’s cut and pasted from the Rethuglican talking point emails he gets every day.

    What a despicable, soulless weasel.

  3. CNN is pathetic. They are Republican light, and as a result, I’ve lost respect for them. As for Chuck Todd, don’t get me started! He is not yet ready for prime time. Imagine writing a book about a individual based on the critique of the beltway asses that Todd sucks up to!None of us would look good!
    As far as the presidents legacy, he has one already: first POTUS descended of African heritage. Re-elected twice, The AHA, immigration reform, The Ledbetter Act…. But much, much more is to come. Watch him make fools of Boehner, McConnell, Cruz, and the rest of the GOP KKKlown show these next two years!

  4. Against freedom of the press? Seriously Bernie? Do away with the First Amendment then? Well go right ahead but you’ll have to amend the Constitution as a first step then figure out how all the OTHER press such as this blog are, you know, exempt from that. Beware of your wishes. Oh, and learn how democracy works. I hate the MSM,too, and the way to change it is boycotting advertisers, picketing, complaining daily. But yeah – blame Obama. After all, they are.

  5. Turn off your TV. This president is well aware of his legacy. He’s been thinking about it since he got his acceptance letter from Harvard Law School.
    He has nothing to be ashamed of, except not firing the entire JCS staff when his Generals started rebelling.

  6. “They are the biggest threat to the nation next to the GOP.”
    They ARE the GOP. The MSM are large corporations, beholden to their share holders, and they strive for one thing and one thing only-profits, regardless of the cost or method. The end justifies the means. It’s easier to get fear driven ratings than to tell the mundane truth. You’re still living under the mistaken impression that they want to tell the truth. A paper or network that tells the truth and sells no ad space doesn’t thrive. Selling fear, sex and racism sells and that is why FOX, Limbaugh and CNN chose to be conservative and have no qualms about propaganda and outright lying. Uninformed people tend to be conservative, suckers for the garbage they spew.
    “Not all conservatives are stupid people, but all stupid people are conservatives.”
    -John Stuart Mill

  7. “Chuckles Toddler!” Chuck Todd has really made a name for himself by assembling (NOT writing) a book (an ANTHOLOGY) based on e-mails from ridiculous, ranting Republicans. He’ll go down in history as the guy who flames out while piloting Meet The Press into the ground.

  8. I think it would be better that if a news network were to do mostly commentary like Fox News it must state it as such, and have the word ‘News’ removed from their name.

  9. So sorry for the right wingers. They already know that all those threats, name callings, blocks and other tricks have not minimized the work of Barack Obama, “The man of the White House”. He will go in history as the president who did so much in spite of the odds, whereas the conservatives’ records of these past 8 years will just collect dust because there is nothing positive to show for.

  10. And I expect that the President will get accomplished more things than we think, with an all Republican Congress. If they do not respect the man Obama, they must respect the President of the US. Boehner cannot affort to menace another government shut down. Now he must show that the Republicans get things accomplished. And they must come to terms with the President. Potus still has the veto power. And the Republicans do know that their stand is not for the people, but for the wealthy. They have very little margin for presenting that their policies are for the poor people. If they lengthen the discussions on issues the RealRepublican stand will come out clearly and the people will be more aware. November 2016 is not so far away.

  11. “…The idea that Barack Obama has not been a successful president is myth that was created by his Republican opponents, and embraced by a bitter mainstream media…”

    Jason Easley’s article is well- articulated. However, I fail to understand why the word “myth” is used instead of the word that totally describes the TGOPs and MSM … “LIE.”

    The definition of “myth” is a story that tells a greater story, a truth… whereas President Obama’s opponents are liars and the MSM is corporate, answering to the authoritarians or so-called conservatives. The MSM is no longer a function of news or investigative reporting, but of acquiescing to the wishes of the authoritarians. They can no longer be trusted as factual and true reporting, but of fictional lies that serve their greed, corporations and their egos!

  12. Asked the question once and it needs to be asked again…. “When are “we the people” going to awaken and come to the realization that the news media is the third political party and admit its power”? From this article, one can see the power that the news media possesses when it has already made up its mind in writing their history. Never taking in considerations the facts. Hilter used the media to convince a nation and 50 million plus people lost their lives. The news media has their own agenda and it has nothing to do with the well being of “we the people” or telling the truth. Yes, they have sided with the GOP for right now as they did with the democrats in the not to distance pass. The news media unlike other corporations, are people. People that are suppose to peddle the truth. Corporations never have done that in any form or fashion. When they (news media) fail to do so, they lose that people quality and become like any other greedy corporation, and should be exposed as such…

  13. Did I go to sleep 6 years ago. Because most everything I hear is if we did not have the press, the cops, the Church, if there was only one party to run everything, No constitution, no military, no citizenship,free money, free food, free doctors,free homes,free power,free gas, free transportation we would be free.

  14. Crowley is a right wing hack, nothing more, nothing less, and Todd is so puffed up with his own importance he does not know that his bubble will burst.

  15. Since the Supreme Court has already said that Fox News doesn’t have to be truthful about anything they are saying, I think it’s a losing battle.
    People need to question what is being reported, and thankfully the computer helps in that regard. Also, when someone posts an article on Facebook that you know is untruthful it should be everyone’s responsibility to set the record straight.
    Then, of course, you have the haters out there that have to turn everything into name calling and nasty comments. It’s like someone is getting paid to get comments off the subject at hand.

  16. Crowley also has to defend her decision to put on Bernard Kerik as a guest expert on curbing racial violence in places like Ferguson. Kerik, a chum of another Sunday talking head, Rudy Giuliani, is an ex-cop who was scandalized and is obviously a crook. When will talk show hosts quit inviting on these creepy crawlers? Fox, of course, is the worst, giving up time to Oliver North, the Iran arms for hostages criminal.

  17. Hey Bernie, the President can’t introduce legislation. I think what you really mean is that we have no balance in the press right now. The MSM is repub corp owned and repub corp board run. This was all part of the repub plan to take over the country. We need to work on getting some balance, not do away with the press.

  18. The repubs actually have one year to do something then it will be 2016 election mode big time. I’m rooting for overreach. Shut the government down. Impeach PBO. The House will have the votes to do it. Then send it to the Senate for a trial. The Senate will not have enough votes just like with President Clinton. They will need 2/3rds of the Senate. They will not have the 67 votes needed to try him. Bring it on repubs. You know you want to do it!

  19. Many of “We the people” have been brainwashed by the repubs for the last 30+ years. It is very hard to watch all their hate and lies. I am white and find most repub voters to be a total embarrassment. They are fighting for a country that only existed in their demented minds. Many repubs are leaving the planet daily as they have aged. It can’t happen too soon.

  20. Agree churchlady. Does the press need to be pampered, petted, indulged, treated like a very spoiled child to do their job?
    I appreciate a President that will not play their game. GO FOR IT PRES.

  21. If Mother Teresa herself were president, Republicans would say that she’s a “socialist extremist who panders to the lazy & furthers an entitlement society”. Beltway pundits would agree that while she “serves a purpose for the helpless,she villifies job creators & will be hurt historically by her low job approval rating in southern states, where she remains unpopular”!

  22. I stopped watching CNN years ago and I am totally disgusted with MSNBC after their coverage of the recent elections. They sounded like Fox with their constant negative comments about Obama’s popularity etc. And Todd – dislike him immensely! So adios MSNBC! But as most comments here show, the corporations finally totally control the USA. God help America!

  23. What a hell of a boring interview! Where has Candy Crowley been for the past 6 years? Now an Imperialist would start cranking out Executive Orders commanding the Congress/Senate to work with him or ” off with their heads”. What can he do to get a dysfunctional body to do what they were elected to do? Let’s see how critical she is over this next 2 years when they have both the house and the senate – how hard are they going to be willing to work?

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