Barack Hussein Obama, my president

"I love looking at all the individual faces in this photograph of the President greeting children at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Barack Hussein Obama gave us hope when he won the presidency in 2008. A black man sitting in the Oval Office as president of the United States made us believe change was possible. He made it cool to be fly and to be the Commander-in-Chief at the same time.

His quiet strength caught bin Laden slipping. It was his tears that brought the reality of Sandy Hook to us. He told the nation that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin. He stood in the gap with parishioners as he prayed and eulogized the Charleston 9.

He made it possible for millions of people to have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. He re-wrote the next chapter in United States and Cuba diplomacy reunion. Marriage equality became the law of the land. He became the environment best friend when he preserved more than 260 million acres with national monuments.

Yes, I am going to miss this president. Not just because Mr. Obama was the country’s first black president. But because of the opportunity he represents so much to so many people. He is one of us. We can see ourselves in him. He can party with Jay-Z and Beyonce one minute then take out a terrorist in the next minute in a blink of an eye.

As one of my sons always say, cold game. People identify with President Obama. They gravitate towards him in a hypnotic way. Charisma can have that kind of an affect on you. President Obama certainly have plenty of that. This man knows how to work a room like nobody’s business.

President Barack Obama makes Thanksgiving Day phone calls from the Oval Office to U.S. troops stationed around the world, Nov. 24, 2016. The President’s Coast Guard military aide, LCDR Ginny Nadolny is at right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

More importantly, President Obama showed America he cares. He care our their babies. He care about the nurses working in the operating room. He care about the automobile workers doing their thing on the assembly line.

He care abut our kids’ education. He care about the men and women in the military. He care so much about young men of color and their pathway to success that he started the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative (Task Force on Improving the Lives of Boys and Young Men of Color and Underserved Youth).

Having seen President Obama up close and in person on several occasions, it is my conclusion that this man has the Midas touch. When he walks in a room,, all sorts of electricity began to surge. But that’s not to say that there has not been any missteps taken by President Obama.

Like any other ordinary citizen, President Obama is not perfect. No president is. As much as I admire about the man, the president, there has been some moments during President Obama’s two-term presidency that left me scratching my head. There were some moments that I was flat-out infuriated at some of the decisions he made.

It didn’t matter whether I voted for him in 2008 and 2012. That is probably the beauty of President Obama’s tenure in the White House. He believes in the American people. He believes in the process of democracy, for government officials to be held accountable by we, the people. And that we have a right to agree to disagree.

We, as citizens of the United States, have a right to dissent without being punished for it. President Obama understand that we have a right to question without the threat of jail or other forms of intimidation hovering over our heads. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Is this not the American way?

President Barack Obama takes questions from student reporters during College Reporter Day in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, April 28, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Throughout his eight years as president, President Obama hammered that point again and again. He put much emphasis on this matter during his last public address to the nation. We are a country of we, not me. He reiterated as much during his last press conference with the media.

President Obama didn’t come from a lot of money. His background is pretty pedestrian.

He was raised by his mother, and to a large degree, his grandmother and grandfather. He was just an afro-puffed kid who had ambitions to mobilize a generation to be great. He did more than that. He got young people into the political fray, letting them know that that they have a say about their future by urging them to hit the polls and vote.

President Obama is the essence of what democracy is about. He has felt the tug-of-war narrowed to the working, white middle-class to the concerns harbored by blue-collared African Americans. Being bi-racial, that has allowed President Obama to look in-depth at the dilemma of both worlds.

That is what has made him a successful president. President Obama came into the White House with an 84 percent honeymoon approval rating. He’s leaving still on good footing with the American people as 60 percent of the country approve of the job he has done. That’s pretty good. That’s something to be proud of.

When you consider that President Obama has been rebuffed the past eight years by certain members of Congress from fully utilizing his full agenda, President Obama succeeded where his haters failed. While his detractors tried to trip him up on a routine basis, President Obama stood high as they continued to go low.

While we’re on this topic here, it might as well be said: a lot of his opposition was clearly forged along racial lines. If you’re African American, and you’re the first at anything, the blowback you receive is usually ten times as much as it would be if you are white. That is not a myth. It is the history of this country. So, can you imagine the pushback set up against President Obama from a near all-white country club Congress?

And they did it all in the name of philosophical difference. He’s a Democrat. We’re Republicans. No one bought that propaganda narrative. They plotted to make President Obama a one-term president. Republicans have talked about undermining his health care bill. The hate is all over the place. And the American people see it.

This is why the admiration for President Obama can never be understated. Despite all the chaos, the confusion and illogical nonsense tossed into his presidency, President Obama has stayed above the fray and has stayed classy. He never allowed his enemies to see him sweat. That’s why he’s my president.

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1065 Articles
Dennis covers the NFL (San Diego Chargers), NBA (Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers), Major League Baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers) and NCAA sports (USC, UCLA, Long Beach State). As a professional journalist, Dennis has also covered and written on topics such as civil rights, politics and social justice. Dennis is a graduate of Howard University.